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DRV predicts further German travel market slump this year

According to German Travel Association (DRV) the German travel industry does not expect a tourism restart before May. Ahead of ITB Berlin Now DRV predicts 50% of 2019 revenues at best this year.

Bookings have risen slightly since mid-February according to Travel Data & Analytics (TDA). But the overall level is still appalling at just 20% of the volumes before the global pandemic at the same time last year.

“It will be impossible to get anywhere near making up this revenue collapse of more than 80%. This year will be characterised by more losses for the travel industry. It would be a success if travel agents and tour operators could reach 50% of the revenues of 2019, said DRV president Norbert Fiebig.

Bookings for the spring are minimal given widespread uncertainty about the prospects for travel during the Easter holidays. Most of the bookings are for the summer (60%) or the autumn (25%), or even for next year and some customers are already booking long-haul trips or cruise holidays for summer 2022.

The DRV predictions and outlook also reflect the views of about 600 member companies in an internal survey at the end of February. About one third expected business to resume in the spring and one third in the summer while most of the others had varying views.

In terms of finances, about 90% of travel agents and tour operators expect to generate revenues of at most 50% of those in the pre-corona year 2019. Nearly half are predicting revenues of between 25% and 50% of 2019 levels.

Faster vaccination

In the DRV survey, 75% of respondents said that customers are not making bookings at present because of a possible quarantine period on their return to Germany. An overwhelming majority called for vaccination of the population to be accelerated and most supported the idea that inoculated people should be able to travel without restrictions.

Fiebig reiterated his criticism of politicians who advise people not to travel and demanded: “We need much faster vaccinations and a functioning test strategy.”

Featured image: Norbert Fiebig, foto: DRV