German holidaymakers snapped up cheap last-minute online offers for Turkey, Egypt and Greece last month but Spain again lost market share amid a general sales recovery, the latest monthly package holiday booking figures from Amadeus show.
German package and online bookings for the top ten mass destinations increased slightly (by 0.7%) in August, continuing a steady improvement since June (click on interactive graphic to see previous months’ figures).
Growth was driven by online bookings, which increased by 3% compared to the same month last year. Offline sales through travel agencies, which have higher average prices, were 2.1% lower than the same month last year. The average booking price per person in travel agencies of €928 was 23% higher than the average online booking price.
Antalya consolidated this year’s growth with a further 5.4% rise on last year’s volumes. This was driven by a 7.7% surge in online bookings that compensated for lower offline sales. Online prices for the Turkish Riviera were nearly 15% lower on average than in travel agencies (where the average booking value was €807 per person).
Egypt was another winner last month with solid growth for Hurghada (+8.7%) and Marsa Alam (+11.1%). Online bookings were well ahead of travel agency sales for both destinations, with online prices for Hurghada a dramatic 30% lower on average than in travel agencies.
Greece performed well in August after a weak July with growth for the three biggest destinations for German holidaymakers. Heraklion grew fractionally thanks to a 2.9% rise in offline sales despite higher average prices. Rhodes was up moderately, driven by stronger online growth, and bookings for Kos (+28%) soared for the third month in a row.
But Spain continued to lose business on the German package holiday market, according to the Amadeus figures. Bookings for Palma, which remains the second-biggest destination airport, were down by 3.3% in August, largely due to a 6.7% sales fall in travel agencies where the average holiday price is 29% higher than online.
The double-digit drop in bookings for the Canary Islands continued last month, although these were lower than in recent months. Significantly, the islands are still selling better in travel agencies than online despite higher prices. For example, the average price of a holiday on Tenerife booked through a travel agency was €1,214 last month, which was 30% more than the average online price.
In terms of the three main islands, Fuerteventura (-11.4% overall) saw a 4.3% fall in travel agency bookings but an 18.8% fall in online sales. Similarly, Tenerife South (-12.4%) had a 6.6% fall in travel agencies but 18.5% online. Las Palmas (-17.1%) suffered heavy declines both in travel agencies (15.7%) and online (-19.4%).
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.