Germany’s leading cultural holidays tour operator has achieved solid growth this year thanks to a comeback for Islamic destinations and will offer more special tours for different customer segments next year.
Studiosus, the market leader for ‘study tours’, expects to close this year with a 2.1% rise in turnover to a new record of €281.3 million and increase customer numbers by 1.6% to 105,000. The specialist tour operator will thus maintain its high average revenue per customer with €2,679 per person this year. The main growth drivers during 2018 have been traditional cultural trips, the Smart & Small product for small group trips and the budget brand Marco Polo.
Owner Peter-Mario Kubsch said: “We are staying on a growth path and have been able to exceed last year’s strong figures for turnover and guests. Higher demand for classic holiday destinations such as Greece, Italy and France has played an important role. The same applies for growing interest in encounters with Islamic culture.”
In Europe, bookings for the tour operator’s top destination, Italy, increased by over 4% to nearly 14,000 customers, France grew by over 18% to nearly 4,000 guests and Greece grew by 43% to more than 3,000 guests. But there were weaker bookings for Spain and Portugal, the two other destinations in Studiosus’ top five ranking, while there were just 100 bookings for Turkey.
The Munich-based group has benefited from a strong comeback in demand for the Middle East and North Africa, with Egypt bookings surging by 192% as customers regain confidence in the country, and good demand for Morocco (+44%), the UAE and Oman (jointly +28%), as well as for Central Asian countries. In addition, Studiosus has seen better bookings for China and South America.
In contrast, this year’s losers include Myanmar, the USA and Iran, most probably all for political reasons, along with southern Africa.
For 2019, Studiosus has presented various new tours, including to Crete and Sicily, more family tours to Sicily, Egypt and Vietnam, and new offers for single travellers, including Crete and Lapland.
Marco Polo has 12 new tours for under-35 year-olds, including Indochina, Panama, New York and Greece, and new small group tours to China, Nepal, Tanzania and the Galapagos Islands.