August sales figures

Germans book winter holidays after long hot summer

Winter holiday sales grew by 9% in August, according to GfK figures.
Winter holiday sales grew by 9% in August, according to GfK figures.

Winter bookings grew by 9% last month as Germans started planning their next big holiday while late summer bookings were up by 3% thanks to higher online sales, the latest monthly analysis from market researchers GfK showed.

German travel agents and OTAs had a good month in August, with total sales up by 6% compared to the same month last year thanks to solid demand for all three seasons (summer 2018, winter 2018/19, summer 2019) that are currently on sale. There were diverging sales trends between online and offline sales channels, however.

Total sales revenues for summer 2018 trips grew by 3% in August, the market researchers’ analysis of sales by 2,000 representative travel agencies, OTAs and tour operator websites found. Overall, summer 2018 is 12% ahead of last year in revenue terms while the number of bookings is 7% higher than last year’s total. With two months still to go, this means that summer 2018 will clearly close showing strong growth compared to 2017.

Summer sales last month were clearly driven by OTAs selling late holidays while travel agents’ revenues for the summer season dropped back, the GfK figures showed. Summer bookings made up 73% of OTA revenues in August but only 44% of travel agency sales.

In contrast, travel agents were busy selling winter holidays as well as taking early bookings for next summer. Sales covering the forthcoming winter season (November to April) made up 40% of their revenues last month while summer 2019 accounted for 16%, according to GfK.

Overall, winter 2018/19 accounted for more than one third of total sales in August, pushing cumulated growth up to 9%. In terms of departure months, more than half of winter sales revenues to date are for trips in November (+8%) and December (+11%). With Easter in April next year, there is a typical seasonal trend in the relatively low booking numbers, with April revenues up by 72% but March down by 11%.

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