Informe semanal de noticias del mercado alemán de la Oficina de Turismo de Tenerife en Fráncfort

  • Destination News

German bookings for top destinations remain depressed in April – German holiday bookings for major destinations in the Mediterranean and North Africa improved fractionally last month compared to March but still remained well behind last year’s levels, according to the latest monthly figures from Amadeus. Demand on the German market for summer package holidays still looks weak but was slightly better last month than in March, which saw a dramatic 17 percent drop in offline and online booked revenues for the ten most important holiday destination airports through the travel IT company’s reservation systems. German bookings for the biggest destination airport, Antalya, declined 16 percent last month after an 18 percent fall in March for the Turkish Riviera gateway, according to the company’s data. In Egypt, Hurghada performed better with a 12 percent decline after a severe 28 percent slump in March, while Marsa Alam showed a 17 percent fall on the heels of a 19 percent drop in March. However, these double-digit declines come after very high growth rates throughout most of 2018 for both Turkey and Egypt. Greece also moved into negative territory last month, according to the Amadeus figures. There was a 6 percent fall in bookings to Heraklion, the main Crete gateway, after a 7 percent rise the previous month. Rhodes was down by 11 percent after a slight 1 percent fall in March, and Kos weakened by 14 percent after an 8 percent increase the previous month. Spain remains a problem area as bookings continue to show high double-digit falls. Palma experienced an 11 percent drop for the second month in a row and has seen lower bookings every month since February 2018, according to the Amadeus figures. The picture is even worse for the Canary Islands, which have seen many months of double-digit falls. Las Palmas was down 17 percent in April after a 25 percent fall in March, bookings for Fuerteventura were 25 percent lower after a decline of one third the previous month, and Tenerife South dropped by 15 percent compared to -21 percent in March. Amadeus Leisure IT claims to handle the bulk of offline (travel agency) and online bookings for tour operator holidays on the German market, making its booking figures a reliable indicator of demand trends. FVW in cooperation with GfK see also for April a slump of 12%, main reason were the Easter holidays, when many Germans went away on a family trip, as well as the extremely strong comparative figure of 21% growth in the same month last year. Both traditional travel agencies and, contrary to recent months, OTAs were affected by lower bookings in April for holidays between May and October 2019. According to GfK, demand for mainstream destinations are well down on last year.

Google presents new website for travel planning in Germany:A new website from Google is to merge and simplify hotel and flight searches as well as searches for sites. The travel website is clearer than the previous app Google Trips, which thus appears obsolete. At com/travel, information on flights, hotels and attractions is bundled and sorted by destinations. On the page, also results are listed which were found by Google search. Even started searches are saved, which can be helpful for longer-term planning. In addition, the new travel website summarizes information from emails from the signed-in Gmail account. So if the users are booking a hotel, the data will ideally be transferred directly and a new travel entry will be created.

Tourism on Mallorca is weakening – Low prices in Egypt, Tunisia and Turkey are troubling the Balearic Islands. During Easter it was significantly emptier than usual, some hotels remained closed and have postponed the start of the season in May. Many organizers have extended the early bird season for Spain this year. In March, prices were 2.7 percent lower than in the previous year. The reason: The number of bookings stagnates and is still below that of 2018. The persistently high price level deters many tourists. The hoteliers, according to insiders, expect a decline of 15 to 20 percent this year. Much depends on the summer weather in Germany. At the moment there are more bookings for Germany and Austria than 2018. But if the summer in central Europe should be rainy, Mallorca could benefit from rebookers.

Study: Shopping tourism in Germany: The increase is clear: in 2008, around 15.7 million foreign tourists visited Germany. Ten years later, it is almost 23 million, or around 45 percent more. In the same period, the number of non-EU tourists actually increased by 75 percent to 16.1 million. Not only hotels and restaurateurs are benefiting from the flow of tourists, tourists are now also generating billions of euros in retail sales, according to a study by the EHI Retail Institute commissioned by Global Blue. Over the past decade, sales of these tax-free purchases in Germany have risen from just under € 1 billion to nearly € 2.6 billion a year. Chinese account for 40.8 percent of tax-free sales in Germany, the most important group of shopping tourists. Russia follows with 12 percent and the Gulf States with 10.9 percent. Souvenirs from Germany mainly focus on watches & jewelry as well as fashion, which together account for more than 80 percent of sales.

  • Tour Operator News

TUI Group writes 300 million euros loss in the first half of 2019 – The TUI Group announces its half-year figures – and these are pervaded. After the record year of 2018, the first six months of 2019 would «meet expectations,» the company said. Although sales increased by 1.7 percent to EUR 6.7 billion, adjusted EBITA with special effects amounted to EUR -300.6 million (previous year: EUR -169.7 million). Nevertheless, the TUI Group expects a «solid financial year 2019». The adjusted earnings forecast for the entire year 2019 was also confirmed: TUI currently expects rebased adjusted EBITA to be approximately -17 percent lower than the adjusted EBITA of the previous year of approximately EUR 1.2 billion.

Thomas Cook slips deeper into red figures– Overall, the group posted a loss of 1.67 billion euro in its half-year balance sheet. Most of this is due to a write-down related to the 2007 My-Travel Merger. Without this effect, the minus grows by 75 million to 281 million euros. Sales at Thomas Cook declined from 3.7 million to 3.46 billion euro in the first half of the year. That means in guest numbers, that Thomas Cook sold 300.000 packages less than the year before. Group CEO Peter Fankhauser blames especially the hesitant demand in the tour operator business for the higher losses from the operating business. Above all, the British market is cautious in view of the uncertainties surrounding Brexit. In Northern Europe, high prices in the Canary Islands dampened winter demand. Looking ahead to the second half of the fiscal year, the Cook boss is skeptical. Although Thomas Cook has already reduced its short-term business capacity in summer to avoid being exposed to a price battle, continued competitive pressure will further reduce margins, he says. Despite progress in expanding its own hotel business, higher fuel and hotel prices led to «strong headwinds» in the remaining months, according to Fankhauser.

Royal Caribbean and TUI ‘most valuable tourism and leisure brands’- Royal Caribbean has narrowly retained its position above TUI in the world’s top ten most valuable leisure and tourism brands, a new analysis reveals. The cruise group’s brand value remained steady at 3.8 billion US dollar over last year. Royal Caribbean is on course for future growth with demand high in the cruise industry on the back of strong financial results in 2018, according to a valuation of the world’s biggest brands in the sector by consultancy Brand Finance. Second-ranked TUI, with a brand value up four percent to 3.7 billion US dollar in the past year, substantially closed the gap, only just falling short of overtaking Royal Caribbean. China International Travel moved up from fifth to third place with a brand value of 3.6 billion US dollar due to a surge in forecast revenue in coming years as the Chinese tourism market continues to develop with unprecedented speed and scale.

  • Aviation News

Virgin Atlantic bids for Thomas Cook’s long haul – One of the official interested parties is Lufthansa. At the beginning of the week, CEO Carsten Spohr announced to its shareholders that they would like to take over the Thomas Cook subsidiary Condor or the entire Thomas Cook airlines. By contrast, Virgin Atlantic is only interested in long-haul business, as reported byde, citing Sky News. It concerns the business with flights for example to Cancun in Mexico and Las Vegas or Orlando in the USA. Virgin submitted a first proposal this week to bankers working for Thomas Cook. The stock price of Thomas Cook has boosted the offer and temporarily rose on Friday by up to 6.8 percent. The heavily indebted group wants to sell its airline divisions to have more money for the development of their own hotels. The Thomas Cook fleet has 105 aircrafts.

More passenger complaints against airlines– The recent summer of chaos in European air traffic has led to significantly more consumer complaints about the airlines. According to the Federal Office for Civil Aviation, the number of complaints about delays and cancellations increased by 61 percent to 4,092 compared to the previous year. A total of 4,258 complaints were received by the authorities, as evidenced by the German government’s response to a small poll by the Greens parliamentary group. The number of fines procedures initiated by the Federal Office of Civil Aviation increased six-fold to 982 in 2018. European airlines (628) were the most frequently targeted by the Authority, followed by airlines from third countries (254) and German airlines (100).

  • Cruise News

Shipping companies react with actions on decreasing growth – For years, the segment has scored with double-digit growth rates and is taking the balance sheet of the classic package holiday business higher. But since the beginning of the year 2019 it looks comparatively bad in the «normal» tourism – and in the cruise as well. According to GfK, the total tourist turnover of the summer season 2019 at the end of March is still slightly below the previous year. And the plus in the cruise segment, according to the Tats-Reisebüro-Spiegel , decreased from seven percent in November 2018 to just 3.7 percent. At the same time a year ago, the cruise was still at plus 12.4 percent.

Aida expands market leadership – Aida Cruises’s revenue grew faster than its competitors last year. With estimated 1.09 million passengers (plus 4.7 percent) estimated by the fvw, Germany’s leading travel trade magazine, the Rostock-based shipping company is said to have raised 1.85 billion euros. That would be 8.8 percent more than in the previous year. As a result, Aida is not only TUI Cruises’ largest cruise ship operator in Germany, but also takes fifth place in the organizer ranking of fvw. Only TUI Germany, Thomas Cook, DER Touristik and FTI achieved higher sales in 2018.

  • Business Travel News

Rise in European business travel spend despite political uncertainty: According to Travel Weekly, European business travel spend is set to grow by 4.3% in 2019 following a year of geopolitical and economic uncertainty. The forecast by American Express Global Business Travel (GBT) is a rise on the 3.8% spent in 2018. There was also a 3.6% annual increase in the number of people travelling for work. The latest business travel barometer shows that 71% of businesses now measure traveller satisfaction compared to only 56% in the previous year. As a result, two-thirds (66%) of companies now use traveller satisfaction as a tool to improve employee engagement. This is reflected in a shift away from strict travel policies – a decline of 16% between 2016 and 2018 – in favour of greater flexibility. The research also revealed movement in managed travel priorities. Traveller security was the top of the list for the last three years. However, cost control takes precedence this year, followed by data security, then traveller security and traveller satisfaction.

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