Travel industry losses pile up

Nuremberg, August 31, 2020 - Sales figures in the travel industry continue to deteriorate: as of the end of July 2020, cumulative sales for the current summer season are down 70 percent. Compared to the previous month, this corresponds to a decline of seven percentage points. The upcoming 2020/21 winter season is down ten percentage points on the previous month and is currently 52 percent down on the previous year. The reason for the continuing accumulation of losses is that the current volume of bookings is nowhere near sufficient to compensate for the cancellation rates and the inability to book vacation destinations with existing travel warnings.

Due to travel warnings issued by the German Federal Foreign Office, tour operators were unable to offer vacations to popular destinations such as Turkey and Egypt or long-haul tours in July 2020. Most ocean cruises had also not yet resumed operations. This is strikingly reflected in the sales figures of the travel distribution business. But even comparatively well-booked summer destinations such as Greece only achieved 46 percent of the previous year's sales of German holidaymakers in July. Overall, the booking volume in July 2020 is just under one-third of the volume in the previous year. Germans' travel and booking restraint thus remains high: Most are apparently still waiting to see how the situation with the Corona pandemic develops further. In travel distribution, the missing booking sales, along with canceled vacations in July 2020, add up to a 94 percent drop in sales for the current summer season and 85 percent for the upcoming 2020/21 winter season.

However, the holidaymakers who decided to travel in the booking month of July and booked at a travel agency or online on the classic travel portals preferred to soak up the sun at short notice: 48 percent of booking sales were for the travel months of July/August. Just under one fifth (18 percent) opted for a vacation in the fall. By contrast, travel bookings for the coming winter season remained weak at just 13 percent - too many destinations in the winter half-year, especially long-haul trips, cannot yet be planned. The only ray of hope: Demand for summer vacations next year. In July, 21 percent of booking sales were for the 2021 summer season - with an increase in sales of 76 percent compared to the previous year. Cumulatively through the end of July, summer sales more than doubled year-over-year. The exceptionally early bookability of summer vacations in 2021 is a contributing factor.


The chart shows the cumulative travel revenues generated up to the end of July 2020 for the 2020 summer season and the upcoming 2020/21 winter season compared with the previous year. Both vacation 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 chart on the left shows the percentage of sales generated in the booking month of July for the individual travel months and seasons.

Note: Holiday sales that have definitely not been departed due to cancellations on the part of the tour operators are adjusted in the balance sheets at TDA Travel Intelligence at the end of the respective travel month. As of today, this applies to all trips cancelled by the end of July 2020.

About TDA Travel Intelligence

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.

Further information: Alexandra Weigand,, phone: +49 (0)911 951 510 03