German wanderlust on the wane?

11th February 2004, Comments 0 comments

11 February 2004 , HAMBURG - Are Germans losing their wanderlust? A study Wednesday suggests the self-acclaimed world champions in travel are becoming less eager to venture too far off the beaten track. Only 42 percent of Germans intend this year to travel - the lowest level for 13 years, according to the BAT leisure research institute. Last year more German were content to while away their holidays in the bracing seaside air of the Baltic coast than seek sunnier climes outside Europe. And one in five inte

11 February 2004

HAMBURG - Are Germans losing their wanderlust?

A study Wednesday suggests the self-acclaimed world champions in travel are becoming less eager to venture too far off the beaten track.

Only 42 percent of Germans intend this year to travel - the lowest level for 13 years, according to the BAT leisure research institute.

Last year more German were content to while away their holidays in the bracing seaside air of the Baltic coast than seek sunnier climes outside Europe.

And one in five intend to spend their holidays in Germany this year rather than book a vacation abroad.

Horst W. Opaschowski, head of the BAT institute, said in presenting the study at the opening of the Hamburg trade fair Travel 2004, that economics rather than global emergencies was behind the new stay-at-home mentality.

"A lot of people have their bags packed ready for a holiday but at the same time are having to tighten their belts," he said.

Not only are more Germans studying domestic holiday destinations, they are shortening the time spent on vacations and booking much later.

But Germans, who have traditionally topped league tables in travel, won't be vacating the best poolside spots in the Mediterranean just yet.

Spain continues to be the foreign place to be for most Germans holidaymakers, with Greece and the Turkish riviera remaining popular.

And despite the survey, the tourist branch remains optimistic for the coming year.

A forecast by Dresdner Bank predicts German spending on foreign holidays will rise by 5 percent this year to EUR 55 billion.

"Holidays remain of the most important consumer spending items for Germans. It's no longer possible to imagine it not being part of the annual household budget," said Italo Somarriello, president of the organization of foreign tourist boards in Germany.

Surveys last year had shown the number of German holidaymakers travelling abroad significantly lower than previous years, largely as a result of the war in Iraq, the deadly SARS virus and the weak economy.

But despite a move towards home-based holidays, German airports proved busier than ever last.

Figures released Wednesday by the Federal Statistical Office showed 120.8 million passengers used German airports in 2003, an increase of 4 percent over the previous year and higher than the previous record in 2000.

In 2001 and 2002 passenger numbers fell, largely as a result of the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks in the United States.

DPA
Subject: German news 

 

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