The demand for vacations in Spain, Greece and Morocco is increasing, while Turkey is much less popular than usual as a vacation destination. A look at the developments of the last months.
E in trip to Vienna? Spontaneous vacation in Amsterdam? Or have a nice time in Copenhagen? There are many options. Where do German travelers go? The development of the last months is mainly under the impression of terror and political tensions. According to GfK market research, for example, city breaks, which have long been very popular, have declined due to the attacks in Berlin, Paris, Nice and Istanbul.
The overall picture has also clouded over somewhat. Tour operator sales fell by just under two percent in 2016 compared with the previous year to 30.2 billion euros. Vacationers fear the terrorist threat in countries such as Egypt, Tunisia and Turkey. They prefer to move to the western Mediterranean and seek the sunny side of life in Greece, Spain, Italy and Portugal.
Which countries are hot, which are not?
Turkey in particular is under massive pressure as a vacation destination. The Turkish government had recently launched a "vacation campaign" of a special kind, repeatedly accusing Germany and German Chancellor Angela Merkel personally of "Nazi practices". Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had also declared, "If you continue to behave like this, tomorrow not a single European, not a single Westerner anywhere in the world will be able to safely and calmly take a step out onto the street." Already in recent months, Turkey bookings by German holidaymakers have plummeted by 40 percent.
Popular vacation destinations
Greece, for example, is benefiting from this development. The country recorded a year-on-year increase of almost 70 percent, making it the second most popular vacation destination for Germans behind the Balearic Islands (i.e. Majorca, Ibiza, Menorca, Formentera and Cabrera).
Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus and Morocco are also on the rise. Even Egypt has recently made significant gains in the favor of German vacationers again. This is surprising, because Egypt is also suffering massively from the terrorist threat. In addition, the government in Cairo plans to double the entry fee to $60 per person. It remains to be seen what the impact will be on bookings.
Cruises remain very popular
The trend toward cruises remains unbroken. Although it is now becoming increasingly clear that such a trip is anything but environmentally friendly (because of the heavy oil that is burned in the giants), but on the other hand there are great advantages. On the one hand, you see a lot in a short time and can immerse yourself in the cultures of different countries on a single trip (fall asleep in Italy in the evening, wake up in France in the morning). On the other hand, trips with the floating hotels impress with reliable quality in terms of accommodation, food and entertainment. The cruise boom will therefore also continue in 2017.
The picture is not so clear for long-distance travel. In 2016, South Africa and the Caribbean gained in bookings (Cuba, Dominican Republic, Mexico). The USA, Thailand and the Maldives, on the other hand, attracted fewer vacationers than in the previous year. Overall, bookings of long-haul travel declined slightly. Number 1 remains the USA, even under President Trump.
Germans like to vacation in Germany
Record numbers of guests and overnight stays can be recorded in 2016 Germany. This is mainly due to the Germans themselves. A survey by the Foundation for Future Studies with 4.000 Germans showed that 24.9% of respondents prefer German destinations. (2nd place: Spain with 20,2%, 3rd place: Italy with 17,2%, 4th place: USA with 15,8%, 5th place: Scandinavia with 14,2%, 6th place: Greece with 14,1%). In contrast, the number of guests from abroad declined slightly in 2016. Neighbors such as Austria and Poland are also very popular.
Conclusion: Germans are adapting their travel destinations to current political tensions and the threat of terrorism. However, they are quite prepared to return to a country they have long avoided, once the problems have disappeared from the headlines for a while. Greece with its dramatic financial crisis and the hostilities against the German Federal Government are an example of it.
The Balearic Islands and Germany are at the top of the popularity scale. On Mallorca in particular, it could get pretty crowded on some stretches of beach.