Winter Holiday Sales Surge As Summer Bookings Stagnate

Germans snapped up early winter holiday offers in May but summer sales tailed off, according to new figures.

Travel agencies in Germany increased their overall holiday sales by 4% in May after an 8% decline in April, the latest representative sales analysis of 1,500 agencies by market researchers GfK found.

Bookings for summer 2017 stagnated at last year’s levels in May after mostly good increases in recent months. This left the underlying cumulative growth for this summer at +3%, the same level as in April.

In terms of departure months, July (+4.6%) and September (+8.8%) both have solid increases but August was 3.2% lower. May sales closed with a 13.8% fall but bookings for June were up by 20.6% due to this year’s later spring holidays in parts of the country.

There was a boom in early bookings of winter 2017/18 holidays last month. Sales revenues for holidays next winter soared by 21% compared to May 2016, and accounted for a quarter of total sales revenues last month.

The key factor in this surge, according to GfK, is the continuing policy of leading tour operators to open up their winter programmes for travel agency bookings ahead of their official brochure presentations and earlier than in previous years.

This year’s rising sales after stagnating business in 2016 has improved the mood and expectations in German travel agencies, according to the latest monthly ‘fvw sales climate index’. Nearly 40% of participating travel agencies expect improving demand in the next 6 months, which is 10 percentage points higher than last month.

Source:, 22 June 2017

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