Travel year 2020: Cook insolvency still has an impact

Nuremberg, February 27, 2020 - At the booking status by the end of January 2020, the balance sheets in German travel sales are still showing losses compared with the previous year: both the current winter season 2019/20 and the advance bookings for the coming summer season 2020 have a cumulative turnover of minus three percent. The discontinuation of the former Thomas Cook offer has therefore not yet been fully compensated for at this point in time. However, the spending behaviour speaks for a stable demand for holidays: Germans are spending an average of three percent more than last year for their summer holidays including flight. Among the summer travel destinations, Egypt recorded particularly strong growth. Holidays in Germany are also increasingly in demand.

Following the insolvency of Thomas Cook at the end of September 2019, the cards are being reshuffled in the organised travel market: a good proportion of the previous travel offerings of Cook's tour operators have been compensated via other tour operators. However, there is still a gap in the total: The 2019/20 winter season, which will run until the travel month of April, shows a decline in turnover of three percent year-on-year at the current booking level as at the end of January 2020. The holiday trips already booked at the time of Thomas Cook's insolvency, which could no longer be taken, are excluded here.

Advance bookings for the coming 2020 summer season, which begins with the travel month of May, are also currently still three percent behind. However, the decline in turnover is slowly melting away from booking month to booking month. "It was to be expected that the loss of what was once the second-largest tour operator in the German market would be reflected in the current sales balance sheets for travel sales," explains Dörte Nordbeck, Director Business Development at Travel Data + Analytics.

The analyses are based on the holiday travel turnover booked in stationary travel agencies and on the online travel portals of tour operators and classic OTAs (online travel agencies) - mainly package tours or tours organised in modules.

Summer travel trends 2020:
Greece & Turkey most booked, Egypt & Germany strongest growth

Notwithstanding the losses that most holiday destinations are still experiencing at the current booking level, there is little change in the popularity of summer destinations compared with the previous year: if Spain is divided into the three destinations Balearic Islands, Canary Islands and mainland Spain, Greece (in terms of turnover: -5 percent) has maintained its position as the most popular summer destination for German holidaymakers in 2020, closely followed by Turkey. The Balearic Islands and the Canary Islands (each in sales: -5 percent), Egypt, Italy and mainland Spain follow in third to seventh place.

Only a few holiday destinations are bucking the current overall negative market trend: Egypt stands out clearly with turnover growth of 14 percent year-on-year. Turkey can even exceed the level of its high-growth previous summer (in sales: +2 percent). Holidays in Germany are also in particularly high demand. Traditionally, a high proportion of holidays are organised on an individual basis, but holidays in Germany are also currently showing above-average growth in tour operator tours (in turnover: +7 percent). Other short trip destinations such as the UK and Iceland are also in greater demand for summer 2020 (in terms of revenue: +8 and +7 percent respectively).

Broken down by individual holiday regions - not countries - Antalya is currently the strongest summer holiday destination in 2020 in terms of turnover, with Mallorca and Crete holding their own in second and third place, followed by Hurghada, Rhodes and Fuerteventura.

Most booked destinations and holiday regions summer 2020 (ranking in turnover)

Top 12 tourist destinations summer 2020

  1. Greece
  2. Turkey
  3. Balearic Islands
  4. Canaries
  5. Egypt
  6. Italy
  7. Mainland Spain
  8. USA
  9. Bulgaria
  10. Portugal
  11. Germany
  12. Croatia

Top 12 holiday regions summer 2020

  1. Antalya
  2. Mallorca
  3. Crete
  4. Hurghada
  5. Rhodes
  6. Fuerteventura
  7. Kos
  8. Gran Canaria
  9. Tenerife
  10. Andalusia (Spain)
  11. Burgas (Bulgaria)
  12. Varna (Bulgaria)

Basis: Tour operator tours in turnover booked in travel agencies and on the classic online travel portals

Taken together, the holiday destinations in the eastern Mediterranean - which include Turkey, Greece and Egypt as well as strong destinations such as Bulgaria and Tunisia (ranked 13th) - are down one percent year-on-year in turnover. The western Mediterranean, driven by Spanish destinations and Portugal, is still six percent down year-on-year. The Mediterranean region is the most important destination for German holidaymakers, currently accounting for 64 percent of tour operator turnover in the summer months.

Holiday expenditure rises by 3 percent

The rising expenditure for the coming summer holiday underlines the intact consumer mood among German consumers and the high value that holidaying in this country enjoys. On average, Germans spend 1,012 euros on their holiday trip including flight. Compared to the previous year, this represents an increase of three percent. The high willingness to spend influences the overall picture: in terms of bookings, not turnover, the 2020 summer season is still nine percent down on the previous year.

Supplementary note:

The effects that the outbreak of the coronavirus will have on the booking behaviour of German holidaymakers to China, Asia or even cruises and European destinations as a whole can only be guessed at present. In the second half of January, however, there was already a visible decline in new bookings and an increase in cancellations for holiday trips to China. For Asia as a whole, this trend is visible in a weaker form.

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 and continues to operate it as "TDA Travel Intelligence". It is based on the booking data of around 2,000 travel agencies, which represent the stationary distribution market in Germany. In addition, the online area includes the booking data of classic travel portals and tour operators. Projected to the total market, the evaluations of TDA Travel Intelligence 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 tracked in real time. The core business of travel agencies, 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.

Statements on the winter season 2019/20 with the travel months November 2019 to April 2020 and on the coming summer season with the travel months from May to October 2020 represent snapshots of the current booking status at the end of January 2020.

Further Information: Dörte Nordbeck,, phone: +49 (0)911 951 510 02