Summer 2018 trends

Greece overtakes Balearics as German bookings surge

Kalimera! Bookings for Greece are growing faster than for Majorca at present as German summer holiday sales soar by 18% in January alone.

March 01, 2018
Sunny times for Greece as German bookings soar
Photo: Thinkstock

Double-digit growth for summer holiday bookings with strong increases for Greece and Turkey, good figures for North Africa, moderate growth for Spain and a 20% sales slump for the USA. Those are the key trends for summer 2018 on the German market, according to researchers and experts. The strong economy, low unemployment and rising consumption spending are the key factors driving this market growth.

Germans are in the mood for holidays, figures presented by the German Travel Industry Association DRV yesterday made clear. Travel agency bookings increased by 16% in January with average prices up by 2%, generating a 18% rise in summer 2018 revenues, the latest monthly sales analysis by market researcher GfK found.

“The trend to early bookings continued in the first weeks of this year,” confirmed DRV president Norbert Fiebig. “Holiday bookings so far make us confident that holiday demand will be particularly high in 2018 and that we can expect further sales growth for the whole tourism year.”

Greece is once again playing a major role in this trend and is heading for another record year. Sales revenues are up by 40% on the already strong previous year and are currently even higher than for the Balearic Islands. With a 30% rise in sales revenues last year, Greece overtook Turkey to become the second-largest destination for German holidaymakers.

In contrast, Spain is only seeing moderate sales revenue growth of 4.5% this year as higher prices hit demand. Sales for Majorca and the other Balearic Islands are only 3% ahead of last year while the Canary Islands have a 7% increase.

Turkey is making a spectacular comeback at present. Bookings have doubled compared to last year, according to GfK, although they are still well below the peak levels of 2015. (For full details see separate article “Turkey – Tour operators and airlines add capacity as bookings soar”)

Elsewhere, North Africa is also making a good recovery with high double-digit growth rates. Egypt (+64%) is continuing last year’s strong comeback while demand is much better for Tunisia and Morocco. The UAE is performing well with a 33% rise.

Among long-haul destinations, the current winners with good growth rates include Mauritius, Kenya, the Seychelles, South Africa and Thailand. In contrast, the biggest long-haul destination, the USA, is plummeting with a 20% slump in revenues on top of last year’s 17% decline, according to GfK figures. Demand is also lower for the Caribbean, especially Cuba.

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