From ITB Germany: unbroken enthusiasm for travel

From ITB Germany: unbroken enthusiasm for travel

March 07
12:31 2012

Speech by Jurgen Buchy, President of the German Travel Association (DRV)

German enthusiasm for travel remains unbroken. For German citizens travel is and remains an absolutely priority. The advance bookings and forecast for the summer in 2012 give us good reason to believe that despite the debt crisis in several European countries Germans will again be traveling even more than in the past. There is good reason to believe that by the end of 2012 the travel sector will have grown yet again. Market growth in the order of two to three per cent can be achieved – depending of course on the overall economic situation, particularly in the eurozone.

Enthusiasm for travel remains unbroken. In 2011 Germany successfully defended its little as the world’s most travelled nation. Last year Germany citizens spent close to 61 billion euros on going abroad, more than any other country in the world. Among the front-runner destinations in Europe – i.e. those which reported a rise in bookings – were Spain, both the mainland and the Balearic Islands, as well as Turkey and Greece. Long-haul destinations such as the Caribbean, USA and the United Arab Emirates also attracted more holidaymakers than the previous year.

Trends in 2012

In late 2011 the peak booking season for the summer and autumn holidays began. Already, the new year has been a success. Interest in Tunisia, for example, is already higher than it was last year. Clearly, following the elections calm has returned and confidence in this country has been restored. Tunisia is gradually recovering and current booking levels for the summer are high.

Demand for travel to establishes favourites such as Turkey, Croatia and Spain is high too. There is also a greater demand for many long-haul destinations, such as the Caribbean and the Dominican Republic, the USA and many places in Asia.

Future developments regarding Egypt will crucially depend on how rapidly the political situation becomes stable. The continuing unrest in Greece has also resulted in low bookings. However, based on past experience many Germans will probably make a snap decision to travel there. As things stand it is impossible to accurate forecast what direction summer bookings for Greece will take this year. Many regular tourists remain loyal to Greece, which particularly in summer is one of the top ten most popular destinations.

Compared with last year, about five per cent more tourists decides to book holidays with German tour operators. Turnover rose by 2.0 billion to 23.3 billion euros, an increase of nine per cent. At the end of the year tour operators reported above-average turnover growth, and thus record results, as did travel agencies as well. Tourism is one of Germany’s most important economic factors and generates more added value than the automotive industry.In Germany, around 2.9 million people work in the tourism industry, which means that seven per cent of jobs depend on tourism.

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