Balearic Islands overtake Greece in German tourist bookings in March

On March 14, Germany removed the Balearic Islands from the list of risk areas for COVID-19. This lifting of the travel warning caused the islands to advance in Greece in tourism package bookings by German tourists in March, according to Amadeus data that Turespaña collects in its outlook report for the second quarter. Remember that Greece is still on the blacklist of the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) of virology. After German TUI customers dropped Mallorca to second place in their preference after Crete, the fact that the Balearic Islands have overtaken their Greek competitor is good news, even if the bells cannot be lifted on the fly : last month’s reservations, Turkey is in the lead, with 30%. By country, it is followed by Spain (28%), Egypt (17%) and Greece (10%), according to this report.

Regarding arrivals by airports, Antalya (Turkey) leads the ranking followed by Palma de Mallorca (21% share) and Hurgada (Egypt) with 18%.

Regarding the air capacity forecasts, according to OAG data, for the period from April 1 to October 30, 2021, and still subject to possible changes in the schedule of the companies given the volatility of the situation, it was foreseen 7,416,938 seats from Germany to Spain, which triples the amount provided for the same dates of the previous year, and It represents 65% of the capacities that were planned for the same dates in 2019.

For this period, Palma de Mallorca airport leads the capacity, with 3.1 million seats, followed by Barcelona, ​​with 930,096, Madrid, with 504,909 and Fuerteventura, with 389,613.

By airline, Spain’s capacity is dominated by Eurowings, with 1,774,434 seats, Ryanair with 1,255,059, Lufthansa with 1,208,999 and Condor, with 1,103,470.

Recovery

When will the recovery in demand for the German issuer start to be felt? According to the Turespaña report, those travelers who maintain their preference for Spain, Mallorca preferably in summer and Canary Islands in winter, they would resume travel from June, and they would gradually increase them in the following months.

Parma de Mallorca promotional image. Photo: TUI.

An “explosive reopening that would go against the planned containment de-escalation measures” is however excluded.

Despite this reactivation of activity for the start of the season, the report specifies that it will be “complicated” for the best weeks of summer 2021 to reach 50% of what was 2019.

In this sense, he points out that the demand more individual products, more self-catering accommodation, more outdoor or self-catering holidays with the rental of cars, for example, or the use of bicycles, or the rediscovery of rural or interior tourism for families, “must be understood in this context of low volume although these are trends that arouse the ‘interest “.

Tendencies

Although according to the document, four out of five Germans (80%) have already thought about going on vacation in 2021indicating that they remain an indispensable component of the quality of life of these citizens, whether and how they will travel will largely depend on the evolution of the pandemic and the success of the measures taken to combat it.

Thus, after being questioned about their travel plans, Germans are much less likely than before the health crisis to consider traveling by plane or taking a long-distance trip this year, while the most popular destinations are those close to those that it is preferable to borrow. accessible by car and in the most individual way possible, avoiding crowds

In this situation, the traditional advance booking pattern of the German market has been broken and now the tourist has a very high need for information and expects flexibility and good will from service providers (TTOO, airlines and hotels), while security remains a key factor.

Market niches to explore

The report points out that the latest surveys in Germany on the image of destinations, the image of Spain is still very conditioned by the weather and the beach, followed at some distance by the “beautiful landscape” factor, but it is far behind in terms of uniqueness and above all as a sustainable, natural and sporting destination.

“These factors will be decisive in the post-pandemic phase and even more important for designing promotional actions in this market and distinguishing ourselves from our competitors,” defends the document.

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