Destination airports

Antalya and Hurghada were again growth champions in August

The Turkish Riviera and the Red Sea were the top-selling destinations for German package holidaymakers last month as Spain and Greece continued to slump, new figures show.

Antalya and Hurghada were the only two out of the top ten destination airports for German package holidaymakers to generate higher bookings in August, the latest monthly figures from leading reservations provider Traveltainment showed.

With a 31% rise in bookings compared to the same month last year, Antalya continued this year’s strong comeback. It also remained the largest single destination airport with 31% of all bookings for the top ten.

Similarly, Hurghada again grew well, with a 17% year-on-year rise in bookings, confirming its number three position with a 16% share of bookings. However, the Red Sea holiday destination’s growth appears to have started to moderate after extremely high increases in the first half of this year.

In contrast, Palma suffered a heavy 18% fall in bookings in August, continuing this year’s downward trend following a record year in 2017. But it remained in second place with 21% of all bookings for the ten largest destination airports.

The Canary Islands registered an even bigger drop in demand last month as this year’s mostly negative trend worsened. Bookings slumped for the top four destinations, Fuerteventura (-21%), Las Palmas (-23%), Tenerife (South) (-20%) and Arrecife (-18%), indicating lower demand for the forthcoming winter season.

Greece also had a weak month on the German market in August in contrast to last year’s strong growth. Heraklion, Crete’s main airport, was down by 6% and Rhodes by 13%). Meanwhile, Bulgaria crept into the top ten ranking with a slight 2% year-on-year drop for the Black Sea holiday destination of Varna.

In addition, there were some interesting divergences between sales channels last month, with OTAs seemingly performing better than traditional travel agents. For example, online bookings for Antalya (+38%) grew much faster than through travel agents (+19%). Moreover, the fall in bookings for the Canary Islands was sharper in travel agencies (-24% to -28%) than online (-15% to -18%).

The monthly figures for August cover package holiday and last-minute bookings through Traveltainment’s market-leading travel agency and OTA reservation systems.

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