Nuremberg, November 30, 2023 - The 2023 summer season, which was completed by the end of October, ended with an increase in sales of 12% compared to summer 2019 and 15% compared to the previous year. This makes it the first travel season since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic to achieve a positive result in terms of sales. In terms of people booked, however, the summer season is 12.5 per cent down on 2019. It is obvious: The growth in turnover is a result of higher prices and spendings. The entire 2022/23 tourism year also ended with a positive result (+7 per cent compared to 2018/19). Holiday bookings for the current 2023/24 winter season are below average in terms of sales in October. This is likely due to the slump for Egypt, which is caught up in the maelstrom of the war in the Middle East. On the other hand, early booking sales for next year's summer season are strikingly high.
The volume of new bookings for holidays booked as prepackages, dynamic packaged or modular holidays remained at a level in October that surpassed both 2019 and 2022. Last month, 13 per cent of monthly sales were booked last minute for departures in October. However, the short-term volume compared to the previous month no longer changes the final result for the 2023 summer season: summer 2023 ends with pleasing sales growth of 12 per cent compared to 2019 and 15 per cent compared to the previous year. The good summer sales also bring a positive final result of 7 per cent more sales for the entire 2022/23 tourism year. The previous winter season 2022/23, which closed with a decline of 4 per cent, reduced the balance sheet. Overall, 15 percent fewer German citizens travelled with a tour operator product in the past tourism year than before the pandemic in the 2018/19 tourism year. The increasing recovery of long-haul trips and cruises over the course of the year compensated for at least some of the missing bookings: The number is up 8 per cent on the previous year.
Winter holidays accounted for 43% of sales in October 2023. This is 7 percentage points less than in the previous year or in October 2019. Cumulatively, the winter season is down on the previous month, but still shows growth of 7 per cent compared to the pre-corona winter and 46 per cent compared to the winter of the previous year. The losses are likely due in part to Egypt, which is one of the most popular destinations in the winter months - number 2 in terms of sales after the Canary Islands. With the start of the Israeli war in Gaza, holiday bookings for Egypt initially plummeted and stabilised somewhat two weeks later, albeit at a significantly lower sales level. Overall, bookings for Egypt in October fell by a third compared to the previous month.
In contrast, early booking sales for the summer season 2024 (and later) are exceptionally high: They already account for 44 per cent of monthly sales in October. Compared to the same month last year, this corresponds to an increase of 11 percentage points, and compared to October 2019, an increase of 5 percentage points. "The definitive return of early bookers and the strong demand for summer holidays in the coming year are promising signs for the new tourism year, provided that the current winter season remains on track and the Middle East war does not spread any further," emphasises Alexandra Weigand, Director Sales & Consulting at TDA.
Legend:The chart shows the cumulative travel sales generated up to the end of October 2023 for the ongoing summer season 2023 in comparison to previous years (summer season 2019). For the travel seasons, TDA compares the booking status adjusted for trips that were cancelled in previous years due to corona. Both holiday travel bookings in high street travel agencies and online on the travel portals of the tour operators and online travel agencies (OTAs) with a focus on package tours are included. The chart on the left shows the percentage of sales in the booking month September that belongs to the individual travel months or seasons.
About TDA Travel Intelligence
Travel Data + Analytics (TDA) took over in spring 2019 the travel sales panel run by the Nuremberg market research company GfK since 2004. After the GfK data had been migrated to a new IT landscape, Travel Intelligence was set up as an independent solution with a self-learning database and associated analysis tool. The basis remains the booking data from stationary travel agencies and online portals that sell tour operator products. The requirements of tourism companies on a modern control instrument and evolving, increasingly dynamic questions can thus be mapped reliably and promptly, without giving up the core of a market-representative method that is consistently comparable over time. TDA = Current booking situation + individual product performance + new market opportunities.