Bonn The corona crisis has hit the tourist industry hard. Following the easing of travel restrictions, the travel business in Germany is slowly picking up again. Domestic holiday destinations are particularly in demand.
Spending your free time on the balcony, or visiting ‘Balkonien’ as the Germans say, is slowly coming to an end: Holiday homes and campsites were allowed to reopen in most federal states on 11 May and overnight stays in hotels are also permitted under certain conditions from 18 May onwards. Hopes for a well-deserved summer holiday are increasing. Both holidaymakers and tour operators are pleased to see the travel business slowly getting back on track.
Tourism is one of the industries that has been hit the hardest by the corona crisis. According to a survey conducted by the Association of the German Chambers of Industry and Commerce (DIHK), the German tourism industry expects to struggle with the economic consequences of the corona crisis for a long time to come. Around 40 percent of businesses in the travel and hospitality industry do not expect a return to normality until next year at the earliest.
The warning issued by the German Foreign Office up to 14 June for tourist travel abroad means that foreign trips booked for long weekends or over the summer holidays are being cancelled. As it is not yet certain when the travel warning will expire, tour operators are registering fewer enquiries for holidays abroad.
Opportunities for holidaying in Germany look quite different following the opening of hotels and campsites. “Since German holiday regions have become available again, we are seeing great demand on the coasts and in the mountains,” said a TUI spokesman in Bonn. This is also confirmed by the results of Vergleich.org: The online comparison portal has evaluated the most frequent Google searches in May for German holiday destinations. The Baltic Sea came first, closely followed by the Harz Mountains in Saxony-Anhalt and the Black Forest.
Tour operators will have to expand their offerings in Germany in order to meet the increased demand. A travel centre in Sinzig has already taken steps and joined up with another travel portal. Capacities are becoming scarce - both for travel centres and for hotels and holiday apartments. Martin Katz, an employee of the tour operator FTI, assumes that demand will exceed the available capacities, at least for some regions and at certain times. Regions with higher bookings will have to adjust to increased tourism. Kerstin György also sees this as a new opportunity: "The Harz and also the Sauerland have a lot to offer and are well set up”.
No clear trend can be seen at the moment at TUI in Bonn. Customers from the region are currently busy dealing with the holidays they have already booked, or looking for offers for next year and beyond, explains the tour operator.
(Original text: Emma Dietl, Translation: Caroline Kusch)