Tour Operators Dossier 2020

German specialists grow well in turbulent market conditions

Mid-sized and specialist tour operators in Germany mostly grew well in 2019 although there were also some insolvencies among smaller players in a difficult trading year, the latest fvw Tour Operators Dossier showed.

While the ten largest companies had revenues ranging from €5.8 billion (TUI) to €410 million (Phoenix Reisen), ten other tour operators also topped the €100 million turnover mark in the 2018/19 business year (see interactive graphic). Most of these mid-sized tour operators generated low single-digit growth but there were some notable exceptions. The insolvency of airline Germania, which flew niche routes to smaller destinations, was a blow to some smaller tour operators.

The largest of the mid-sized German tour operators, Vtours, grew by 15% to revenues of €390 million. This will have pleased the dynamic holidays firm’s new owner, Swiss group Hotelplan, which has gained a sizeable foothold in the German market through the acquisition. However, the company apparently achieved lower average prices in view of a 24% increase in customer numbers to 917,000.

A notable figure was the €305 million revenue reported by direct sales specialist Trendtours, now managed by former Alltours managing director Markus Daldrup. Its customer numbers rose by nearly 4% to 415,000.

Another big winner last year was Ferien Touristik, now owned by Turkish group OTI. It increased customer numbers by 9% to 205,000 and generated a 25% rise in revenues to nearly €142 million. “This is especially pleasing in view of the turbulent market environment,” commented managing director Heinz Bauermeister.

Turkey specialist Bentour profited from strong demand for its main destination and problems for Thomas Cook-owned rival Öger Tours, increasing revenues by 10% to €106 million as customer numbers rose to nearly 160,000. Other fast-growing tour operators last year included Chamäleon (€82m, +20%), SKR Reisen (€62m, +32%) and Diamir (€46m, +22%).

But some well-known destination specialists reported revenue declines for 2019. Olimar, which sells mostly Portugal holidays, saw a 5% fall to turnover of €82 million, partly due to a lack of air capacity following the insolvency of Germania. Attika Reisen, a long-established Greece specialist, suffered an 11% drop in revenues and 16% in customer numbers.

Moreover, two mid-sized tour operators disappeared from the market during 2019. H&H Touristik declared insolvency as early as last February, followed by Tour Vital in September. Another significant move was Deutsche Bahn’s strategic disposal of rail holidays specialist Ameropa to a financial investor at the start of this year.

The fvw Tour Operators Dossier 2020 features detailed tables and graphics showing the revenues of the 53 companies, including by holiday type, as well as market shares and sizes. The publication can be ordered through the fvw Shop for 49 euros.