Nuremberg, 29 November 2019 – At the current booking status at the end of October 2019, the 2019 summer season and the 2018/19 tourism year have been completed. On the home straight, travel sales in Germany managed to turn both balance sheets into positive figures: The 2019 summer season ends with a small growth in sales of one percent, the 2018/19 tourism year ends with a plus of two percent. In particular, the new 2019/20 winter season can improve significantly on the previous month. Only the early bookers for the coming summer 2020 are lagging behind the previous year (-10 percent), so that the booking month of October closed with an overall increase in turnover of only three per cent.
With a sales increase of one percent, the 2019 summer season will not only be able to maintain the high growth level of the previous year's season, but will even slightly exceed it: The summer of 2018 ended with a plus of ten percent. In stationary travel sales, this year's summer balance is somewhat weaker (-1 percent) than in online travel sales (+7 percent). In the final result for the tourism year, stationary sales reached the break even, while online sales grew by nine per cent in terms of turnover.
Thanks to last minute growth of 33 percent, the travel month of October 2019 can improve to 8.5 percent more turnover (previous month: 6.7 percent). The allegedly high last-minute traffic only accounts for a small share of the overall seasonal result. After all, it has turned out to be sufficiently high to be able to still increase summer 2019 to rounded plus one percent. In the last booking month of the season, 10.5 percent of booking revenues were generated in the summer season, which has now ended. This represents an increase of 2.4 percentage points year-on-year.
The ten-percent increase in sales for the new winter season is much more significant: cumulated to the current booking level, it now shows only a slight minus of one percent. A month ago it was still minus four percent. The increasing demand for winter holidays has primarily benefited travel agencies: With them the increase amounts to 12 percent in comparison to only plus three percent in on-line selling. A not inconsiderable part of these bookings is probably attributable to those affected by the Thomas Cook bankruptcy, who have booked replacements for their cancelled trips. What might distort the overall picture in the current seasonal balance sheets - summer and winter - are the Thomas Cook cancellations, which are missing for reasons of insolvency law.
Most of the winter turnover achieved so far (53 percent) is attributable to the early travel months of November (+8.0 percent) and December (+0.2 percent). The sales balance for the travel month of February (+1.9 per cent) has now also turned positive in relation to the current booking status. Although all others were able to improve compared to the previous month, they are still in the minus, which for the later travel months of March and April 2020 is even double-digit. The demand for Easter holidays, which is already visibly increasing in most cases at this time, is lacking.
The early bookers for the next summer holiday in 2020 are also cautious at the current booking status: the early summer bookings are ten percent below the previous year in terms of turnover, while in the booking month of October 2019 they already account for 39.5 percent of the total turnover in proportion to turnover - however, this is 5.7 percentage points less than in the same month last year. Possible explanations for the reluctance to book beyond the winter months could be general uncertainty among travellers due to the insolvency of one of Germany's largest tour operators as well as the summer catalogues of other major tour operators which will be published later.
The chart shows the travel revenues generated in August 2019 and cumulated up to the end of August 2019 for the 2019 summer season and the 2019/20 winter season compared with the previous year. Both holiday travel bookings in stationary travel agencies and online on the travel portals of tour operators and online travel agencies (OTAs) with a focus on package tours are included. The left-hand side of the chart shows how much revenue has been generated in per cent for the summer and winter seasons compared to the previous year's season (final figures).
About TDA Travel Intelligence
The tourist retail panel Travel Insights is based on the booking data of around 2,000 travel agencies that represent the stationary sales market in Germany. In addition, the booking data of the classic travel portals and tour operators are recorded online. Extrapolated to the overall market, the Travel Insights analyses allow reliable conclusions to be drawn about the booking and travel behaviour of German holidaymakers. Current trends and developments in the tourism market can be traced promptly. The core business of travel agencies and the online travel portals of tour operators and so-called OTAs (Online Travel Agencies) is based on holiday trips booked as a package or in modules.
About Travel Data + Analytics
Travel Data + Analytics GmbH (TDA), founded by Dr Markus Heller, acquired the tourism retail panel Travel Insights from GfK in April 2019. Until the end of the current tourism year 2018/19, i.e. the end of October 2019, booking data from travel sales and analyses will continue to be processed via GfK's systems. The system development on the part of TDA runs in parallel. Upon completion of the transition phase, all booking data will be loaded retroactively from the 2016/17 tourism year, ensuring a seamless transition.