German tourism report: Greece among favored destinations in 2016 season

Many German consumers, especially families, are starting to re-examine their holiday plans for next year following the terror attacks in Paris, and 20% might switch destinations, according to an exclusive GfK survey for fvw.

German travellers are considering switching away from Muslim destinations such as Egypt and Turkey in favour of countries like Spain and Greece, the representative survey of 1,011 consumers between November 17 and 24 by the renowned market research company found.

In response to the question ‘How probable is it that your personal travel behaviour will change after the attacks in Paris?20% said they would change their planning while 17% are undecided. However, 42% said they saw no reason to change their holiday preferences or planned destinations.

Families more sensitive

Families are responding particularly sensitively to risks about their holidays, the survey showed. At 30%, the percentage of families who will “definitely change” their travel behaviour is particularly high.

GfK also surveyed German consumers about their views or plans for specific destinations: Egypt, France, Greece, Spain, Turkey, the UAE, the USA and the Caribbean.

The clear loser was Egypt, most likely due to increased concerns following the crash of the Russian charter plane over the Sinai Peninsula on October 30, which has been widely blamed on a bomb smuggled aboard by Islamic terrorists. A figure of 22% of Germans said they would definitely change their behaviour regarding the country, while only 18% would travel there regardless of the incident.

Rejection rate for Turkey

Asked about Turkey, 18% would consider not travelling to the destination but 29% would not let themselves be influenced by recent events such as the shooting down of a Russian fighter jet and the subsequent travel ban imposed by Moscow. The UAE also had a relatively high ‘rejection rate’ of 16%.

In contrast, other destinations scored better. Only between 8% and 10% of Germans would not travel to Greece, Spain, the USA or the Caribbean as a result of the Paris terror attacks. These destinations also have higher figures for people who would not be influenced in their travel plans, led by Spain with 50%, Greece with 39% and the Caribbean with 27%.

These trends were even stronger among German families. Asked about their planning in terms of destinations, 26% said they would not travel to Egypt and 21% would re-think a holiday in Turkey. In contrast, only 13% would considering not travelling to Spain.

Trend confirmation

The survey results confirm a trend seen by tour operators since the summer. Bookings have been generally slow, both for the winter and next summer, with the exception of cruises and long-haul holidays. After an upturn in October, new bookings have been below last year’s levels and some tour operator managers admit to double-digit falls. Demand for Egypt, Turkey and Greece in particular has been weak, according to industry sources.

The survey results will be published in German in the latest issue of fvw (December 4) and on fvw.de in the new ‘fvw analyst’ section.

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