German market trends

April showers dampen summer holiday bookings

German travel agents saw an 11% drop in summer holiday bookings last month although demand was better for winter holidays, according to new figures.

May 11, 2017
Germans are not convinced about booking summer holidays.
Photo: Shutterstock

Travel agencies in Germany recorded an 8% drop in overall holiday sales in April despite cold and rainy weather, the latest representative sales analysis of 1,500 agencies by market researchers GfK found. In comparison, there had been a 7% sales increase in April 2016. The downturn was partly due to this year’s late Easter holiday, when sales are traditionally lower.

Summer bookings, which accounted for 77% of all sales last month, slumped by 11% in April (compared to a 3% rise in the same month last year). However, taking into account March, when summer sales soared by 8%, the two months combined showed a 2% fall.

As a result, cumulated sales for summer 2017 holidays fell back by two percentage points from last month to 3.2% growth as of end-April. Most summer months showed booking falls in April, led by July and including May, August and October.

In contrast, there were good early bookings for winter 2017/18 holidays as tour operators opened up more of their winter programmes for travel agency bookings. Sales rose by 5% and accounted for over 19% of total sales last month.

There was also a slight 1% rise in late sales of winter 2016/17 holidays, leaving the November 2016 – April 2017 winter season showing an overall 2.7% drop in sales.

The GfK figures were similar to those in the monthly survey of 2,500 agencies by IT services company TATS. This showed a 6.1% drop in leisure travel bookings in April, due to the Easter holiday impact, following a 12.8% rise in March.

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