fvw|TravelTalk-Kongress in Antalya

Tour operators have prepared for uncertainties

Happy with the summre: Stefan Baumert (CEO TUI Central Europe) and Ingo Burmester (CEO DER Touristik Central Europe) at the fvw|TravelTalk-Kongress in Antalya.
Christian Wyrwa
Happy with the summre: Stefan Baumert (CEO TUI Central Europe) and Ingo Burmester (CEO DER Touristik Central Europe) at the fvw|TravelTalk-Kongress in Antalya.

At the fvw|TravelTalk congress in the Turkish city of Antalya, Alltours, Schauinsland-Reisen, FTI Group and DER Touristik were satisfied with this year's summer season. But their optimism for the coming year is muted due to the economic and political uncertainties.

Georg Welbers (Managing Director Alltours), Gerald Kassner (Managing Director Schauinsland-Reisen), Ralph Schiller (CEO FTI Group), Ingo Burmester (CEO DER Touristik Central Europe) and Stefan Baumert (CEO TUI Central Europe) took part in a panel discussion moderated by fvw|TravelTalk Editor-in-Chief Klaus Hildebrandt at the fvw|TravelTalk Congress in Antalya. They provided information on the current situation and ventured cautious forecasts for the coming year.

Georg Welbers (Managing Director Alltours): "We are very confident about the coming year, but one has to expect stronger fluctuations. But we are confident. I expect a temporary dip in bookings because of energy prices. The possibility of free cancellation has provided that boost we saw in the summer."

Gerald Kassner (Managing Director Schauinsland-Reisen): "Things are going extremely well for us. We are kind of the crisis winner of the Corona impact. In the last tourism year, we significantly exceeded 2018/19 sales. We have invested a lot in technology. But we have to be careful about what else to expect in the future."

Ralph Schiller (CEO FTI Group): "We haven't quite been able to match the 2018/19 numbers. We are about six to seven per cent below that. We have done well in Greece and have been able to keep our position stable in Turkey. We hope that we can continue this momentum. But it is difficult to make a forecast because many customers now book at very short notice. We are adjusting to that." Schiller said it was difficult to accurately gauge customers' future booking behaviour.

Ingo Burmester (CEO DER Touristik Central Europe): "The summer was a lot of fun. Turkey has had a very good start to the summer of 2022. Turkey is a great host country. We have never been as strong in Turkey as we were last summer." Burmester pleaded for the flex option to be combined with the early booking option.

Stefan Baumert (CEO TUI Central Europe): "In Turkey we finished well above our planning. Summer 2022 went very well overall. That makes us confident. It is noticeable that North America is picking up again. But other long-haul destinations are also picking up. They are now being booked much later than before." Uncertainty is generally not a good holiday advisor. It will probably take a while before the old level of booking behaviour is reached. "We have learned to deal with uncertainty," said Baumert.

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