DER Touristik is expanding capacity for Mediterranean destinations such as Greece, Turkey and Tunisia next summer, and calling for insolvency insurance for airlines after widespread turbulence in the air this summer.
Germany’s third-largest tour operator predicted a record year for Greece and good demand for other major destinations, including Turkey, Egypt, Tunisia as well as Majorca as it presented its summer 2019 programme. However, the company, which is in the midst of a restructuring, did not release any sales figures for this year.
“We are offering our customers a large and stable programme at top prices,” declared René Herzog, CEO Central Europe. He predicted that Spain, Turkey, Greece, Egypt and Tunisia would be the five most popular destinations next year.
Herzog said Greece would see a record year thanks to “its excellent tourism infrastructure and the unbeatable hospitality of the Greeks”. In readiness for a boom, DER Touristik will expand capacity from nearly all German airports next summer, especially to Heraklion (Crete), Rhodes, Kos and Corfu, while its mainstream brand ITS will add holidays on Samos. The group operates 14 own-brand hotels in Greece.
Tunisia is making a strong comeback as it attracts price-conscious couples and families, according to Herzog. DER will open two new Cooee hotels in the country next year, and increase flight capacity to Monastir, Enfidha and Djerba. Similarly, the group will add hotel and flight capacity to Turkey and Egypt, which are both seeing high early demand for summer 2019 holidays.
Herzog emphasised that Majorca remains a top destination for German holidaymakers despite the strong growth of rival destinations. DER Touristik has five own-brand hotels on the island. A new beach holiday destination next year will be Albania, where 15 hotels are on offer.
Among long-haul destinations, DER is expanding its portfolio for the northern Dominican Republic with three summertime weekly full charters to Puerto Plata and Samaná. The group expects better demand for the USA thanks to lower prices, and is also offering lower prices for many destinations, including South Africa, Namibia, Thailand, Qatar, the Maldives and Mauritius.
Meanwhile, Herzog also used the media event to demand insolvency protection for airlines after the turbulence of this summer, when countless flight delays and cancellations impacted many holidaymakers. In addition, he called for higher requirements for new players following several recent insolvencies of small start-ups. “Market entry is too easy for new carriers,” he complained. Furthermore, airlines should only sell as many flights as they could actually operate, he urged.