German market trends

Package holiday bookings for summer 2018 soar in January

The German organised holiday market is enjoying a boom with strong double-digit growth rates in January, driven by good demand for beach and cruise holidays, according to the latest market surveys.

February 14, 2018
Strong growth for the German organised travel market in January
Photo: GFK

Summer 2018 has generated cumulative revenue growth of 18% so far, including a 17% year-on-year increase in January, which is the top booking month of the year, the restructured monthly sales analysis by market researchers GfK found. The analysis has been broadened to include bookings from 2,000 representative travel agencies (rather than the previous 1,500) as well as sales through OTAs and tour operator websites. It does not cover individual direct bookings by consumers.

Nearly half (47%) of last year’s total summer revenues have already been reached as of end-January. The top growth months are May (+47%), mostly due to spring holidays in several German regions, and September (+21%), but all months in the summer season are higher than last year at present.

Traditional travel agents are the main winners of the current strong demand. So far, 84% of summer 2018 revenues, overwhelmingly generated by package holiday bookings, have been generated by retail travel outlets, according to the GfK Travel Insights survey.

Winter bookings are also looking good with an 11% rise so far, including a 14% rise in January, according to GfK. With 97% of last year’s winter season volumes already sold and still three months to go, winter 2017/18 is also likely to close with good growth, the Nuremberg-based market researchers said.

The GfK findings follow on from similarly positive figures in the monthly TATS sale survey of 2,500 travel agencies and OTAs that use its Ibiza reservations system. This showed a 6.9% rise in booked revenues for package holidays and cruises last month, and an overall 8.3% rise, including flights and other travel products.

Advance bookings were 13% ahead of January 2017, including a 19% increase for cruise holiday bookings. Overall, leisure travel bookings for departures up to October 2018 were nearly 10% higher than at the same time last year.

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