The desire to travel in Germany is unbroken. Above all, it attracts holidaymakers to the Mediterranean – and areas around the Indian Ocean. The trend towards long-haul travel is therefore just as unbroken. Despite climate strikes and student protests, the travel industry does not feel any flying shame, customers obviously do not want to voluntarily do without flying for the sake of the environment.
This is confirmed by the market leader TUI and the industry five Alltours. On the contrary: ‘Private demand for flights on medium and long-haul routes is growing across all airports in Germany’, confirms Ralph Beisel, Managing Director of the ADV airport association.
The slightly weaker growth in air traffic of German travelers can be explained by the economic situation. The number of business trips declined in the first instance. The share of freight traffic had also fallen.
For example, the increased private demand for long-haul trips also reached the tour operators. Last week, Alltours introduced its figures for this year and presented the summer programme for 2020. “In view of the major challenges in the flight sector, we are very satisfied with the result,” said Alltours owner Willi Verhuven. The bankruptcy of the airline Germania and the flight cancellations of various airlines due to the worldwide flight ban on Boeing 737 Max aircraft are taken into account – but not that customer demand has changed.
The behavior of travelers elsewhere has certainly changed: In Sweden, for example, the flight shame effect was already noticeable in 2018, bookings of domestic flights fell noticeably, and at the same time the railways felt increased demand. The trigger is considered to be the increased sensitivity to environmentally harmful behavior, which arose through climate protests such as Fridays for Future by Greta Thunberg.
At Alltours, on the other hand, bookings of long-haul holidays recently grew disproportionately by 30 percent. Destinations in the Far East were particularly popular: Indonesia, the Maldives, and Thailand. Here, bookings by German travelers even increased by 50 percent. According to TUI, the trend towards travel to the Far East was also evident. German travelers therefore increasingly booked holidays in Seychelles, but also in Zanzibar and Kenya. For the summer of 2020, early bookers show a continuation of the trend.
The same applies to classic travel around the Mediterranean. But the focus shifts from the west to the east again. Even though Mallorca will probably become the favorite destination of holidaymakers again next year, Turkey attracts visitors with its low prices. Greece, Egypt, and Tunisia were also said to be in greater demand again for tourism. On average, prices remain stable.
For the coming year, TUI and Alltours expect significant growth due to the bankruptcy of their rival Thomas Cook and the cancellation of all trips booked for 2020 for subsidiary brands such as Öger Tours, Bucher Reisen, and Neckermann. Alltours had already reacted to this at an early stage and had included around 90 percent of the hotels previously marketed exclusively by Thomas Cook in its own offer.