On-going growth within travel and tourism in Germany in 2012
All in all, given unfavourable circumstances like the European debt crisis as well as recession and weak economic development in many other countries important for the German national economy, economic development in Germany and within travel and tourism was excellent in 2012, with small to considerable growth being recorded in most areas.
On the one hand, most Germans remain rather optimistic and annual holidays are one of the last areas where significant cuts are made during more difficult times anyway. On the other hand, Germany also increased in popularity as a destination both for business and leisure trips, mainly due to an excellent infrastructure and the offering of good value-for-money.
Growing importance of internet and social media
When comparing offline and online value sales across the board in all major areas like car rental, transportation, accommodation and travel retail, online sales continue to grow strongly (albeit not as fast as earlier in the review period), whereas offline sales are declining in many areas.
Similarly, social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube continue to become more and more important for travel and tourism. The same is true for mobile booking services, which recorded strong growth rates, albeit from very low sales levels. Further significant growth in these areas is expected over the forecast period.
Prices under pressure due to competition and price-sensitive customers
Due to extensive competition (with overcapacity in many areas) as well as price-sensitive German consumers (especially in comparison with other Western-European countries), prices for most products and services remained under pressure towards the end of the review period.
Average hotel prices in Germany did not decline significantly when VAT on accommodation was reduced from 19% to 7% at the beginning of 2010. Most companies instead used better margins to invest in renovation and other improvements which had not been possible before.
Further consolidation expected in most competitive areas
In line with this strong competition, which puts pressure on all players but especially smaller independent ones or those with only one or a small number of outlets, it is expected that the consolidation process, which has been taking place in Germany for many years, will continue throughout the forecast period.
Good opportunities for further growth over forecast period
Overall, and in light of current favourable development, according to most industry experts further growth is quite likely within travel and tourism in Germany since the country has considerable strengths (eg good value-for-money travel and tourism products and services and a first-rate historical and cultural heritage) as well as opportunities (eg sales increasing from a relatively low level, further investment in tourism infrastructure already scheduled).
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The Travel and Tourism in Germany market research report includes:
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