Fresh start in the holiday business with big obstacles

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The restart of the travel industry after the week-long standstill is cautious. The bookings increase during the holiday season. But the industry continues to feel unsettled by customers.

Berlin (dpa) – The travel industry can probably not make up for the Corona deficit this year. After weeks of standstill, the demand for tour operator tours is gradually increasing.

Bookings increase during the holiday season, as can be seen from data from Travel Data + Analytics (TDA), which were evaluated for the DRV travel association at the halfway point of the summer holiday season. However, they only make up a third of the previous year’s sales, as the DRV reported. The increased demand shows “that travel is also an issue in the Corona summer,” said DRV President Norbert Fiebig. Overall, however, the situation in the industry is still dramatic.

“The level of new bookings is far from absorbing the losses from the cancellation volume due to travel warnings,” explained Fiebig. The Federal Foreign Office lifted the travel warning for many countries in Europe in mid-June. Outside of Europe, however, it continues to apply until at least the end of August, for example for Turkey, a particularly popular destination for holidaymakers from Germany. Organizers must cancel trips that have already been booked.

This also applies to parts of Spain since Friday. Because of the rapidly increasing number of Corona infections, the Federal Foreign Office warned against tourist trips to Catalonia with the tourist metropolis Barcelona and the beaches of the Costa Brava as well as the regions Aragón and Navarra lying inland to the west. The travel warning does not apply to Mallorca and also not to the Canaries.

According to Fiebig, people are currently booking at extremely short notice. Bookings for the autumn months of September and October are currently increasing. Their share in the penultimate week of July was 22 percent. However, the demand for the 2020/21 winter season is far below average, even if the data refer to only one week. “Customer uncertainty is still noticeable,” said Fiebig. Long-distance travel is particularly popular in winter.

Destinations on the Mediterranean are currently popular. Your booking share with tour operator trips has been more than 60 percent since the end of the travel warning. According to the DRV, holidaymakers initially preferred destinations in the western Mediterranean. At the top of the popularity scale are the classics, the Balearic Islands and the Canary Islands. However, bookings for the Balearic Islands have declined significantly in the past two weeks.

The Balearic Government had issued a particularly stringent mask requirement for Mallorca and the other islands in the middle of the month. Illegal parties, including at the “Ballermann” in Mallorca, where hundreds celebrated without a safe distance and without a protective mask, caused a sensation.

For two weeks, the travel countries in the eastern Mediterranean have been in the favor of holidaymakers from Germany, according to the information, especially Greece. However, the demand for trips to Turkey fell after the travel warning was extended. “Equating all countries outside of Europe makes no sense and simply does not do justice to the different situation in the individual countries”, Fiebig confirmed the DRV’s demands for an individual assessment of individual states.

Tourism is one of the sectors that have been particularly hard hit by the Corona crisis. According to the DRV, the balance so far shows a decline in sales in the German travel industry of around 20 billion euros by the end of August.

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