The war in Ukraine and a cost-of-living crisis are not spoiling German consumers’ appetite for a holiday, travel industry body DRV said on Monday, forecasting a return this year to the record sales seen before the COVID-19 pandemic.
The year got off to a strong start, with revenue for travel agents and online booking platforms doubling year-on-year in January and up 12% compared with the same month in 2019, the DRV said. “Overall, vacationing has a high priority for people. This gives us optimism despite the known uncertainties of geopolitical and economic developments,” DRV President Norbert Fiebig said in comments to mark the opening of the ITB travel fair in Berlin.
Fiebig said he expects revenue this year to return to the record high seen in 2019, when consumers spent 98 billion euros ($104.29 billion) on vacations – 69.5 billion euros of which on booked trips and the rest on excursions and other items at their destination. The German travel industry already came close to that level in 2021, when sales totalled 84 billion euros, almost double that of 2020, according to the DRV.
The ITB, one of the world’s leading tourism fairs, is itself staging a comeback this year as an in-person event after a three-year break due to the pandemic. Some 5,500 exhibitors are attending the event from 161 countries.
Russia will not be attending this year’s ITB due to sanctions imposed by the West over its invasion of Ukraine. Iran is also not present. ($1 = 0.9397 euros)
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