Tourism: How the summer vacation becomes cheaper

Status: 04/30/2022 06:25 a.m

If you are planning your holiday now, you should not hesitate too long: Tour operators are expecting strong summer business – and prices are rising. In which countries are there still bargains?

By Notker Blechner, tagesschau.de

The Easter travel wave has already given a small foretaste of the coming summer season. Long queues formed at some airports. Travelers sometimes needed a lot of time and patience to get their flights. Many people accept long waiting times at check-in without much grumbling. Because after two years of the corona pandemic with constantly new travel restrictions, the topic of vacation obviously arouses great longing. “Many people just want to get out and will not save on vacation,” says TUI airline manager Oliver Lackmann.

Jürgen Fiebig, President of the German Travel Association (DRV), expects a “really good summer”. The demand for package tours is increasing. In February and March, the number of new bookings in a weekly comparison was constantly above that of 2019, i.e. before the start of the corona pandemic; Booking turnover for the summer is currently around 30 percent below the pre-Corona level. “We are currently expecting the number of bookings to continue to rise and are optimistic that we can reach the booking volume of summer 2019,” said the DRV when asked.

“Strong pent-up demand” among customers

Most German tour operators are happy about good business. “We expect a strong summer,” said TUI boss Friedrich Joussen. “Our customers have a lot of catching up to do,” adds Germany boss Stefan Baumert. Due to the high demand, TUI started the Mallorca travel season a few weeks earlier than usual.

The mood at FTI Touristik is similarly good. “Incoming bookings are good for the entire period from the Easter holidays until autumn, many times better than expected and in popular destinations exceed the pre-Corona figures for 2019,” said CEO Ralph Schiller tagesschau.de.

Many Germans are going abroad again this summer and also to places outside of Europe. In the past two years, most German vacationers had not traveled abroad and vacationed at home between Garmisch and Rügen.

Mediterranean countries are in great demand

According to tour operators, Spain, Greece and Turkey are particularly popular this summer. TUI Germany boss Baumert also predicts a revival of the classic long-haul destinations such as Thailand, Dominican Republic, Cuba and the USA.

However, some holiday destinations are already so fully booked that there are hardly any places left. Especially in some Spanish and Greek regions it is almost impossible to find free hotels in the main travel season. Those who want to travel should therefore book their summer vacation as early as possible.

Early booking is worthwhile

Because the longer they hesitate, the more expensive it could become. Due to the rising energy prices, it can be assumed that flight prices will increase in the course of the year. Lufthansa has already announced rising ticket prices. In the future, “Flying will be more expensive,” Condor boss Ralf Teckentrup recently announced in a newspaper interview.

Rental car prices have also exploded. In Spain, travelers had to pay twice as much for a rental car at Easter as in the previous year. This is partly due to the fact that the number of rental cars worldwide has shrunk by around a fifth. In some holiday regions the shortage is even greater.

Travel more than eleven percent more expensive

Overnight stays in hotels and holiday apartments have also become more expensive. According to the Internet portal “Check24”, holiday apartments in Germany cost an average of twelve percent more in the main travel season from June to August. On average, hotel prices are even 16 percent higher. All of this means less money in the holiday budget. According to figures from the Federal Statistical Office, travelers paid an average of 11.5 percent more in March than in the same month last year.

It is therefore advisable for those who are inflexible in their travel period to book a package holiday. Here the price level is still relatively stable. Tour operators such as TUI signed contracts for flights and hotels early on. They are therefore largely spared from the increased fuel prices for the time being.

Countries with a weak currency

If you don’t want a package tour, you should make sure to save in as many places as possible – as far as possible. So there are still some bargains on small travel portals. “Blind booking” is particularly cheap: holidaymakers leave the travel destination to chance and only find out where they are going shortly before departure. As a rule, the journey is then significantly cheaper.

You can also save a lot of money by flying to countries where the currency has depreciated significantly compared to the euro. The Federal Statistical Office has drawn up a list for this. Accordingly, the travel countries Turkey, Mexico, Dominican Republic and Maldives are currently the cheapest. In Turkey, overnight stays and meals cost a third less than in Germany.