German tourism: Strong increase in March bookings to Kos, Rhodes and Heraklion

Top destinations in Greece have strengthened their position as this year’s growth champions as Spanish islands start to fill up, the latest booking figures for leading destination airports on the German package holiday market showed.

Kos, Rhodes and Heraklion all registered strong double-digit growth in March as Palma and the Canaries weakened and Antalya reduced its year-on-year decline, figures from leading reservations provider Traveltainment showed.

Kos showed the strongest growth in March with bookings doubling, after a 76% rise in February and a similar 101% boom in January. Rhodes was up by 61% last month, following on from a 30% increase in February and 44% in January. Crete’s main airport, Heraklion, grew by 39% last month, after 31% in February and 36% in January. These figures left Heraklion in 5th place, Rhodes in 8th place and Kos 9th in the top ten ranking.

Demand has clearly flattened off for Majorca, although it remains by far the most popular destination for German package holidaymakers, suggesting that capacity is filling up rapidly. Bookings to Palma were down by 5% last month, 16% weaker in February and 12% lower in January.

Similarly, the Canary Islands again had weaker bookings last month. Fuerteventura was down by 2% (after a 6% fall in February and -11% in January). Las Palmas had a 1% drop (after -6% in February and -8% in January), and Tenerife South was down by 4% (following a 14% fall the previous month and an 8% decline in January).

However, there are signs of hope for Turkey. After several months of heavy year-on-year declines, the fall in bookings to Antalya was reduced to single digits in the last two months with a 9% drop last month and a 7% fall in February. The Turkish Riviera gateway remains the second-largest destination airport on the German market.

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