Informe semanal noticias Alemania realizado por la Oficina de Turismo de Tenerife en Fráncfort
- Expedition cruises are booming: The relatively expensive sea voyages are enjoying increasing popularity and the segment is booming. Experts estimate that in the coming years at least 25 new expedition ships will be on the road worldwide. There are legal limits to growth in some areas of trade: the number of visitors allowed to land simultaneously from a ship in the Antarctic, for example, is limited to 100. Hurtigruten currently has three hybrid-operated expedition vessels built for tourist travel. This year Roald Amundsen will set sail, in 2020 the Fridtjof Nansen and in 2021 a third, nameless ship of the same class. Up to 530 guests per ship should also be able to explore remote polar regions. The new series, including electric drive, is said to be one of the world’s most environmentally friendly cruise liners. Hapag-Lloyd Cruises also has new ships built. The Bremen will leave the fleet in the spring of 2021. Hanseatic nature and Hanseatic inspiration will be commissioned in 2019, and Hanseatic spirit will follow in 2021. The shipping company has announced that it will refrain from heavy fuel oil on all expedition cruises from July 2020 and instead use the low-emission marine gas oil (MGO). Nicko Cruises has already commissioned two more ocean-going vessels for expeditions in addition to the World Explorer, which is scheduled to launch in May 2019. World Voyager and World Navigator are scheduled for completion in 2020 and 2021. Two other expedition ships also launch Ponant: Le Bougainville and Le Dumont d’Urville. Both ships are identical to the other ships in the Ponant Explorers series.
Tour Operator News:
- Thomas Cook expands China Business: Thomas Cook China, the joint venture between Thomas Cook and the investment group Fosun, plans to expand its own hotel brands in the People’s Republic. An agreement has now been signed between TC CEO Peter Fankhauser and Jim Qian, Chief of Fosun Tourism. Almost three years ago, Thomas Cook and the Chinese investor Fosun founded the joint venture Thomas Cook China. Now, the company plans to expand the group’s own hotel brands in China. At an official ceremony in Shanghai, Peter Fankhauser, CEO of the Thomas Cook Group, and Jim Qian, Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer of Fosun Tourism, have signed an agreement to develop two specific projects: the brand’s first Asian brand Casa Cook is being built in Lijiang in southwestern China. In Taicang, near Shanghai, a Thomas Cook Sunwing Family Resort is being planned. The hotels are realized by Fosun and managed by Thomas Cook China. The openings are expected to take place at the end of next year. The two properties follow previously announced projects with Dream East Group, a leading Hong Kong-listed tourism company, for two Thomas Cook Sunwing Family Resorts in Jiashan near Shanghai and Hengyang, in southern China. The first ever Casa Cook brand in Asia is being built in Lijiang on a 350,000-square-meter plant in Yunnan province in southwest China, aimed at mid to high-end customers. The Thomas Cook Sunwing Family Resort is much smaller: It covers 145,000 square meters in Taicang City, a 30-minute drive from Shanghai. According to Thomas Cook, the two new projects represent another milestone in the development of the tour operator’s private label portfolio in China. The organizer intends to continue to differentiate itself from local competitors and to establish itself in the fast-growing Chinese domestic market.
- Tour operators report strong Turkey bookings: Conforming to fvw, German tour operators are enjoying strong increases in Turkey bookings as the destination hopes for a record year in 2019 after last year’s comeback. Turkish tourism officials are hoping for new records this year following a strong recovery in 2018 as German holidaymakers regained confidence in the destination. Hüseyin Gazi Cosan, Berlin-based representative of the Turkish culture and tourism ministry, said: “I expect that we can beat the record year of 2015 with 5.6 million German visitors.” Last year, about 4.4 million German arrivals were registered until the end of November, and about 4.5 million were expected for the year as a whole. This was a clear improvement on 2017, with 3.6 million German visitors, and 2016, with 3.9 million arrivals. Early bookings for summer 2019 are extremely strong at present, including a 60% rise in December, according to reservations company Traveltainment. Bookings to Antalya, the main airport for the Turkish Riviera, were up by 48% last month following similar high double-digit increases in November and October, according to Traveltainment figures. Tour operators have confirmed these trends. TUI recently said that Turkey is “in the fast lane” and the largest German tour operator has a triple-digit surge in bookings for the country, which has grown to its third most-popular destination. Similarly, Thomas Cook said it has “significant growth” for Turkey, FTI and Schauinsland referred to “a strong performance”, and Alltours’ bookings are “above expectations”. Turkey specialist Bentour has an 81% overall increase in bookings at present, driven by “extremely good demand for Turkey holidays”, even though average prices are 15% higher than last year, CEO Deniz Ugur said. He explained: “Customers who avoided the destination for two years are now booking again.” In particular, these are families who are attracted by all-inclusive hotels with features such as large family rooms, children’s clubs and aqua-parks full of slides.
- Millennials book separate travel products online: As stated by fvw, Germany’s leading travel trade magazine, are young adults increasingly booking holidays and other trips online and as separate products rather than as packages from tour operators, a new study by market researchers Yougov in Germany has confirmed. The current generation of 18-34 year-olds, the so-called ‘millennials’, are taking advantage of technology more than ever before to book travel through the internet, a wide-ranging survey found. For example, the readiness of millennials to book accommodation through Booking.com has risen from 25% to 28% over the last two years, while Airbnb has increased from 15% to 19%. In contrast, traditional tour operators such as TUI are losing popularity among the first generation of ‘digital natives’. TUI’s score has fallen from 22% two years ago to 19%, according to the ‘Millennials as Digital Travellers’ study. This ‘Generation Y’ uses the internet intensively to research travel information, the study confirmed. For example, two out of five (39%) pay attention to online hotel evaluations, compared to only 29% of respondents aged over 35. Unsurprisingly, young adults are careful with their travel spending. More than a quarter (27%) selected their most recent holiday destination taking low costs into account, compared to only 18% of consumers over 35. In contrast, only 20% of millennials selected their destination because they had already been there and enjoyed their stay. Commenting on the results, Yougov consultant Sven Runge warned that TUI and other traditional travel companies should take note of the trends. “Traditional providers should continually monitor the travel behaviour and needs of Generation Y, in order not to completely lose them as customers to suppliers of individual products.”
- Not a good start of the year for travel agents: The mood in the German travel distribution is dropping because of the current booking situation. Consequently, the expectations for the future are restrained. While in January 2018 the mood in the German travel market was increasing, it has now decreased by more than ten points. According to the fvw sales climate index from the beginning of January, the index is below 100 for the first time in more than two years. For comparison: Twelve months ago, the value was still 120.3. Not surprislingly, as both booking conditions and demands are limited for the summer of 2019. As GfK has determined in its Travel Insights, fewer were booked in November and December than twelve months before – especially in the inpatient offices. This is also reflected in the current Climate Index of Dr. Ing. Fried & Partner. Accordingly, in 32 percent of respondents, sales have fallen in recent months. After all, a quarter of travel agencies have sold more than last year. But still, GfK expects a cumulative increase of three percent. In addition, bookings soared at the current time a year ago almost into the air. But the tension is increasing since the booking engine hast o start in the next weeks, if tourism wants to produce growth figures. The travel agencies from the fvw sales climate index are cautiously optimistic: around a quarter believe that demand will rise and 60 percent expect stable sales. Of course, the majority of respondents are not worried about their own returns: 60 percent expect stable earnings, and 24 percent even believe that they will improve. That’s three percentage points more than in the previous month.
- Germania fills €15 million liquidity gap: The Berlin-based leisure airline Germania has successfully secured more than €15 million in short-term financing to fill its liquidity gap and keep flying, reassuring airports, tour operators and other business partners as announced last Saturday by the company. CEO Karsten Balke said: “With regard to our financing efforts, we have received an important commitment today. In total, the financial support now exceeds the initial target amount of €15 million. We should receive the funds in the next week.” The airline did not disclose who has provided the funding. Germania emphasised that as a result of the financing commitment its medium- and long-term viability as an independent medium-sized airline “has been secured”. The airline stated: “The booking situation is good, advance booking figures for the coming months and for the entire 2019 summer schedule are above those of the previous year.” Balke added: “I would like to explicitly thank all of our partners for their past trust and support, especially in recent days. In this phase of uncertainty, our team succeeded in securing our flight operations without disruptions, all Germania flights were operated as scheduled. I am proud of our employees and would like to extend my special thanks to them.”
- High demand: More flights from Kassel Airport to Mallorca in summer: In the summer timetable, there will be more flights from Kassel Airport in Calden to Mallorca than previously announced. The airline Sundair confirms that between May 30 and October 24 the airline will fly to the island on Thursdays. The reason for the increase is the high demand, the company informs on request. Last September, flights were already announced Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, Sundays to Palma de Mallorca.