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

  • Tour Operator News

TUI wants to sell 10 million sustainable trips by 2020: The TUI Group intends to sell at least 10 million sustainable holiday trips within two years, as the group announces with the publication of its Sustainability Report 2018. By 2018, 9.2 million TUI guests would have stayed in hotels with an external, recognized sustainability certification. Compared with the previous year, the number increased by 12%. The number of excursion guests at TUI Collection, the program with sustainable excursions, grew by 15 percent in 2018 compared to the previous year to almost 1.2 million.

Olimar offers new round and adventure trips: The new winter catalog of Olimar has been published. The Portugal and Southern Europe specialist presents round trips and adventure tours in Portugal, Madeira and the Azores, Spain, Mallorca, the Canary Islands, Sicily and Cape Verde. Rental car tours, bus tours, active trips, island hopping, gourmet holidays and river trips were mainly developed in the original regions. As a highlight Olimar presents a combination product in Andalusia and Morocco. Morocco is also new to the program with selected round trips and adventure tours. The current winter catalog offers are bookable from now on.

America Unlimited: New products for Canada: For 2019, the specialist for North America expects a booking increase of 25 %. To meet demand, America Unlimited has expanded the program by nine trips. Additional tours include explorer tours to Toronto, Ottawa, Quebec City and Montreal on the East Coast. But travelers can also go to the middle of Canada’s nature. The eight-day tour “Birds, Bears and Belugas” leads to Manitoba where guests can watch the animals on guided hikes. With 20 days, the trip along the Great Lakes from Toronto to Winnipeg is much longer. Stations include the Algonquin and the Killarney National Park and Thunder Bay on Lake Superior. For ski fans, America Unlimited has launched the 13-day giant “Winter Fun in Whistler and Northern Lights in the Yukon”.

OTAs grow fast as online bookings surge: Online travel bookings soared by 13% in Germany last year, generating fast growth for leaders Booking.com, Check24, Expedia, Invia, Holidaycheck and others, according to the fvw Travel Sales Dossier 2019. The German online travel sales market, covering bookings through portals, OTAs and tour operators, grew by 13% to €29.3 billion in 2018, according to market researchers. Online sales now account for about 43% of the total €67.9 billion German leisure travel market, putting them ahead of travel agencies with a 40% market share. This strong growth was driven by nearly all the major players who profited with double-digit growth rates, according to a ranking of 20 leading online sales channels in the market research dossier. These companies increased their sales by 13.4% to nearly €14 billion, according to fvw estimates. The ranking includes specialist portals for hotels and flights, holidays-focused OTAs and tour operator websites, but not online sales by airlines, Deutsche Bahn or other suppliers. Meta-searchers who link to other sites for bookings are also not included.

  • Industry News

Drop in German bookings for top destinations slows in May: The fall in German holiday bookings for major destinations in the Mediterranean and North Africa lessened somewhat last month compared to April, raising hopes that overall demand is gradually recovering even below it remains below last year’s levels, the latest monthly package holiday booking figures from Amadeus show. The best performer in May was Heraklion, the main Crete gateway, with a 1% rise in bookings compared to the same month last year and after a 6% year-on-year drop in April. Rhodes improved slightly from – 11% in April to -9.7% last month, and Kos had a 4.2% fall that was much better than April’s 14% decline. Both Turkey and Egypt saw very strong growth rates throughout most of 2018, meaning their sales levels are generally still ahead of 2017 levels. In contrast, the main Spanish destinations continue to see a substantial decline in bookings on the German market, according to the Amadeus figures. Palma was again down by 11%, like in the two previous months, and has seen lower bookings every month since February 2018. The Canary Islands again suffered a heavy drop in German bookings. Las Palmas was down by 14.3% last month after -17% in April and -25% fall in March. Fuerteventura was the worst performer among the top ten destinations with a 22.7% drop in bookings last month, following on from -25% in April and one third in March. Tenerife South reduced its fall to single digits (-9.3%) after falls of 15% in April and 21% in March.

Travel agency bookings remain below the previous year in May: According to figures from the market research company GfK, booking volumes for the summer overall reach the level of 2018, but this is based on strong online sales, which increased by 4%. The stationary sales has to accept losses of 2%. Thanks to a good early bird season for the coming winter season (+ 7%), monthly sales in May reached a small plus of 1% overall. The industry still hopes for a strong last-minute business, because in order to catch up with the summer season 2018, 27 % of last year’s season sales are still pending. In May, a quarter of the total sales volume was accounted for by short-term summer bookings for the travel months of May and June. Compared to the same month of the previous year, this represents an increase of 1.6 %. However, the summer months of July and August as well as the autumn months of September and October were lower than 2018. With total summer sales at the previous year’s level, the cumulative balance sheet remains at minus 2%. The short-term bookings in the May benefited above all the travel month of June with its celebration and holiday days around Pentecost. However, the June sales increase of currently 10.6 % is not enough to make up for the May losses (-15%). The travel months for the big summer holidays in July and August are currently still 2.8 or 2.0 % lower than in the previous year.

Domestic Tourism April: 11 percent more nights: For April Germany looks back on 40.4 million overnight stays by domestic and foreign guests. As reported by the Federal Statistical Office according to preliminary results, this was an increase of 11.0 % compared to April 2018. It should be noted that the Easter holidays this year were completely in April – 2018 partly in March. The number of overnight stays of guests from abroad rose by 6.0 % to 7.3 million. The number of overnight stays in Germany increased by 12.1 % to 33.1 million. In the period from January to April 2019, the number of overnight stays with guests thus rose by 4.0 % to 127.3 million compared to the same period of the previous year. Of these, 23.8 million were spent on foreign guests (+3.0%) and 103.5 million on domestic guests (+4.2%). 

New EU directive becomes a “feat of strength” for the industry: By 14 September at the latest, the new EU Payment Services Directive (PSD2) will become effective. According to DRV (German Travel Association), the industry will then see changes in the payment of travel bookings. In the future, for example, customers will have to release the use of credit cards via the “Strong Customer Authentication” (SCA). Whether the transition succeeds depends not only on the participating travel agents, organizers and service providers, but especially on the credit card issuers. According to a survey by Mastercard, there are concerns that all card issuers in the German market can meet the requirements in good time. Also, in the area of IATA scheduled flights, the DRV still sees a need for action.

  • Aviation News

Lufthansa warns on profits as low-cost competition intensifies: As per Financial Times, shares in Lufthansa dropped 12 % and weighed on its rivals after the German airline lowered its profit outlook for the second time this year. Despite strong business on transatlantic and Asian routes, the airline’s European short-haul market, which includes its low-cost airline Eurowings, continues to face pressure from other carriers as they battle to win passengers. There is mounting evidence that conditions in the European airline industry are worsening after several carriers warned they were facing tough trading conditions. Ryanair and easyJet both issued profit warnings earlier this year. Lufthansa expects its margin on adjusted earnings before interest and tax to be between 5.5% and 6.5 %, down from a previously predicted range of 6.5 to 8 %. The profit warning dragged down Europe’s other big airlines. Ryanair shares fell 6 %, easyJet was down 5 % and Air France slipped 5 %. At Eurowings, revenues are expected to decline significantly in the second quarter. For the full year, Lufthansa forecast a decrease at a mid-single-digit rate citing that “the progress in streamlining the Eurowings cost base is also slower than expected”. “The Eurowings management has resolved upon further turnaround measures which it will present shortly,” Lufthansa said. The airline said it expected the European market to remain challenging for the remainder of the year.

Lufthansa and Expedia Announce Strategic Air Technology Partnership: According to Lufthansa’s press release, they will leverage cutting-edge technology to deliver the shared goal of helping more travelers access the best possible air travel options with Lufthansa, SWISS and Austrian Airlines on Expedia Group sites. The new multi-year cooperation establishes greater technological collaboration between the companies thanks to an industry-leading Direct NDC API connection. Beginning in June 2019 Expedia Group will enable its leisure travelers located in Lufthansa Group airlines’ European markets to benefit from the attractive offers of the Lufthansa Group airlines’ NDC Partner Program. This includes the “NDC Smart Offer”: Lufthansa Group airlines’ most competitive fares. The two companies will work together in expanding these offerings globally, including the North American market throughout 2019 and 2020.

Lufthansa: Cabin crew union threatens strikes in July: According to Deutsche Welle, German cabin crew union UFO on Thursday called on flight attendants with German carrier Lufthansa to go on strike in July. The union’s acting deputy chairman, Daniel Flohr, accused the airline of deliberately escalating the wage dispute with its employees. Speaking in Frankfurt, he said workers at subsidiaries Eurowings and Germanwings would vote in a strike ballot as soon as possible, with a ballot to follow at Lufthansa in the coming weeks. At the end of these initial votes, they will announce exactly when, where and for how long these labor actions will take place. A strike during the summer holiday season could lead to major disruptions for thousands of passengers hoping to fly to their travel destinations.

Fraport Traffic Figures – May 2019: Frankfurt Airport (FRA) welcomed 6.2 million passengers in May 2019, an increase of 1.4 % year-on-year. The growth rate would have been one percentage point higher, if FRA had not been affected by a number of weather and strike-related flight cancellations during the reporting month. Over the first five months of 2019, FRA achieved passenger growth of 2.9 %. Aircraft movements in May 2019 climbed by 1.0 % to 46,181 take-offs and landings. Accumulated maximum take-off weights (MTOWs) expanded by 0.8 % to about 2.8 million metric tons. Cargo throughput (airfreight + airmail) slightly grew by 0.6 % to 185,701 metric tons.

  • Cruise News

Health offers on the high seas with high potential: This is the result of a study by the Fresenius University of Applied Sciences and the consulting firm Marine Medical Solutions. While such offers on land are already successful, there are still no offers for cruises in the areas of medical wellness, spa and rehabilitation and medical tourism. In a survey, however, a large proportion of respondents expressed interest. It is true that only 23 % of the approximately 1,000 respondents actually used medical care on their last cruise. The interest, especially in detoxification treatments, acupuncture or physiotherapy, is great among cruise customers. According to the study, every third person aged 70 or plus would also privately finance the additional benefits, and 60 % would be willing to do so among the 30- to 39-year-olds. Cruises that focused on health were a “strategic competitive advantage” for cruise operators. In order to be able to offer health-oriented measures on board investments in appropriate premises, medical personnel and equipment on board are required.

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