German market trends

Low underlying growth for travel agents in March

German travel agents achieved only low underlying growth last month despite a 12% headline rise in sales, the latest GfK monthly analysis showed.

April 19, 2017
Germans are booking again.
Photo: Shutterstock

The 12% rise in sales appears to represent strong growth. It is also in line with the 12.8% increase in sales recorded by the earlier TATS monthly sales survey.

But taking the 11% slump in sales in March 2016 into account, this represents a recovery on last year and means sales are just 1% higher than the same time two years ago, GfK’s representative sales analysis covering 1,500 German travel agencies showed.

Moreover, the Easter holiday, when people traditionally book travel less than at other times, was in March last year. With the holiday in April this year, this effect is likely to depress bookings this month.

Sales of summer 2017 holidays were 8% higher in March, which slightly outweighed the 7% drop in the same month last year. As a result, the overall cumulated growth for the summer 2017 season is now 4.9% ahead of last year compared to 4.5% at the end of February. About 64% of last year’s total sales volume has been reached, compared to 57% at the same time last year.

In terms of travel months, June remains very popular with a high 23% increase in bookings, largely due to later spring holidays this year. July (+9.4%) and September (+10.6%) are also both well up on last year.

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