Upward trend in German summer bookings - Greek islands among the top destinations

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Upward trend in German summer bookings - Greek islands among the top destinationsTravel bookings for the summer are slowly picking up with strong demand for sun, sand, and the Mediterranean

There is still no clear trend, but since mid-February there have been signs of an increase in travel bookings: sales for trips booked in stationary travel agencies and on online portals rose noticeably in the second week of February compared to the previous weeks.

This was announced by the German Travel Association (DRV) on the basis of the evaluations by Travel Data + Analytics (TDA) in the run-up to the global travel fair ITB Berlin.

“With the prospect of vaccinations and more opportunities for tests, so does the confidence that you will soon be able to travel again. We also expect a catch-up effect, as many people couldn't go on vacation last year and have postponed it to 2021, ”said Norbert Fiebig, President of the German Travel Association (DRV).

In the past few weeks, the number of new bookings has remained at a level of around 20 percent of the previous year's volume.

"This drop in sales for tour operator bookings of more than 80 percent compared to the same period of the previous year will not even come close to being caught up. This year will continue to be characterized by losses for the travel industry," fears DRV President Norbert Fiebig.

The time around the turn of the year and the first few weeks of the year are usually the main booking months for Germans for their vacation.

Easter holidays have been booked rather hesitantly so far

Most customers are currently booking for trips this summer or later in the year - in some cases even for trips next year: Around 60 percent of booking sales are made for the summer season these days, and a quarter of sales are booked for the period after October.

The winter season, which now runs until the end of April - and thus also the Easter holidays - only accounts for 13 percent of the new bookings that were received in mid-February.

A lack of opening strategies in politics and great uncertainty about travel options during the Easter holidays make many customers hesitate when making a travel decision.

It is to be expected that bookings will be made at short notice for April and May as soon as easing is foreseeable.

For departures in the next few weeks - i.e. in March - there are currently only a few short-term bookings - these bookings concentrate on a few specific destinations such as the Canary Islands, Maldives, or Cuba. The quarantine regulations on returning to Germany are what put off most of the current travel.

Outlook for the summer and the entire tourism year

For the summer, package tours for destinations in the eastern Mediterranean, such as Greece and Turkey, are particularly popular at the moment.

The Greek islands are currently leading the way in terms of demand. Bookings for Spanish destinations such as the Balearic Islands are still cautious. In contrast, the number of bookings for cruises and long-distance travel destinations is increasing disproportionately. The majority of the demand for cruises already relates to summer 2022.

It is difficult to predict how the tourism year 2020/21 (November 1, 2020, to October 31, 2021) will develop overall.

"It would be considered a success if we were to achieve around 50 percent of the sales volume of 2019 for the travel agency and tour operator market," said DRV President Fiebig, cautiously optimistic.

"Surveys from the past few weeks show: German citizens want to travel and are in the starting blocks," said Fiebig. With the current bookings, customers rely on the best possible protection, such as that offered by the package tour. In addition, tour operators currently offer attractive early booking conditions and flexible rebooking and cancellation options to make the booking decision easier.

Tornos
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