German travel industry expects higher revenues, fewer travellers in 2024

(Reuters) – Sustained demand will boost revenues for the German travel industry this year, but the number of travellers is likely to be lower than in 2023 as people respond to inflation, German travel body DRV said on Thursday.

Revenues for holiday and private travel booked through tour operators and individually and with at least one overnight stay are expected to grow by 4% compared to the previous year.

DRV figures are based on a tourism year that runs from November 2023 to Oct. 31 2024.

DRV said inflation, especially for fuel, heating and food, was likely to mean a slight decline in the number of people travelling with tour operators this year, although it did not specify numbers.

For the last tourism year 2022-2023, this number was still 15% lower than before the COVID-19 pandemic.

DRV expected people to focus their travel on one or two main vacation trips in summer months rather than in winter and said it was not clear how an increase in air traffic tax planned by the German government would affect prices and thus demand.

Advance bookings for tour operators for the 2024 summer season are already significantly higher than in the last tourism year and the pre-pandemic year of 2019, DRV said.

It also anticipated a boost from revenues from medium haul trips, including to Turkey and Greece, and that long-haul destinations would see more passengers paying higher fares.

“Long-distance travel in particular will experience a noticeable upswing,” DRV President Norbert Fiebig said in a statement.

The DRV expects long-distance travel to destinations such as Australia, Indonesia, Thailand and the United States will attract an 11% increase in travellers and a 18% rise in sales in the half year, including summer travel.

($1 = 0.9135 euros)

(Reporing by Klaus Lauer, Writing by Linda Pasquini; editing by Barbara Lewis)