GNTB Sees 2021 As A Year Of Transition

The German National Tourist Board (GNTB) is indicating that 2021 will be a transition year for German incoming tourism due to the Covid-19 pandemic; and expects a gradual recovery of international demand is likely to occur from 2021. Its forecast is based on currently available figures for 2020 and the analyses of different market research institutes.

Petra Hedorfer, Chairwoman of the Executive Board for the German National Tourist Board (GNTB) said: “The COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting halt for many parts of worldwide tourism are mirrored in the results of German incoming tourism for 2020. At the same time, international research confirms the radiance of the Destination Germany brand and an increasing readiness to travel of international guests. The stakeholders of the German tourism industry faced the challenges of the crisis during the lockdown phases: Across the board of the customer journey, many processes were digitalized and extensive hygiene concepts were developed. Touristic offers were adjusted to the changing needs of the customer. This will lay the ground for the recovery phase.”

As expected, German incoming tourism suffered substantial losses in 2020. According to preliminary data of the Federal Statistical Office, 32 million overnights by foreign visitors were recorded for tourist accommodations with more than ten beds and campsites, a loss of 64.4% compared to the previous year.

The European Travel Commission is seeing a continuously growing readiness to travel for the coming months in its ‘Monitoring Sentiment for Domestic and Intra-European Travel.‘

With the fourth survey wave at the beginning of December, 52% of all surveyed Europeans stated that they want to travel in the next six months, five percent more than with the third survey wave at the beginning of November. With the third survey wave, 27% of the surveyed had intentions to travel within April to June 2021, this increased to 32% with the following fourth (most recent) survey wave.

This scenario is confirmed through the forecast of the International Air Transport Association IATA. Their experts assume that the airlines’ sales worldwide after a decrease of 61% to $328 billion in 2019/20 could increase by 40% to $459 billion for 2021.

Said Hedorfer: “Despite ongoing lockdown phases and travel restrictions, there are reasons for cautious optimism. With the experiences of the previous year, we anticipate a recovery of travel from Germany and Europe especially in the summer months. Incoming tourism from overseas markets will probably recover a bit slower. We also assume that leisure travel is coming back faster than business travel – the business travel segment will be enhanced by hybrid formats in the medium term and shaped by virtual events. Based on these developments, the pre-crisis level of German incoming can be reached again by 2024. The prerequisite for market recovery still are the digital transformation, innovations and a sustainable direction for Germany tourism.”

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