Informe noticias semanales Oficina de Turismo de Tenerife en Fráncfort
- Border openings – Germany will allow holidays in Europe this summer: According to fvw, the German government plans to end its global travel warning in mid-June and permits holidays in many European destinations this summer under certain conditions. After a video conference with colleagues from 10 popular EU destinations on Monday, German foreign minister Heiko Maas said the countries had agreed on a «coordinated and gradual» approach to opening their borders for international visitors. These are Austria, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Slovenia, Croatia, Greece, Bulgaria, Malta and Cyprus. In response, Maas said he hopes to lift the blanket ban on international travel, which currently runs until June 14th, for EU destinations. Italy, which has been hit particularly hard by the coronavirus pandemic, is aiming for a quick recovery and wants to re-open its border for tourists from June 3rd onwards. Greece plans to follow soon afterwards and welcome international tourists from the start of July onwards. The country’s beaches have already re-opened with strict social distancing measures, bars and restaurants are due to follow on May 25th, and then hotels on June 1st. In Portugal, which was hit only mildly by the pandemic, the Algarve region is preparing to reboot its tourism business quickly. About 75% of the region’s hotels should be open in June and the remainder will follow in July. In contrast, Spain currently plans to extend the state of emergency until the end of June, although some restrictions have been lifted recently, and it is unclear when the border might be opened again for international visitors.
- Legal standstill for the travel industry in Switzerland: At its meeting on May 20th, 2020, the Federal Council declared a temporary legal standstill for the travel industry in Switzerland, reports TRAVEL INSIDE. Accordingly, the performance of debt enforcement activities against travel agencies for refunds of travel cancellations is prohibited until September 30th. With this measurement, the Federal Council is implementing a request from the parliament and is considering the special challenges faced by travel agencies, including those of a legal nature. The temporary legal standstill concerns refund claims from customers for amounts already paid for holiday trips that cannot be realized due to the Corona pandemic. However, the amounts are still owed and should be settled by the travel agencies if possible. Other claims against tour operators and agents, such as claims from rental or employment contracts, are not affected by the legal standstill. The legal standstill is in effect from May 21st, 2020 until September 30th, 2020.
- German government wants to secure vouchers:Now the tourism industry has a coupon solution, but not the one they wanted. The federal government wants to introduce a «voluntary voucher solution», reports TRVL COUNTER. After all: the vouchers are to be secured by the state. What is already possible today is presented as a new solution, the DRV criticizes. «The Cabinet’s decision feigns an energy of the Federal Government that is not present in reality», says President Norbert Fiebig. Vouchers would only have limited acceptance. Therefore, tour operators would still have to refund money to many of their customers. Money that is simply not available. Once again, the association renews its demand for a rescue fund. «Only the combination of voluntary vouchers and credit funds can secure the liquidity of companies,» said Fiebig.
- German travel trade protests in more than 50 cities: For almost four weeks now, German travel agents have been taking to the streets demanding state support in a desperate situation, reports fvw. Small firms have been hit hard by booking cancellations and clients demanding repayments. Protests will continue all over Germany next week. From Hamburg to Munich, from Dusseldorf to Berlin: all over Germany, travel industry professionals are publicly complaining about their desperate situation due to the Corona crisis. With hardly any new revenues and commissions but suffering from ongoing operating costs and customers demanding repayments of cancelled trips, a lot of travel agencies and tour operators are threatened with insolvency.
- Condor will take off to holiday destinations at the beginning of the summer holiday season: Condor is relaunching its summer flight schedule in time for the start of the summer holiday season from June 25th onwards from eight airports in Germany to initially 29 holiday destinations: Germany’s most popular leisure airline will be flying from Frankfurt, Düsseldorf, Munich, Hamburg, Hanover, Stuttgart, Leipzig/Halle and Berlin-Schoenefeld to the most popular holiday regions, such as the Canary Islands, the Balearic Islands, Andalusia, Greece, Croatia, Sardinia, Italy, Cyprus, Turkey and the North Sea island of Sylt as of the end of June.
- Eurowings expands flight schedule from June: Considering the restrictions on international tourism being dropped out and the gradual opening of borders, Eurowings is significantly expanding its flight schedule from June 2020. The Lufthansa Group airline is adding 40 new sunshine destinations in Europe to its flight schedule. The fleet will be doubled to up to 20 Airbus aircraft by the end of June. In May, the German airline cautiously expanded its previous flight capacities for the first time since the corona crisis. One focus of the expansion of the flight schedule is on connections to Europe’s most popular sunny island, Mallorca, which Eurowings is currently flying to again from five German airports. Also Sylt and Heringsdorf in Germany as well as holiday countries such as Greece and Croatia are in increasing demand by customers – and are accordingly being added to the Eurowings flight schedule again. In addition, domestic German connections from Düsseldorf, Hamburg, Berlin, Munich, Cologne/Bonn and Stuttgart will be significantly increased, Austria and Switzerland will be better connected.
- Lufthansa negotiations on the home stretch: A decision is imminent in the negotiations with the German government on billion-euro state aid. The federal government’s rescue plan provides for taxpayers’ money totalling nine billion euros to get Lufthansa through the severe crisis. The federal government wants to take a direct 20 per cent stake in the airline. This would be below the important blocking minority that could be used to block important decisions. The federal government and companies made it clear that they expected a decision to be made shortly.
- German travel industry gears up to relaunch package holidays: Tour operators in Germany are gearing up to send customers on holiday again next month as travel restrictions imposed due to the coronavirus pandemic are eased in many international destinations, reports fvw. Market leader TUI, which has suspended its international tourism programs until June 14th, said it is «ready to start again in European holiday regions» from June 15th onwards. Holidays within Germany are already possible again this month, and TUI hotels are re-opening in various locations. The group has also published a detailed hygiene concept for its hotels and partner properties. To start generating revenues again, the tour operator is now offering all customers who make new bookings by the end of June the «risk-free» option of a free cancellation or booking switch up to 14 days before their departure. The offer is valid for holidays this summer, next winter and even in summer 2021. In addition, these customers will benefit from a ‘loyalty bonus’ of up to €100 per person. DER Touristik has made a virtually identical offer of free cancellations up to 14 days before departure for all new bookings by June 30th for holidays at any time up to the end of October 2021. However, customers who cancel their booking will get a voucher to the value of their payment rather than their money back. In addition, customers with existing bookings for holidays up to July 31st, 2020, can also switch to a later departure date free of charge or cancel and get a voucher for the value of their payment. DER Touristik said it currently expects to be able to offer holidays this summer on the Balearic Islands, the Canaries, in Greece, Croatia, Portugal, Cyprus and possibly Turkey as well as in Germany, Austria and Denmark. The group is supporting its hotel partners with a ‘prevention concept’ for hygiene and social distancing. FTI Group has also published a comprehensive hygiene concept for the re-opening of its 70 MP Hotels properties. Measures include intensive staff training, new cleaning processes and social distancing between staff and guests. Alltours is offering domestic holidays within Germany again from May 30th onwards but has not yet disclosed its plans for summer holidays in other countries. However, the tour operator is now looking further ahead and has made its winter 2020/21 program available for travel agency bookings.
- Galeria Reisen wants to close former Thomas Cook travel agencies: Up to 80 of the currently 170 Galeria stores could be closed during the upcoming renovation, reports TravelTalk. In addition to the former Thomas Cook travel agencies, the travel sales department of Galeria Karstadt Kaufhof comprises 78 travel agencies, mainly in Karstadt department stores, as well as another 22 inner-city travel agencies. They belong to the DTPS cooperation alliance of DER Touristik. If department stores have to shut down, this will most likely also affect the travel agencies located in the stores.
- Cruise lines will not start before summer: Due to the still uncertain health situation and limited travel conditions, cruise lines are extending the interruption of their travel program, reports fvw. Aida is suspending the entire travel program until June 30th. Arosa has suspended all river cruises up to and including May 14th. Carnival Cruise Line plans to resume its first voyages on August 1st. Croisi Europe is suspending all river cruises until June 14th. Croisi Europe’s cruises on the Mekong will start again on August 14th. The Queen Mary 2 and the Queen Victoria of Cunard will stop sailing until July 31st. All Hapag-Lloyd Cruises cruises are expected to be suspended until mid-June. Holland America Line will interrupt its cruise operations until June 30th inclusive. Hurtigruten again extends its departure stop. The mailboat route on the Norwegian coast is paused until June 15th. MSC Cruises has suspended ship operations until July 10th. Nicko Cruises is cancelling all cruises on the Danube as well as in Portugal, France, Croatia, Russia and Asia with departure until June 14th. All three brands of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings are extending their travel stop for another four weeks. Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas will not be offering cruises until July 31st, 2020. For Phoenix Reisen, all river cruises with departures up to and including June 15th are cancelled. P&O Cruises will suspend cruises up to and including July 31st. Princess Cruises has limited the operation of its deep-sea fleet beyond June 30th, 2020. Pullmantur Cruises has suspended cruise operations until July 3rd. Royal Caribbean Cruises is taking a break with its entire fleet until June 11th. The Scenic Group also announces all departures until August 31st, 2020. Seabourn is extending cancellations until June 30th. Silversea will not resume travel until mid or late July at the earliest. TUI Cruises cancels all cruises until mid-June.