The trend towards short-term bookings: Tourism in the Allgäu: This was the Easter holiday

How was Easter in the Allgäu? The mountains are white, the valleys are green, and it is an enchanting landscape that usually attracts tourists to Allgäu year after year. 2022 was the third Easter holiday since the start of the Corona pandemic. Since March 2020, the tourism/gastronomy sector in Allgäu has suffered severely. Now that there has been far-reaching relief, tourism should slowly recover. How did the work develop? We asked Allgäu GmbH, the official umbrella organization for tourism in Allgäu. Then she gave the different tourism areas of Allgäu their rating.


Tour operators and restaurants in Schwangau (southeast of Allgäu) “are satisfied with the Easter business, even if reservations come in short order,” says Kirsten Schnekloth of Schwangau municipality. In general, it can be recognized the trend that the average length of stay is increasing. Guests are staying longer, very nice direction. In general, it is becoming clear that people in the Schwangau region book fewer short vacations and instead spend their family holidays there. However, there are no specific numbers at the moment.


The Easter holidays go well in the region of Oberstaufen (south of Oberallgäu). They say the catering and tourism companies “had a lot to do, even if some reservations were made at very short notice”. A somewhat mixed weather forecast until Easter is likely to be responsible for the short-term booking behavior. Compared to the last Easter holiday before Corona in 2019, the week after Easter 2022 was slightly less booked. In Oberstaufen Tourism, the decline is also attributed to the geopolitical situation (Ukraine War). However, long-term trends cannot yet be predicted. “Generally, guests also come from federal states that don’t normally book Oberstaufen very heavily,” says Lukas Lange of Oberstaufen Tourismus. There is growth primarily from North Rhine-Westphalia and Lower Saxony. In Oberstaufen you can also see the trend that the length of stay is longer and families spend their main vacation in Allgäu: “The pre-booking condition for the months from June to the end of September is very good and you can look positively into the future.”


In Niseluang (southeast of the Allgäu) people also feel good about Easter work. “This time of year has been very well used. The Easter holidays have gone well,” says Permin Jawas of Niseluang municipality. Compared to the pre-Corona period, tourism in Niseluang is almost at the same level. Also in Nesselwang, guests tended to book at short notice. The booking status for summer vacation is expected to be good at the moment, but most companies still have capacity. “In all likelihood, we will have a good year,” Joas said.


In Oberstdorf (south of Oberallgäu), the occupancy rate during the Easter period was about 25 percent, a value that was not unusual in the pre-Corona period (eg in 2017). Accordingly, people in Oberstdorf are satisfied with their Easter chores. However, exact numbers are not yet available. Compared to 2017, the trend is moving away from hotel accommodations towards holiday apartments and guest houses/guesthouses. In general, there were more short-term bookings in Oberstdorf due to the weather. “Advance planning is becoming more and more difficult for hoteliers and restaurants,” says Thomas Klein of Oberstdorf municipality. The trend is towards longer stays, away from short trips. According to the assessment, “With rising fuel prices, vacationers are carefully considering whether they should bear the additional costs of the trip or forgo the short trip.” Advance bookings have been satisfactory so far, but there has been some slack in the past six weeks. It is not yet possible to predict whether summer – like 2021 – will achieve the highest occupancy rate this year. But: the opportunities available again around the world will not have a positive impact on the summer numbers in the Allgäu, and there is also a worrying development in energy prices.


What goes well in Memmingen (Unterallgäu) is its gastronomy. “Today visitors especially take advantage of the opportunity to get their noses out of the cave when the weather is good and start their first excursions into the area, in this case to us in Memmingen,” says Doreen Seeberger, Head of Tourism Memmingen. The requests for the guided tours are huge and we can’t keep up – finally something happened again! “The occupancy rate in Memmingen hotels over the Easter holiday was good. In classic holiday hotels, the family occupancy rate was more than 50 percent. A few spontaneous overnight stays were added. There is an upward trend in overnight stays, particularly with regard to events “In February, we were about 80 percent of the volume from the year before the pandemic 2019. That should have improved significantly over Easter,” says Seiberger. However, there are no exact numbers yet.


In Füssen (southeast of Allgäu), one has the impression “that the ‘Allgäu’ destination is in great demand,” according to Anke Hiltensperger of Füssen. The trend in Füssen is also towards short term inquiries and reservations. According to the FERATEL Accommodation Occupancy System assessment, the first week of the Easter holiday in 2022 was better booked than the second week of the holiday. For the summer season, there are still many accommodations (vacation apartments, guesthouses, hotels) to book your holiday.


Kempten hotels are well booked during the Easter holidays, but not so well during the week during the holidays. “The numbers are around the level of the years before Corona,” says Sarah Rothmond of Kempten Tourismus. Campton has a trend towards leisure tourism (fewer business guests). In the past two summers, there have been many vacationers who have used their stay in Kempten as a springboard from which to explore Allgäu and other destinations such as Lake Constance. Kempten Hotels is not fully booked yet for summer, but expect another good summer and many bookings at short notice. There have already been many inquiries, requests for brochures, and reservations, “which indicates that there will be a lot of interest in the summer,” according to Rothmond.


In Wertach (south of Oberallgäu), the booking behavior of guests during the Easter holidays in 2022 was initially very cautious. “Usage increased slightly, but remained low, as is typical for this time of year,” says Gudrun Gessenauer of the Wertach community. So the tour operators and culinary arts in Wertach are not yet satisfied. However: “Allgäu is often chosen as a holiday destination because it is possible to travel there by car,” says Gessenauer. Short-term vacations are still popular in Wertach, but there are also reservations of up to three weeks. “We suppose guests are still somewhat wary and spontaneously like to book, although it looks like nothing should stand in the way of tourism this summer.”

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