After a long vacation slump, many German tourists are longing to finally be able to travel again.
German tourism industry reported losses in revenues of 68.7 billion euros between March and December 2020. Only 37 percent of Germans went on holiday for at least 5 days last year, which represents 40 percent less than in 2019.
Around half of Germans, however, said they hadn't really missed traveling. There was little understanding among the population for those who went on vacation during the pandemic. For 70 percent of citizens, it was simply selfish behavior and showed that vacationers did not think about the common good.
More than half of all trips were domestic in 2020. The most visited destinations were in Bavaria, Lower Saxony and Baden-Württemberg. For those who crossed the borders, Austria, Italy and Spain were the countries most preferred.
Travel Boom in the Summer?
It is still questionable, whether travel will once again be possible without any restrictions in summer 2021. For example, some countries in Europe, such as Iceland, Poland or Romania, allow only the foreign travelers that are fully vaccinated against the Coronavirus. For others, the usual entry rules with mandatory testing and quarantine are likely to remain in place. Nevertheless, according to some experts in the travel industry, the stars look very bright again for tourism in the summer.
Germans Hope for Vacation
A few weeks ago, the German federal government's tourism commissioner, Thomas Bareiß, raised hopes that normal travel might slowly but surely be possible again from Whitsun onwards. "However, I believe that by summer there will be a boom," Bareiß said. Due to the extensive government Corona aid, he does not expect a wave of bankruptcies in the travel industry. Through the vaccinations and more rapid tests, tourism could become possible again step by step. Nevertheless, for sure, 2021 will still be a crisis year. Thus, from the expert point of view, traveling rate at Easter will still be low. His hopes, therefore, lie in summer and in the second half of the year.
The tour operator TUI is also pleased about the encouraging statements of the Government Tourism Commissioner: “Our market analyses show that there is an enormous desire to be able to take a relaxed trip again after this difficult Corona period. We also see this in the evaluation of the search data on our Internet pages.”
German Tourists and Their Favorite Destinations
The president of the German Travel Association, Norbert Fiebig, makes similar predictions about a travel boom in the summer: “We will see the first demand for travel from Easter onwards. From May, we expect a greater number of trips abroad, and in the summer, the Germans' desire to travel will be great again.”
According to TUI, Germans will once again be drawn primarily to the Mediterranean region to Spain, Greece, Turkey, Cyprus or Portugal. Tokyo, New York and Bangkok are also among the top 10 most sought-after destinations as well as Mallorca, Mexico, and Greece. Those who want to travel by car will have to reckon with a lot of traffic in the direction of Austria, Italy, Croatia as well as the Baltic Sea coast or the Mecklenburg Lake District.
Nevertheless, Fiebig believes it will take a long time for the travel industry to recover: “Those who were not allowed to travel for the winter vacations will not be able to make up for it. Therefore, most of the lost lockdown revenue will not be made up for.” In fact, an analysis by the World Tourism Organization (UNTWO) found that last year’s traveling regressed to levels last seen in 1990.