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The research study “tourism analysis 2014” has been conducted by the German foundation “Stiftung für Zukunftsfragen” (an initiative of British American Tobacco). A representative sample (n= 4.000) of the German population above 14 years was survey in personal (face-to-face) interviews. The interviewees needed to evaluate statements relating to the following subjects: travel behavior 2013, domestic travel 2013, travel budget 2013, outbound travel 2013, long-haul travel 2013, length of stay 2013, travel intentions 2014 and destinations 2014. Furthermore, interviewees also assessed statements about issues such as short trips and long-haul travel in general, discount travel and sabbaticals, as a potential source for travel trends. In the course of this article, I will only address these subjects: travel intentions and destinations 2014 as well as travel trends.
Regarding travel intentions 2014, we are not facing a big surprise. Around 45 % of the respondents know for sure that they are going to travel this year. These are around 2 percentages more than last year. The fact that income influences travel intentions is also not a new phenomenon. Travel deniers are mainly represented by lower secondary school (“Hauptschule”) and retirees, however, there are decreased by 3 percentages compared to last year.
The forecasts regarding destinations also do not show big variations. Spain is defending second rank behind Germany. The only change is that Italy has overtaken Turkey. Bearing in mind the many bad news in the last months coming from Turkey, this is not coming as a big surprise. Among the long-haul destinations, an increase can be observed for Asian and American destinations. Egypt still does not recover. The younger the respondents, the more unclear the destination. This surely results not only from a higher risk affinity but also from the huge online last-minute offers that rather attract younger target groups.
Let’s now look at the travel trends. For more than 60 % of the respondents a long vacation is indispensable. However, this does not exclude (several) additional short-trips. Differences regarding short-trips can particularly be observed between long-haul and domestic travelers: 43 % (domestic) vs. 24 % (long-haul) agree to the statement “I rather travel for shorter but that way more frequently per year.” Looking at higher income levels (net income above € 3,500) the last percentage (long-haul traveler) increases again. They can afford to do both.
A further, however, alarming trend, according to this research study, is that probably every second German –independent of age- intends not to travel every year but rather to make a travel break for one year. Large differences in this context can particularly be observed with regards to income. Not surprising. At lower income levels this numbers doubles compared to higher income levels. It is assumed that lower income levels just cannot afford to travel every year and that they rather save the money one year to be able to travel the next, respectively. Nevertheless, also every third high-income earner agrees to this statement. However, it remains to be seen whether this projected “waiver” is going to become real.
If you are asking yourself how to make your destination “fit” for the future, we can assure you, there are (almost) always opportunities and potentials which are untapped. We are working with many destinations exactly in this area. Product development, new market entries or identification of new target groups, there is no “one-size-fits-all”-solution. Strategies always need to be tailored to the destination. You have questions regarding this matter? Just email us.
We are also welcoming an active exchange in the commentary section.
Have a great start into the weekend,