German market trends

Travel agents increase sales by 5% in 2014/15

German travel agents increased their sales revenues by 5% in the year ending October 31, 2015, according to market researchers. But the outlook is unclear after the recent terror attacks in Paris and elsewhere.

November 19, 2015
German travel agents generated good sales in October.
Photo: Shutterstock

The summer season closed with a 6.5% rise in bookings despite weak demand in August and September, according to the monthly survey of 1,200 travel agencies by market researchers GfK. A strong 22% rise in last-minute sales in October boosted bookings significantly, and left total revenues for the summer season at €11 billion.

Overall growth for the November 2014 – October 2015 tourism year ended at 5% after the low 1.8% growth seen last winter.

Demand for the forthcoming winter season remained good last month with an 8.3% rise in revenues, according to the GfK survey. This was well ahead of October 2014 which generated only a 2.4% rise. Demand is particularly strong for the Christmas/New Year period, with a 15.9% rise in bookings.

Germans are also starting to book for next summer following the release of brochures by most tour operators. Summer bookings already accounted for a third of last month’s revenues.

The mood among German travel agents has improved following the good October figures, the latest ‘travel agency climate index’ by consultants Dr Fried + Partner showed. The index rose to 100 points, mostly in response to better recent sales. Looking ahead, about 25% of travel agents currently expect better sales in the coming weeks and months but nearly as many fear a downturn.

However, the survey was conducted at the start of November before the terror attacks in Paris and before the full significance of the Sinai plane crash became clear. There are no clear signs yet how these events could impact on travel demand in Germany.

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