After almost three years of the corona pandemic, Germans are being pushed to holiday destinations. A study assumes that 2023 could even become a record travel year.
Despite high energy prices and high inflation, 2023 could be a record travel year for Germans. According to the 39th tourism analysis published in Hamburg on Tuesday by the BAT Foundation for Future Issues, 60 percent of people in Germany have already planned a holiday trip of at least five days.
Only 20 percent are already sure not to travel this year, another 20 percent are still undecided. The travel frequency in 2023 should therefore be at least at the pre-corona level – if not even higher, according to the study. For the study, the GfK institute surveyed 3,000 women and men aged between 18 and 74 online in December 2022 and January 2023.
The number of bookings is increasing again
According to the latest data from the analysis company TDA, people in Germany are very keen to travel. Accordingly, December 2022 was an exceptionally strong booking month for travel agencies and classic online travel portals. The summer season 2023 now shows a sales increase of 44 percent compared to the previous year, the gap to the pre-corona summer 2019 is continuing to melt. The 2022/23 winter season has already reached 85 percent of its pre-Corona level.
According to the BAT study, there have been some shifts in travel destinations compared to previous years, which were characterized by corona restrictions. Germany remains by far the most popular holiday country – 28 percent of those willing to travel wanted to vacation between the local coasts and mountains – but the local travel market is losing shares. According to the study, the Mediterranean countries will benefit from this, in particular Spain and Italy, “which can already prepare for numerous guests”. Austria, on the other hand, must be careful not to lose touch. In general, there is great interest in long-distance travel – as long as it is affordable.
Tendency to take longer vacations
The boost in holiday travel was already apparent last year. According to the survey, a total of 58 percent of people in Germany took at least a five-day vacation trip in 2022 – after 37 and 49 percent respectively in the Corona years 2020 and 2021. With an average of 13 days, Germans also stayed almost two days longer at the vacation spot than in the year before. A similarly high value was last reached in the early 2000s. The penchant for longer vacations ran through all travel destinations. The average length of stay for domestic holidays climbed from 8.6 to 9.1 days, for holidays in other European countries from 12.8 to 13.9 days and for long-distance trips from 19.3 to 21 days, according to the study.
Around 40 percent of people in Germany stayed in their own country for their holidays in 2022. That is around ten percentage points less than in 2021, but still significantly more than about 10 or 20 years ago with 33 or 37 percent. Most preferred the north or south of the country. “More than every fourth traveler stated that they had spent their vacation on the North Sea or Baltic Sea coast, while every fifth vacationer spent the best time of the year in the state of Bavaria,” says the study. The most popular federal states were Bavaria, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Schleswig-Holstein, Lower Saxony and Baden-Württemberg – although only Schleswig-Holstein was able to maintain its level of visitors.
Austria was the loser of the giant season 2022
Without travel bans and with significantly fewer Corona requirements, the Germans made more and more trips to other European countries. According to the information, they traveled particularly frequently to Spain (8.2 percent), Italy (6.5 percent) and Turkey (5.3 percent). The loser of the 2022 travel season was Austria. Compared to the pre-Corona year 2019 (4.2 percent) and the pandemic years 2020 and 2021 (5.7 percent and 3.3 percent respectively), the proportion of German vacationers in the Alpine Republic last year was 2.8 percent dropped. “For the first time, more Germans spent their main vacation in the Benelux countries (3.0 percent) than in Austria,” says the analysis.
Long-distance travel made a comeback after most corona restrictions were lifted. According to the information, 13 percent of sun-seekers opted for such a trip – the third highest value since reunification. The most popular regions were North America, North Africa and the Far East.
Vacationers also let their holidays cost something. According to the analysis, every German citizen spent more than 1350 euros on their main vacation last year – 250 euros more than in 2021 and an all-time high. This was due to the length of stay, but also to increasing daily costs, which rose from an average of 98 to 106 euros in 2022 compared to the previous year. “Never in the history of tourism analysis – that is, in 39 years – has more money been spent on travel than last year,” said the scientific director of the foundation, Prof. Ulrich Reinhardt. (dpa)