Organizers have reported that after two years of Corona with sometimes severe travel restrictions, summer vacation is in high demand. It may not be a good season for bargain hunters.
FRANKFURT/MAIN – Record inflation and the Ukraine war do not seem to dampen people’s desire to travel in Germany two years after Corona – on the contrary.
Tour operators are reporting a sharp increase in bookings for the summer, which has exceeded the level prior to the Corona crisis by a few weeks. In addition, sun seekers sometimes pay more for the most beautiful weeks of the year. For example, they booked longer vacations and more luxury hotels, industry pioneer Tui explains. Subsequent price increases or kerosene surcharges exclude Tui, Der Touristik & Co. for flights already booked.
Association: Germans want to go on vacation again
“Holidays are at the top of Germans’ wish lists this year after so long, even rising energy costs and rising inflation don’t detract from that desire,” Norbert Weibig, president of the German Travel Association (DRV) says of the current situation. . Instead, with a generally stable price level for tours, people will spend more on vacation this year.
Several regulators bought a large part of the airline and hotel units last year at then prices. However, the closer the departure date, the more expensive the flight for spontaneous travelers, because the flight may not be served from the current unit. According to Tui president Fritz Jossen, there may be fewer last-minute deals this year.
According to a survey conducted by GfK consumer researchers commissioned by the Bavarian Center for Tourism (BZT), 69 percent of those surveyed who generally travel would definitely like to take a vacation this summer. Low price is an important criterion for choosing a vacation destination for a third of those who want to travel and who have not yet booked or are still not sure.
Ticket prices go up due to energy costs
In any case, air passengers should prepare for higher ticket prices in the summer due to increased fuel costs as a result of the Ukraine war. Flight groups Lufthansa and Air France-KLM indicate this. “We have to pass on the increased costs to our customers,” Lufthansa Chief Financial Officer Remco Steenbergen said recently.
Travel group FTI Group noticed a drop in bookings after the outbreak of the Ukraine War. Meanwhile, demand has rebounded again, says Ralph Schiller, president of FTI. “Upcoming bookings are good for the entire period from the Easter holiday through fall, and we’re beating pre-coronavirus 2019 numbers for popular destinations.” According to Schiller, destinations around the Mediterranean, such as Croatia, Greece and Turkey, as well as Egypt, are in particular demand. “Here it may be tight with places on dates desirable in the summer season.”
According to organizer Alltours, they also feel “a tremendous amount of catching up”. Daily incoming bookings for the summer are currently between 40 and 80 percent higher than they were in the pre-corona summer of 2019. “There will certainly be no kerosene surcharges at Alltours for trips already booked,” a spokeswoman confirms.
DER Touristik reports that prices in Turkey, the Balearic Islands and the Canary Islands are currently stable. Long-haul flights, for example to Thailand or the Caribbean, are about five percent cheaper than last summer. Despite the significant increase in bookings, the company does not anticipate bottlenecks during peak travel times. “However, there is a very high demand for high-quality products. Above all, there is a huge demand for tourist destinations such as Turkey, Greece and the Balearic Islands.”
Regardless of the current boom, according to the DRV, sales of travel agencies and tour operators for the tourist year so far remain below the level of the corresponding period of 2019. “Against this background, we expect an excellent summer, but Vibeg confirmed earlier forecasts. He was cautiously optimistic about the 2023, despite the unexpected course of the war in Ukraine and increased inflation.