The German Market

Tour operators in Germany are optimistic about higher sales in 2018, with many predicting revenue growths of more than 5%, as the survey found.

After relatively low market growth of about 2% in 2017, according to GFK estimates, German tour operators believe business will pick up more strongly in 2018.

Nearly all tour operators surveyed by FVW expect higher sales in 2018, with specialist tour operators particularly optimistic. Out of the 30 companies who provided figures and forecasts, nearly half expect revenues to increase by more than 5% in 2018, while a third is planning growth of 2-5%. Only a handful of the trade expect lower or negative growth.

However, German tour operators are also realistic about the potential risks for business in 2018, including political uncertainties in major destinations, the risk of terror attacks, the impact of ‘over tourism’ in some crowded destinations, and the consequences of turbulence in the aviation sector.

Market & Consumer Trends & Profile

a) The German Traveler Profile

German travelers are well-educated: 48% German travelers and 57% of German business travelers have a university/bachelor’s degree. Nearly 40% of travelers and 59% of business travelers have a higher academic degree. That means that German people enjoy a high standard of living and a high proportion of the disposable income is available for holidays.

Main season: Main season
July, August, during vacation time July, August
in Easter and in autumn
Information source: Information source:
Internet, friends & family, travel Internet, friends & family, travel
agencies, guidebooks agencies, guidebooks
Booking channel: Booking channel:
34 % travel agency travel agency
Travel motivations: Travel motivations:


Sun & beach, time with family, Leisure, VFR, business
recreation, nature, adventure,
Factors to Consider Factors to Consider
- Safety and security - Safety and security
- Value for money - Value for money
- World class nature - World class nature
-   Aquatic and coastal experiences -   Aquatic and coastal experiences
-   Good food and wine -   Good food and wine
- Friendly people - Friendly people
  • The USA is still the most popular country for German travelers regarding oversees destinations. It is followed by Asian countries (Thailand and China) and the Caribbean islands. The tendencies for destination preferences stayed quite stable during the last few years.
  • As regards European destinations, Spain was the top destination in 2017 for Germans for their main holidays. Italy (incl. South Tyrol) followed closely ahead of Greece and Austria. Greece experienced a noticeable upswing compared to 2016 and replaced Turkey.
  • Older target groups tend to take longer holidays especially in the 60+ group. However, men spend longer trips than women.

b) Current Consumer Trends 

1) Luxury travel continues to grow

International luxury trips were defined as all outbound short trips of up to three nights with a spending of more than 750 euros per night as well as all outbound long trips of four nights and more and a spending of more than 500 euros per night.

Luxury travel is booming: high-price trips grew nearly twice as much as global travel did in general over the past years. More and more holidaymakers are spending heavily on the best weeks of the year. With an increase of around 18% since 2014, luxury travel has grown nearly twice as much as international travel in general, which grew by about 9% since 2014. This is the result of a special evaluation of the World Travel Monitor®, conducted by IPK International and commissioned by ITB Berlin.

Holidays abroad together with trips to visit friends and family and other leisure trips represent the dominant share of all luxury trips with nearly 75%, while business trips

account for every fourth trip. The most popular types of luxury holidays are city trips with a share of 29%, followed by touring holidays as well as “sun & beach holidays”.

2) Relaxing vacation

In a 17-country online survey conducted by GFK, well over half (59%) of people say they prefer a vacation “where I relax and take it easy”. This compares to just over a third (35%) who prefer “an active vacation where I do or see lots of things”. Only six percent are not sure which type they prefer.

Men are potentially slightly lazier in their holiday choice than women – standing at 60% of men preferring a relaxing vacation, compared to 58% of women. But for active holidays, men and women stand neck to neck at 35% each.

3) Ever-connected traveler

There are many reasons for needing to be connected when away from home. One is because the internet allows travelers to research the destination, find good restaurants or the opening hours of the local museum. Another is the need to stay in touch with friends and family at home – the postcard is in danger of becoming a museum piece as travelers text or post online their ‘wish you were here’ messages and photos of activities, new friends and exotic meals while harvesting new Likes and Shares.

Unsurprisingly, travelers see it as essential that they are able to connect to the internet while traveling, with free Wi-Fi being seen as a basic need. They feel they would be lost without their smartphones and worry about technology failing or batteries running out of charge.

4) Big digital campaigns impacting tourism 

  1. Immersive video: In 2015, both Facebook and YouTube introduced 360-degree videos, leading many tourism destinations to experiment with the medium. The benefits are obvious. If done well, 360-degree videos enable viewers to immerse themselves in a destination as well as specific activities or events, generating much higher engagement than standard video.
  2. Slick UX and design: While most other types of travel-related websites rely on bookings, focusing on avoiding abandoned user journeys and so on, tourist board sites have the luxury to concentrate on beautifully designed and informative content.
  3. Food Tourism: Another element that tourism boards are increasingly focusing on is food. Gastronomy is a huge motivation for travelers around the world – the AAA found that an estimated 22 million Americans will take a culinary-focused holiday in the next 12 months, while 75% feel that food is an integral part of their trip. It’s not just about recommending local restaurants either. Content relating to tasting experiences, food markets, and regional produce can all be effective for engaging foodies – all the while helping to boost local businesses.
  4. Instagram: It is unsurprising that most tourism sites have a very strong presence on Instagram – it’s a trend that’s seen across the entire travel industry. However, it is a great way for tourism boards in particular to establish themselves as a standout brand, using the platform to increase visibility and awareness. Whereas Twitter or Facebook might create a more passive user experience, an increasing number of people are using Instagram to search for inspiration.

5)  Wellness Travel

It is evident that there is a growing market of wellness-minded travelers, which is why this is trending. These are travelers looking for an enriching experience with the primary purpose of achieving, promoting or maintaining the best health and sense of well-being and balance in life. But wellness travel is not limited to resorts and spas. Almost any business can take advantage of this trend. The wellness travel sector will be expected to exceed $600 billion in 2017, according to a forecast and research by the Global Wellness Institute.

With the recent Global Wellness Summit held October 2016 in Austria, a 500-member panel of wellness experts from around the world gathered with global leaders from the travel, spa, nutrition, beauty, fitness, medical, architecture and technology fields to identify the top wellness trends for 2017.

6)  Sustainable Travel

Sustainable tourism for the industry means travelers choose more “environmentally friendly” and “responsible” options. Travelers and the tourism industry are expected now more than ever to respect the environment and its biodiversity, as well as the people, local traditions and the culture of a destination. Some of the more sustainable components that stand out as significantly more important for travelers are: outdoor adventure programs, volunteerism programs, eco-friendly properties, and businesses that “do good” or give back to their local community. This idea of respecting and enjoying a destination, draws away from all-night partying in big dance clubs, and is more fixated on urging travelers to get outside and enjoy the natural environment.

Along with the rising consumer and industry interest in eco-tourism, tour operators and activity providers will need to incorporate ways to bring sustainability to the forefront of their offers. Many tourists are also choosing to visit destinations that will benefit the most from their tourist dollars.

Kenya’s Competitive Positioning in the market

The key competitors for the destination Kenya are the safari destinations mainly in the Eastern and southern part of Africa with the following key differentiators over Kenya:


  • Backing on the boom for Sun & Beach products, the destination will increase promotions for their niche products such as wellness and medical tourism, Golf, birdwatching and honeymoon


  • Cuba is back on track after the disastrous hurricane Irma. Due to low bookings, the government will implement incentives for additional flights (marketing and operational contributions).


  • German travelers will be able to travel to Vietnam until 30th June 2021 without any visa as long as they stay only up to 15 days.


  • Jamaica is implementing two, one-week-fam trips in June. Partners are several hotels and Condor. The Tourism Board charges 399€ incl. flights from travel agents.
  • To support cruise tourism, the Turkish government plans to incentive foreign cruise operators bringing more than 100 passengers per ship with 45$ per passenger between NOV-APR, 35$ MAY-JUN and 25$ JUL-OCT.


  • Oman will be partner country of ITB 2020. In 2019 Malaysia will be partner country.