Fewer holidays in Spain and Turkey and more in Germany and Austria instead were the key destination trends last year, according to an in-depth consumer survey.
Germans travelled more and longer, and also spent more on their holidays in 2016, the 33rd annual Tourism Analysis by the market research organisation Stiftung für Zukunftsfragen (Foundation for Future Studies) found. The outlook for this year is also generally very positive, Prof. Dr Ulrich Reinhardt, the institute’s head researcher, said at the study’s presentation yesterday.
Overall, 57% of Germans went on a main holiday of at least five days last year compared to 54% in 2015, while more than one in three travellers undertook two or more trips. The average number of days spent on holiday increased to 12.9 days from 12.6 in 2015 and a low of 12.1 days in 2014, while average total holiday spending per person increased to €1,166 from €1,109 the previous year, according to the representative survey of 4,000 consumers (which was conducted in December and January).
Germany remained by far the most popular holiday destination last year, with a two percentage point increase to 34.2% of all main holidays. The previous year’s top domestic destination, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, dropped from 7.9% to 6.9% while Bavaria improved from 6.4% to 6.9%. There was also good growth for the northern coastal state of Schleswig-Holstein, up from 5.1% to 6.1%.
Spain remained the dominant foreign holiday destination last year with 14.1% of all main holidays, although this was a fractional 0.1 percentage point decline. Italy dropped to 7.9% from 8.8% the previous year while Turkey slumped to 1.6 percentage points to 4.4%.
The main winner was Austria, which improved by 0.6 percentage points to 4.4%, while there was also growth for Croatia and Scandinavia, the survey showed.
The long-haul travel market remained stable last year with just over 11% of Germans deciding on an overseas destination for their main holiday. North America (3.1%) was the favourite destination region.
Looking ahead to prospects for this year, Reinhardt highlighted positive factors such as the stable economy, low unemployment, the strong euro and low interest rates. Travel intentions are currently higher than last year, with 44% of Germans already actively planning their holiday compared to 42% at the same time last year.