At the start of March 2016, Forwardkeys released their data on the trends in the German outbound travel market and the bookings that have been made for the year ahead. The data shows a number of interesting trends throughout the four key regions – Europe, the Americas, Africa & Middle East and Asia Pacific. While some of the regions continue to suffer, as expected, others show signs of growth.
Over 2015-2016, there was a 1.4% increase in the German outbound travel across all international arrivals. The projection for the year ahead, however, is that this will drop to -7.8%. There are declines forecasted in all of the major regions, although the areas of Africa & Middle East and Asia Pacific will still remain in positive figures according to the authors of the report.
The bigger problems lie in the Americas, which are still set to struggle due to the performance of the dollar and ongoing concerns over the Zika virus. The popularity of Europe is also likely to decrease among German travelers thanks to a number of terror attacks. In fact, where Europe saw a 0.7% rise for the 2015-2016 period, this is expected to drop to -15.1 in 2016.
Asia Pacific destinations, on the other hand, are clearly the more sought after tourist hotspots regarding the German outbound travel market. This region saw an impressive growth in passenger numbers in the 2015 to 2016 period – with the exception of Australia, which saw a small decline of 2.6%.
An important reason for this increase is the growth of the leisure market in Asia Pacific. China remains an important destination for German business travelers and, with 15.6% of the market share, is the 2nd highest destination in this region for outbound travel. The rest of the top 10, however, is largely dominated by leisure-based tourism.
The number one spot on the list for this period is Thailand – 21.1% share of the market and 8.9% growth in arrivals – and 66% of travelers visited for leisure reasons. Other key leisure destinations, such as Sri Lanka and Indonesia also saw strong growth with a large majority of leisure-focused travelers from Germany. On top of this, countries that were business-oriented, such as Japan and Singapore, have seen a rise in numbers made up of leisure bookings.
When looking ahead to the bookings that have been made and projections for the outbound travel market in 2016, there are some interesting results. It is no surprise to see countries like Thailand, Japan and Vietnam with increased bookings, following the trends of the previous year, but the highest increases are seen in Cuba and Namibia – two countries seeing positive knock-on effects following political changes or unrest in neighboring regions.
Forward bookings hit their peak at the start of July with a 17.5% increase, which is understandable with the summer holidays, but bookings across the rest of the period – March 1st to August 31st – are down. In the end, German outbound travel is set to decline in 2016 according to Forwardkeys.