Travel Insights July

German holiday sales recover thanks to last-minute bookings

The German travel industry is staging a gradual recovery after more customers booked last-minute holidays in July, according to the latest monthly Travel Insights sales analysis.

Bookings through travel agencies and online channels increased by 3% last month, meaning that summer 2019 revenues are now only 1% behind last year on a cumulative basis, according to analysis of sales by 2,000 representative travel agencies, OTAs and tour operator websites by Travel Data + Analytics (which has taken over the Travel Insights survey from GfK).

July’s growth was clearly driven by last-minute summer holiday bookings, the TDA figures made clear. One third of all bookings last month were for departures in July and August. As a result, the cumulative drop in July departures was reduced to 1% and for August to 0.5%.

The overall 2018/19 tourism year is now up by 1% in revenue terms thanks to last winter’s higher sales. Moreover, summer 2018 was a very strong season with bookings up by 13% at the same time last year. Summer 2019 sales revenues are thus well ahead of 2017, for example.

Meanwhile, early demand for the forthcoming winter season looks weak so far. Sales revenues for winter 2019/20 are 5% lower on a year-on-year basis, and bookings are down for nearly all departure months.

The only exception is November, which accounted for one third of all winter season bookings last month. This may indicate a continued trend to late bookings, although the overall sales volume in July was too low for any reliable trend to be apparent yet.