And suddenly the pendulum swung in the other direction again: After an all-time high in June with an index level of 134, the travel agents' expectations ("Erwartung") for the next six months – one of the three criteria of the tourism sales climate index recorded by consulting agency Dr. Fried & Partner – fell again below the 100 mark in August but still remained on a pre-pandemic level.
In September, with the easing of travel requirements and the vaccination progress both in Germany as in important destinations, it was back at the level of 100 again.
Higher expectations for the next half-year
After the percentage of respondents who expect demand for travel services to rise in the next six months had dropped significantly for three months in a row – from 78.9% in June and 57% in July to only 19% in August –, it improved again to 36% in September. Consequently, pessimistic assessments decreased markedly compared to June: In September, 45% anticipate a flat demand, more than 7%-points less than in August. The percentage of those who even worry about a further drop sunk to 19.6% in September after a steep 28.1% rise in August and remaining steady at 10% in June and July.
The upswing is also reflected in the better assessment of future earnings: In September, 27% of the agents (compared to 16.7% in August, 46.8% in July and 54.2% in June) expect an improvement within the next six months. Still one third of the travel sales experts (41% compared to 46.5% in August) anticipate a stable earnings situation, 32% (August: 36.8%) even expect a negative development of their future earnings.
Sales situation is improving
According to the index, the current sales situation ("Geschäftslage") improved in September: While May marked the first month since spring 2020 when travel agents described their current sales situation as "good" and this percentage increased rapidly from 0.9% to 15.6% in June and 9.9% in July, it fell again below the 2% mark in August but rose again to 8.4% in September. 36.4% of the agents are assessing the current situation as satisfying (35.1% in August, 40.4% in June, 50% in July). And the percentage of "bad" answers is now "just" at 55% after a drop to 63.2% August.
The current mood at the point of sale
Plenty of reason to celebrate: In September 2021, Dr. Fried & Partner
has published the 200th edition of its Tourism Sales Climate Index. It has prepared the Tourism Sales Climate Index on a monthly basis since 2005. The index serves as an early indicator for economic development, and provides a meaningful overview of the past, current and future market situation as well as the mood in travel sales. An online survey is used to summarize and evaluate the area of holiday travel, stationary and online distribution. The result is displayed in the form of an index curve. It displays the mood at the point of sale
The percentage of travel agents who regard travel sales in the past two to three months as better than a year before sank from 53,1% in August to 49% in September. 32% (August: 23%) report a stable sales situation in September, 20% (August: 23,9 %) even complain about worse conditions than at the same time in 2020.