Destination trends

Drop in German bookings for top destinations slows in May

The fall in German holiday bookings for major destinations in the Mediterranean and North Africa lessened somewhat last month compared to April, raising hopes that overall demand is gradually recovering even below it remains below last year’s levels, the latest monthly package holiday booking figures from Amadeus show.

The best performer in May was Heraklion, the main Crete gateway, with a 1% rise in bookings compared to the same month last year and after a 6% year-on-year drop in April. Rhodes improved slightly from - 11% in April to -9.7% last month, and Kos had a 4.2% fall that was much better than April’s 14% decline.

There was a similar trend for Antalya, the largest destination airport in volume terms. Bookings for the Turkish Riviera gateway were down by 8.4% last month after a 16% slump in April and an 18% fall in March.

In Egypt, the decline in bookings for Hurghada slowed to 7.8% last month from 12% in April and a heavy 28% slump in March. Similarly, Marsa Alam was down by 8.7% in May, compared to -17% in April and -19% in March.

However, both Turkey and Egypt saw very strong growth rates throughout most of 2018, meaning their sales levels are generally still ahead of 2017 levels.

In contrast, the main Spanish destinations continue to see a substantial decline in bookings on the German market, according to the Amadeus figures. Palma was again down by 11%, like in the two previous months, and has seen lower bookings every month since February 2018.

The Canary Islands again suffered a heavy drop in German bookings. Las Palmas was down by 14.3% last month after -17% in April and -25% fall in March. Fuerteventura was the worst performer among the top ten destinations with a 22.7% drop in bookings last month, following on from -25% in April and one third in March. Tenerife South reduced its fall to single digits (-9.3%) after falls of 15% in April and 21% in March.

Amadeus Leisure IT (formerly Traveltainment) claims to handle the bulk of offline (travel agency) and online bookings for tour operator holidays on the German market, making its booking figures a reliable indicator of demand trends.