Tour Operators Dossier

German tour operators beat expectations

FVW Medien

German tour operators grew more strongly than expected in 2017/18 thanks to the recovery of major package holiday destinations such as Turkey and Egypt, the latest fvw dossier shows.

The 54 tour operators covered by the market research study increased revenues in Germany, Austria and Switzerland by 8.3% to €27.5 billion in the 2017/18 tourism year. In Germany alone, the tour operators grew by an estimated 8% to turnover of €23.4 billion. The dossier covers all three German-speaking markets as some major companies only provide figures on a combined basis and also sell products cross-border between the three countries.

The fvw dossier figures are in line with separate market research from DRV and GfK, which shows that the total market for trips with at least one overnight stay grew by 7% to about €36 billion last year (including some 1,500 coach holiday operators and very small tour operators as well as non-commercial organisations such as clubs and schools).

The organised travel market in the ‘DACH’ region (which refers to the three countries’ international codes) thus grew more strongly than individual direct bookings (e.g. via online channels), which increased by 3% to €32 billion, according to DRV and GfK estimates. These figures taken together put the total holiday and leisure travel market in Germany, Austria and Switzerland at €68 billion in 2018.

Moreover, the tour operator market in the three German-speaking countries grew even faster in 2018 than the previous year, which showed a turnover increase of 6.9%, including 7.4% in Germany.

The strong growth for tour operators last year, driven by very strong early bookings, is largely explained by the continued recovery of destinations such as Turkey, Egypt and Tunisia. About 90% of German bookings for such destinations are package holidays, in contrast to Spain or Italy, for example, which have a significant proportion of direct bookings. 

These trends also partly explain why last year’s 8.3% rise in revenues is significantly higher than the 5.8% increase in customer numbers. In general, hotel prices went up in important destinations such as Spain and Greece. Moreover, there was good demand for higher-priced all-inclusive holidays in Turkey and Egypt, as well as for cruises and luxury travel.

Winners last year, according to the fvw dossier, included most market leaders, cruise operators and mid-sized specialists. Among the market leaders, there was double-digit growth for FTI, Schauinsland and TUI Cruises. (See separate article for more details.)

The fvw Tour Operators Dossier 2019 features detailed tables and graphics showing the revenues of the 54 companies, including by holiday type, as well as market shares and sizes. The publication can be ordered separately through the fvw Shop.