Nuremberg, 28 February 2023 – January is traditionally the strongest booking month of the year in the holiday travel business – and this year's January even eclipses the comparable month of 2019 before Corona: Germans have booked holiday trips for over 3 billion euros in travel agencies or online on classic travel portals. This means that incoming sales in January 2023 doubled compared to the previous year and increased by 12 percent compared to January 2019. The current season balances are improving significantly with the extremely good bookings: The winter season 2022/23 is only 9 percent below the pre-corona level, the summer season 2023 improves to a gap of 16 percent to the summer of 2019.
Inflation and sharply increased costs for heating, electricity and living expenses? Many Germans are currently unimpressed when it comes to their holidays. With booking revenues above the 2019 level, the cumulative balance of the summer season 2023 can further improve compared to the booking status at the end of January: by a remarkable 13 percentage points. At the pre-corona level in 2019, it is currently still 16 percent short of sales. However, the gap in the number of people who have so far booked a tour operator for this year's summer holidays is greater: they are still a good third below the level of 2019. At the present time neither the lack of early bookers from the autumn and early winter months of 2022 has been compensated, nor can it be ruled out that some households currently simply lack the money for larger holiday expenses. Nevertheless, the starting position is significantly better than a year ago: The last summer season 2022 was still 48 percent behind at the same time and was able to recover almost to the sales level of 2019 over the course of the year.
Two-thirds of the holiday travel revenues booked in January 2023 are attributable to the upcoming summer season with the travel months from May to October. In addition to Spain, the focus of holidaymakers is on the travel countries in the eastern Mediterranean. Turkey, Greece and Egypt alone together account for around 40 percent of monthly sales.
With the extremely good incoming bookings in January, the cumulative sales balance of the current winter season 2022/23 also improved by a further 5 percentage points compared to the previous month. Bookings of this year's winter holidays account for 30 percent of monthly sales in January and exceed the volume from January 2019 by 24 percent. This means that the current winter season has now reached 91 percent of its pre-corona level – and good chances of being able to catch up in the remaining three booking months, because in addition to the increasing return of early bookers, a comparatively high proportion of short-term holiday bookings can still be observed in the market.
The prospering holiday demand in the German market continues to date: In the first two weeks of February 2023, the booking revenues generated in travel sales for tour operator travel will also exceed the 2019 level. However, after the devastating earthquake in southern Turkey and northern Syria at the beginning of February, there has been a decline in holiday bookings for the Eastern Mediterranean region, which has so far shown particularly strong growth. Some holidaymakers apparently prefer to wait and see how the situation develops on the ground.
Legend:The chart shows the cumulative travel sales generated up to the end of January 2023 for the ongoing 2022/23 winter season and the coming summer season 2023 in comparison to previous years (summer season 2019 and winter season 2018/19). 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 October 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.