German travel agents increased sales by a low 1% last month but summer holiday sales were again flat at last year’s level, according to the latest GfK monthly analysis.
Bookings remained behind expectations in February, despite optimistic forecasts from tour operators and market researchers at ITB. This followed disappointing figures for January, as well.
Travel agents increased sales by 1% in February, GfK’s representative sales analysis covering 1,500 German travel agencies showed. But this was purely generated by late winter bookings which generated a 7% increase last month. Overall sales to date for winter 2016/17 are now 3% behind last year.
Bookings for summer 2017 holidays were stable but did not show any growth last month, like in January as well. This is important for tour operators and travel agents alike as January and February are normally the two strongest booking months for summer holidays.
The cumulated growth for summer 2017 has now dropped back to 4.5% as of the end of February from 5.6% as of end-January, driven by strong early bookings in November and December. However, since summer bookings were down by 8% at the same time last year, overall summer sales are still running about 3% below the high levels of 2015.
In terms of bookings for individual months in the summer 2017 season, June has a very high 23% rise in bookings, mostly due to later spring holidays this year, with May down 9% due to the same effect. July and September are both up by 9% to date, while August is flat at last year’s level.