German holidaymakers are set to be back in full swing by 2024, according to GlobalData, which expects the country’s outbound travel to recover to 117.9 million tourists, surpassing 2019’s 116.1 million despite economic decline in Europe. The leading data and analytics company notes that budget-friendly travel, visits to friends and family, and non-city locations—especially in the country’s favourite holiday destination, Austria—are set to be the most popular.
This data was part of research for GlobalData’s latest report, ‘Germany Source Tourism Insight, 2022 Update’, which notes that the recovery in Germany’s outbound tourism follows a weak 2020 and 2021, wherein lower traveller confidence and strict COVID-19 measures saw Germany’s outbound tourism numbers shrink to a fraction of what they were in 2019.
Megan Cross, Travel & Tourism Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “The COVID-19 pandemic made a huge impact on international travel from Germany. Outbound tourism numbers shrank to a fraction of what they were in 2019, seeing a 64.5% decline year-on-year (YoY) from 116.1 million travelers in 2019 to 41.2 million in 2020 before a further decline in 2021 to a mere 40.4 million. With restrictions now eased, and confidence returning, projections for 2022 and beyond are much brighter. This recovery will be a great boost, as Germany is an important source market on the global stage.”
German travelers are important to the worldwide travel industry. Below, Cross offers her predictions on where German international travelers will be headed and what might be popular among German vacationers:
Low-cost holidays to be snapped up as economic impacts take hold
While rising prices has got everyone budgeting, German travelers are often looking for budget-friendly options. A survey by GlobalData found that *55% of German respondents identified ‘affordability’ as a main factor in deciding where to go on holiday, so low-cost carriers (LCCs) such as RyanAir, EasyJet, Eurowings, Air Berlin, TUIfly and Condor might be their first port-of-call when it comes to international travel.
Cross continues:“Times of high inflation would typically see severely dampened demand for international travel. However, as we have seen from multiple stories about queues at European airports, demand is still very much present. Many European travellers keen on keeping their holiday plans may simply cut the amount they spend on products and services both before and during their trip. For example, travellers that usually stay in midscale hotels may now lean towards budget forms of accommodation to keep costs down. This will certainly play into the hands of companies that already target budget travellers.”
German travellers book through online travel agents
Digitalized services and products are of utmost importance when attracting the German market. A survey by GlobalData reveals that over a quarter (**29%) of German respondents typically use online travel agents when booking a trip. This was the most popular booking method by far, followed by direct booking with a lodging provider (16%) and in-store face-to-face travel agents (15%). This decision to book with travel agents (both online and off) is in line with the priority German travellers place on ‘how well the product/service is tailored to my needs and personality’, with ***59% responding it ‘always’ or ‘often’ influences their choice.
Visiting friends and relatives a key reason to travel
GlobalData’s survey reveals that 29% of German tourists typically take holidays to visit family and friends.
On the other end of the scale, just *11% of respondents said they went on gastronomy holidays in 2021, a small number—especially when compared to the rest of the world, which averaged *26%. This could be due to concerns around the pandemic, as only ****17% of German travellers said that they are not concerned about the spread of the virus. While concern about the pandemic is lessening, this lingering unease is likely to maintain the lack of interest German tourists have towards international gastronomic pursuits into the latter half of 2022.
Meanwhile, demand for city break holidays is likely to be dampened in the short term due to lingering COVID-19 fears of infection, which may drive demand for destinations in more rural areas.
Recovery in German travellers good news for Austria
Austria remains the number one outbound destination for German tourists due to easy, direct travel routes between the two countries. Austria also offers German travellers a rural destination with COVID-19-safe experiences. Germany is consistently Austria’s largest inbound tourist demographic, and, while the pandemic didn’t change this fact, the scale of inbound tourism fell dramatically from 14.4 million German tourists in 2019 to 8.6 million in 2020 and 5.8 million in 2021. The influx of German tourists anticipated by Austria will provide a welcome boost to the recovery of the Austrian tourism industry, with 14.5 million German tourists expected by 2024.
Cross adds: “A lack of German tourists during the pandemic impacted many countries, especially in Europe. Destinations that can cater to Germans’ specific needs will see their recovery timelines shortened in the coming years.”
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