Informe semanal noticias Alemania elaborado por la oficina de Turismo de Tenerife en Fráncfort.
Tour Operator News
- TUI strengthens market leadership: German market leader TUI outgrew most of its major competitors last year amid ups and downs for the likes of Thomas Cook, DER Touristik, FTI, Alltours and Schauinsland, according to the latest fvw dossier. TUI increased revenues in Germany by 7.4 percent to about €5.05 billion and in the three German-speaking markets by 8.5 percent to €5.75 billion. These growth rates left TUI with a market-leading 14 percent share both in Germany and the “DACH” region. Thomas Cook underperformed the overall market last year with a moderate 4.7 percent to turnover of €4 billion in the “DACH” region despite a 7.4 percent increase in customer numbers to 7.3 million. They have a market share of 10.6 percent in Germany and 9.7 percent of the regional market. DER Touristik’s tour operator revenues dropped for the third year in a row as it failed to profit from the recovery of Turkey and Egypt. The group’s turnover in Germany dropped by 1.2 percent to €2.65 billion on an estimated 5.9 percent fall in customer number to 4.9 million, the “DACH” turnover declined by 1.2 percent to €3.4 billion on a estimated 4.8 percent drop to 6 million customers. The group’s market share fell to 7.4 percent in Germany and to 8.3 percent in the DACH region. The biggest winner last year was once again the FTI Group with a double digit growth. In the DACH region the turnover increased by 13.7 percent to €2.9 billion as customer numbers soared by 11.8 percent to 4.75 million. Its regional market share rose 7 percent. Germany’s largest cruise company, Aida Cruises, retained its position as the country’s fifth-largest tour operator. Its customer numbers in the DACH region increased by 4.7% to just over one million, generating an estimated 8.8% rise in turnover to €1.85 billion. This gave it a 4.5% share of the regional market. There were contrasting fortunes last year for local rivals Alltours and Schauinsland-Reisen. Alltours again generated solid growth but behind in the market, with regional turnover up by 3.9 percent to 1.4 billion on a 4 percent rise to over 1.7 million customers. The regional turnover of Schauinsland-Reisen surged by 13.6 percent to €1.3 billion as customer numbers went up by 12.6 percent to 1.6 million.
- Wolters offers free-of-charge cancellations for trips to Great-Britain: TUI brand Wolters is responding to the uncertainties of the impending Brexit, offering more flexible cancellation conditions for new bookings until March 31. All round trips to Scotland, England, Wales and Ireland can be cancelled free of charge up to 31 days before the start of the journey. This is intended to make it easier for customers to make decisions and to expediters to sell trips to the UK, the tour specialist said.
- Mid-sized specialists gain ground: According to the latest fvw dossier, turnover by medium-sized and smaller tour operators grew by 13.8 percent in the 2017/18 tourism year, thus growing significantly more strongly than the overall market. Indeed, the 54 tour operators covered by the market research study increased revenues in Germany, Austria and Switzerland by 8.3% to €27.5 billion in the 2017/18 tourism year. Above all, the dynamically producing tour operators and cruise experts have grown strongly. Approximately 1,550 tour operators were counted in 2018, which is less than the 1,800 tour operators counted three years earlier. Many small tour operators founded in the 70s and 80s give up because the owners cannot find a successor or the business is simply no longer worthwhile. Nevertheless, the high number shows how colorful the market is, especially as self-organising travel agencies or bus companies are frequently not included in the study.
- Bookings for 2019 do not improve: According to fvw, one of the leading German travel trade magazines, the weak booking situation has not yet recovered. The fvw Sales Climate Index continues to fall – to its worst level in more than two years. For the summer 2019, bookings at the end of January were in some cases double-digit under the previous year. Even in the cruise segment, which is known for success, bookings are not at their very best. The industry names a number of factors as reasons for this. First there is the strong previous year, which is certainly not easy to surpass. Another reason is the hot summer in 2018. Germans speculated that this could repeat in 2019. Travel agencies believe that demand and earnings will not improve significantly in the coming six months.
- How destinations react to overtourism: Current findings from numerous pilot projects on the subject of overtourism are available now. The ITB Congress, for example, will show how digital technology can help guide visitor flows. The question will also be to what extent experiences from overcrowded cities can be transferred to rural tourist areas. The following solutions have been found: tourist and entrance fees, traffic control, higher punishment for troublemakers, restrictions against AirBnb, visitor control, less marketing.
- Eurowings separates from LGW: The Lufthansa Group took over the regional airline Walter (LGW) at the end of 2017 from Air Berlin, which had gone bankrupt. Now LGW, which has meanwhile been grouped in the LH subsidiary Eurowings, is changing hands again. The new owner is the Berlin Zeitfracht Group. A corresponding contract was signed today in Berlin. At the same time, the change also marks the start of a longer-term cooperation between LGW and Eurowings under a wet lease agreement. The 17 LGW machines – all of them Dash 8 Q400 from Bombardier – will continue to be used for Eurowings, the LH subsidiary announced. According to Eurowings, the change of LGW is an important step towards a uniform Airbus A320 fleet structure for short- and medium-haul business. For the approximately 450 LGW employees, the change to Zeitfracht Group will have no impact, as their contracts will remain unchanged, Eurowings announced.
- British regional carrier Flybmi collapsed: After Germania, Flybmi has also been hit. The British regional airline, which flew to many destinations in Germany, has ceased operations. Small airports in the country are particularly affected, especially the Rostock-Laage airport which has lost its last connection to Munich. “It is with a heavy heart that we have made this unavoidable announcement “, a Flybmi spokesman announced on Saturday evening. In addition to increased fuel and carbon costs, the reasons named included uncertainty over Brexit. At Flybmi, the uncertainty had led to the fact that they had no more flight orders (wet lease), the spokesman said. Flight operations were terminated immediately.
- Cruises generate double-digit growth: According to the latest fvw dossier, most German cruise operators grew strongly last year but the sector is increasingly facing image problems and environmental challenges. The ten largest cruise operators in fvw’s annual ranking of 54 German, Austrian and Swiss tour operators generated overall double-digit revenue growth last year. Their combined revenues increased by 11.2% to nearly €4.7 billion as customer numbers grew by 7% to more than 2.4 million. The cruise market’s growth was once again largely driven by new ships that increased overall capacity.
- Cruises booked at shorter notice: Cruise bookings are currently being made much later than previously. This short-term booking behavior is further boosted by the special prices currently available for Aida Cruises and TUI Cruises, among others. With „Aida Nova“ and „Mein Schiff“, the top two ships have new capacities on offer that need to be filled. „The early-bird campaigns are no longer working,” said a cruise sales expert.
- Further cruise ship to be built for Royal Caribbean: According to fvw, one of the leading German travel trade magazines, Royal Caribbean has ordered a sixth cruise ship of the Oasis class. The ship will be built by the French shipyard Chantiers de l’Atlantique in St. Nazaire and is scheduled for completion in autumn 2023, announced the shipping company. The Symphony of the Seas, the fourth Oasis ship, was commissioned in 2018. The fifth Oasis vessel is scheduled for delivery in 2021. The Oasis class ships are the largest cruise ships in the world.