March 2, 2023

German Travel Association DRV reveals top destinations and trends

The umbrella association for Germany’s travel industry tells ITB Berlin News about recent changes to the tourism sector in an exclusive interview.

“Travel is back! The 2022 summer season is proof of that,” says Norbert Fiebig, President German Travel Association – Deutscher Reiseverband (DRV). The expert travel professional said big favourites have remained popular when it comes to tourism destinations, while the pandemic has shone a light on areas such as safety and flexibility. In an exclusive interview with ITB Berlin 2023, we get the latest from Mr Fiebig on Germany’s outbound travel industry.

Tell us about Germany’s travel industry today…
Travel enriches our lives and will continue to do so in the future, so this is good news. More importantly, these developments are vital for the many destinations and their inhabitants that are economically very dependent on tourism. Germans’ desire to travel after the long period of restrictions imposed by Coronavirus has rebounded – one could almost say it’s unbroken.
We have noticed that the big favourites among holiday destinations have remained popular: Countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea such as Spain, Greece and Turkey are particularly in demand when viewing the summer season.

What changes have you seen post Covid-19?
The pandemic has highlighted aspects such as safety and flexibility. These have gained great relevance. This will certainly be an advantage to tour operators providing package tours and travel agencies offering professional consultation. Organised travel guarantees the safest form of travel. This is a highly relevant fact, since professionally organised travel is increasingly competing with self-organised travel.
Another trend that appears to be here to stay is The Flexible Option, enabling the traveller to rebook or cancel a booking. This is an option that many customers appreciate and don’t want to miss.
Thirdly, what we are noticing from high inflation rates and economic uncertainty is that price sensitivity among customers with low and medium incomes has increased recognisably. All-inclusive packages offer financial predictability and are therefore increasingly in demand.

How is the travel industry fighting back in 2023?
Despite the difficult political situation our world is facing and the many economic uncertainties, the travel industry has seen a promising 2023. Bookings are consistently above pre-corona level week after week. Customers are confident – bookings are being made at an earlier stage again.

What comes next?
All in all, we are optimistic when analysing the data for the current year. However, one major challenge remains. We have to focus our attention and commitment to solve the challenges linked to climate change and search for sustainable solutions. We must reduce the carbon footprint across the entire travel chain and supply our customers with information with reference to the ecological impact of specific travel offers. Through concerted action of all parties involved, we will be able to overcome the challenges we are facing.
There can be no question: the world benefits from travel in a great way. Our industry and the products we have on offer enrich all our lives. We will do our utmost to keep it that way.

Many actors, one common goal:
The sector dialogue on tourism for sustainable development
Thursday, 9 March 2023, 5:45 – 5:56 pm
Hall 7.1a Orange Stage

Voice of the German travel industry

As a top-level association, the DRV represents the travel industry in Germany. As a leading lobby, it safeguards the interests of tour operators and travel agents in particular. DRV is supported by a significant economic strength: its members represent the largest part of the turnover on the tour operator and travel agent market.
Several thousand member companies, including many tourism service providers, turn DRV into a strong community which pools many different interests – driven by the idea “The voice of the travel industry.”

What are the benefits?
The DRV is responsible for lobbying vis a vis politicians, the business community and the public. It also offers crisis and security management for the tourism industry, both for Germany and its partners abroad. The group supports the digital transformation, and is committed to developing industry standards for business processes. It also benefits from the advice and support of its members and has a commitment to securing specialists when necessary.

Hall 25, Stand 318