GfK November figures

Winter and summer bookings slow down

Germans booked fewer holidays last month than the strong levels seen 12 months ago but both the current winter season and next summer still have healthy growth figures, according to the latest monthly GfK figures.

December 18, 2018
GfK figures for German holiday sales in November
Photo: GfK

Sales by German travel agencies and OTAs in November could not keep up with the previous year’s figures given that November 2017 was an “extremely strong” sales month, GfK pointed out. One year ago, travel agency revenues from sales of winter holidays increased by 12% while summer bookings were up by as much as 24%.

Last month, overall sales for winter 2018/19 dropped by 1% and for next summer by 2% compared to last year’s volumes. With OTAs showing double-digit growth, travel agencies recorded very weak sales, the market researchers’ analysis of sales by 2,000 representative travel agencies, OTAs and tour operator websites showed.

Nevertheless, the current winter season and next summer are still showing solid growth of 7% and 5% respectively after good early bookings over the last few months. For example, German consumers have already spent about €3.8 billion on winter holidays, mostly for trips in November and December, GfK pointed out.

Moreover, over half (57%) of the November sales revenues were for summer 2019 holidays. June is so far proving a very strong month, with revenues up by nearly 18%, but all months apart from May are currently showing growth compared to the same time last year.

The good outlook for 2019 has been reinforced by new figures from the German Tourism Industry Association (BTW). Germans travelled for leisure purposes on 1.7 billion days this year, which was 1.8% more than 2017, according to the organisation, whose calculations are based on GfK consumer spending surveys. The total number of days spent on beach holidays increased by 10% to more than 355 million thanks to the long hot summer, both in Germany and other European countries.

Against this background and with stable macro-economic conditions, the BTW predicted another good year for German leisure travel in 2019 with a similar growth rate of about 1.7% in terms of the number of days spent on leisure travel, ranging from day-trips and short breaks to long holidays.

“We are very happy with people’s continuing desire to go on day-trips and on holiday as well as the continuing growth. We are looking ahead very confidently to the 2019 travel year,” commented BTW president Michael Frenzel.

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