German Outbound Travel Hit By Safety Concerns

Security issues affected German travel outbound in 2016, but 2017 should be marked by renewed growth.

While Germans continue to be among the top travellers in the world, and Europe’s largest travel market with over 85 million travellers (including 53.5 million of Germans spending a holiday of at least 5 days in 2015), first trends point to a marked slowdown last year. Details about the German outbound market will be released during ITB Berlin 2017, but first trends over German travel last year were already unveiled at the end of 2016. According to the German Federal Association of the Tourism Industry (BTW) the total number of travel days declined slightly by 0.3% to 1.67 billion. Total income from German tour operators was down by 3.5% to €26.3billion while income from travel agencies was also down by 2% to €22.9billion. The German Association of Tour Operators (DRV) found that last year’s decline was due to safety issues and the global threat of terrorism. Notably, German holidaymakers avoided Turkey – historically a top destination among Germans – Egypt, and Tunisia while city breaks in Europe were also down following heightened terror fears in Paris, Brussels, Istanbul and Nice. By contrary, strong growth was recorded to Germany, Italy and Spain. For 2017, the BTW forecasts total travel days to progress by 0.9% with countries such as Egypt and Tunisia emerging again as attractive destinations