German market trends

Holiday bookings beat World Cup diversion

Germans continued booking summer and winter holidays in good numbers last month despite the diversions of the World Cup and hot weather, according to the latest monthly GfK sales analysis.

July 25, 2018
Photo: GfK

Holiday bookings grew 7% year-on-year in revenue terms in June, with summer sales up by 4% and early winter bookings up by 13%, the market researchers’ analysis of sales by 2,000 representative travel agencies, OTAs and tour operator websites found. This was slower growth than recent months but still a good performance.

Overall, summer 2018 sales are so far 13% ahead of last year and 91% of last year’s total revenues have already been reached. In terms of departure months, June closed with a slight 1.1% sales increase. Demand has been high for July with a 13.4% rise in booked revenues.

Once again, OTAs were the main winners last month with solid late sales for summer holidays, while travel agencies suffered a 1% drop in summer bookings.

Observers are now awaiting the July sales figures to see whether an expected surge in late bookings following Germany’s early exit from the World Cup has materialised or not.

Norbert Fiebig, president of the German Travel Industry Association (DRV), pointed out earlier this month that many Germans had booked their holidays earlier than usual this year but travel agents and tour operators still had plenty of available capacity for this summer.

Benjamin Jacobi, head of TUI’s last-minute sales specialist L’Tur, told fvw: “A brake on bookings that we see every two years with the World Cup and the European Championship has disappeared with the German team’s exit.” According to Jacobi, there are more late bargains for the Canary Islands than in recent years but fewer for Greece.

The most popular destinations for German holidaymakers this summer remain the Mediterranean coastal regions, led by Spain, Greece and Turkey, as well as Germany’s Baltic and North Sea coastlines, according to the DRV. Egypt, Tunisia and Morocco have high growth rates along with Croatia and Bulgaria.

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