German travel sector forecasts growth

8th March 2004, Comments 0 comments

8 March 2004, BERLIN - Germany's travel industry, hard hit by a slumping economy and terrorism worries, now sees signs of a modest recovery this year, with a strong euro helping to whet' Germans' appetites for foreign destinations again, industry executives said Monday. Previewing the International Tourism Fair ITB in Berlin, one of the world’s biggest travel fairs, executives said they were turning optimistic, with turnover in the branch seen rising by 3 to 5 percent in 2004. "The tourism engine is runnin

8 March 2004

BERLIN - Germany's travel industry, hard hit by a slumping economy and terrorism worries, now sees signs of a modest recovery this year, with a strong euro helping to whet' Germans' appetites for foreign destinations again, industry executives said Monday.

Previewing the International Tourism Fair ITB in Berlin, one of the world’s biggest travel fairs, executives said they were turning optimistic, with turnover in the branch seen rising by 3 to 5 percent in 2004.

"The tourism engine is running again," commented Klaus Laepple, head of the German tour operators federation DRV.

"The year 2004 is going to be one for long-distance trips," he added, citing the strong euro and some pent-up travel needs by Germans. He said the United States, Canada, the Caribbean, Mexico and parts of Southeast Asia topped the list of faraway destinations.

"The catalogue prices for these regions have been lowered by up to 20 percent, and in some cases by even more," Laepple noted.

As to destinations closer to Germany, he said that Egypt, Turkey and the Mediterranean island of Mallorca were among the favourites.

Tilo Braune, president of the German tourism industry federation DTV, noted that amid the overall downturn the past few years, Germans had increased their travel inside their own country.

Last year, overnight stays in Germany increased three percent to 339 million, by DTV statistics.

The hopes for an upturn this year come atop two years of decline in the German travel sector. In 2003, by DRV statistics, package tour turnover fell 6 percent to EUR 15.3 billion, while airline travel revenues fell 8 per cent.

Berlin Fair director Christian Goeke, previewing the ITB which runs 12 to 16 March, said more than 10,000 exhibitors from 178 countries will be participating this year. It is only the second time in the 38-year history that participation has topped 10,000.

DPA
Subject: German news 

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