The Covid-19 pandemic is having an unprecedented effect on the world as we know it. One of the sectors most affected by the crisis is the travel sector, which has been counting its enormous losses in the last couple of months – including German tourism.
Tourism in developing countries is suffering in the same way that tourism is suffering in developed states. An example of the latter is Germany, whose tourism sector is struggling greatly in the last couple of months. And a question arises: what should be expected in view of the future?
According to initial estimates by the Federal Statistical Office, the number of total overnight stays fell by 40 % compared to 2019 to a record low of 299 million. This is an enormous blow for German tourism which, as the sector in general, enjoyed a steady and consistent growth until this year.
This figure is the lowest since the beginning of data collection in this regard in 1992. Losses in sales were also huge, as it is estimated that almost 40 billion euros were lost from March to December last year (more than half of all sales).
Temporary overnight bans for private travelers hit hotels, guesthouses and other accommodation providers hard. There was also a lack of business travelers and international guests. Because of the pandemic, a number of trade fairs, conferences and other events had to be cancelled.
What does the future look like for German tourism? According to the Federal Government’s Tourism Commissioner Thomas Bareiß, travelling in the next two or three months is very difficult to imagine. He added that it is unlikely that it will be possible to travel during the Easter holidays and that the summer months could bring a breakthrough, seeing as most people will likely be vaccinated by then.
Moreover, experts believe that the recovery face for the German tourism sector, as well as the global sector, will last at least until the end of 2023. In this context, travel within Europe will recover faster than overseas markets and leisure travel more than the business travel segment.
Generally, however, there is optimism among experts. Germany is still considered one of the best travel destinations worldwide and there is a great desire for carefree holidays among the population.
Moreover, when choosing a travel destination in the future, safety will play an even more important role. International surveys have shown that Germany is classified as the safest travel destination worldwide in terms of corona infection risk.
Thus, it is fair to assume that the first half of the year is set to follow similar trend as the end of 2020, but afterwards, gradual growth is expected with the prospects of reaching a full recovery of the sector in 2023.