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18.03.2009

RDA at ITB 2009, F.U.R results and official support

The Tourism Workgroup of the CDU/CSU at the RDA stand.

The ITB in Berlin is the largest travel trade show worldwide – with more than 11,000 exhibitors from 187 countries. This year it took place from 10th to 15th March 2009. The ITB Berlin has always been considered a valuable information and lobbying platform for the RDA on behalf of both its members and all involved in the coach tourism sector. RDA CEO Dieter Gauf, for instance, made presentations at the RDA ITB stand to a group of German MPs from the FDP (German Federal Democratic Party) Tourism Workgroup under the chair of Mr. Ernst Burgbacher, MP, and a delegation of the Tourism Committee of the German Parliament.

The first results of the 39th F.U.R Travel Analysis 2009 presented at the first day of ITB 2009 indicates that some 49.4 million of 64.9 million Germans over 14 years of age in 2008 undertook at least one holiday of over five days duration – almost one million more than in 2007. Coach travel clearly positioned itself in 2008 and was able to maintain its market share of 9 % of the total holiday travel market. Travel intensity was 76.2 % slightly up on 2007 (74.8 %).

31 % of all Germans’ holidays in 2008 were taken in Germany, 69 % abroad. Bavaria was most popular domestic German holiday destination, followed by the states of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Schleswig-Holstein, Niedersachsen and Baden-Wuerttemberg. The ranking of German holiday destinations abroad also remained quite stable with Spain still out on top. Italy and Austria have remained stable while Turkey has displayed in increase in popularity. German visitors to Great Britain totalled around 3.3 million, to the USA 1.78 million, to Ireland 475,000, to Canada 308,000, to South Africa ca. 200,000, to Malta 150,000, to Australia ca. 160,000 and to New Zealand 60,000.

Annual holidays still rank number one with Germans when it comes to their consumer spending priorities, followed by accommodation and health expenses. Germans spent some EURO 61.5 billion on holidays abroad in 2008, up from EURO 60.6 billion in 2007. This places Germany at the very top of the world travel league table once again. German tour operators increased their turnover by 5.5 % to EURO 21.4 billion in 2008.

Mr. Klaus Laepple, Chairperson of the BTW Federation of German Tourism Industry stated at ITB that it was still too early for him to make a prognosis for 2009 given the current economic circumstances. Over the past month tour operator and travel agency bookings have, however, quickened for this coming summer. Germans are apparently still sitting on packed suitcases and ready to go. All-inclusive offers, in particular, are displaying strong demand. In this way holidaymakers can calculate exactly what their holidays are going to cost and budget accordingly.

The duration of Germans’ holidays and travel budgets have, however, changed in the meantime. Whereas in 1998 the average holiday lasted 13.9 days, in 2008 this had been reduced to 12.5 days. Budgets over the same period have, however, risen from EURO 53 per day and per person in 1998 to 68 EURO per day and per person on average in 2008.

RDA President Richard Eberhardt stated at ITB that it was important to highlight the high attractiveness of coach holidays exactly at the time of year when holiday bookings were being made. This could be achieved with innovative offers to popular destinations and with themed tours which fit holidaymakers’ lifestyles and aspirations. This is why coach holidays have consistently maintained their market share over the past decade despite difficult circumstances and increased competition from low-cost carriers.

RDA President Richard Eberhardt received some very welcome support on the opening day of ITB 2009 in the German press (e.g. title feature in the Berliner Zeitung on 10th March 2009) from the Head of the German Federal Department of the Environment, Mr. Andreas Troge. Mr. Troge recommended that German holidaymakers’ travel either by bicycle or by coach in order to protect the climate and the environment.

Mr. Troge stated that, according to the German Federal Department of the Environment findings, coach travel is the mode of motorised transport least harmful to our climate. Holiday coaches, according to Mr. Troge’s calculations, consumed per person and per 100 kilometres driven only 1.4 litres of fuel. “That is even far less than rail travel.” stated Mr. Troge. Private cars, on the other hand, consumed 6.2 litres. This is a very important environmental message and sales argument which the RDA has been communicating for several years now, one that has finally come home to roost!

Further information: www.fur.de (also in English).

Contact

Annette Heinemann
Phone: +49 2244 90 33 33
Facsimile: +49 2244 87 74 22
E-mail: presse@rda.de

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