The years 2020 – 2021 were dominated by the Covid-19 pandemic. The global tourism industry came to an almost complete halt. Starting in 2022, the situation in Europe recovered again, and tourism numbers again reached high numbers. But how will things continue in 2022 an 2023? How will Munich, Bavaria and Germany continue in terms of tourism? I dare to take a look into the magic crystal sphere and give a few predictions for tourism in 2022 and 2023:
Although travel restrictions are lifted as the corona pandemic fades away and international travel will increase again, a few years the tourists from far away countries like the USA, Australia, India, China or Russia only play a secondary role (Russia especially because of the war against Ukraine) . Especially local or European guests (especially from nearby countries such as Austria, France, Denmark, Spain, Italy, Belgium, Netherlands, Scandinavia and England) will make up the main target group. The hotel and restaurant industry will probably respond to this. In particular hotels, which had a special target group, e.g. Chinese or Russian guests will have to change their approach if required.
After international air traffic, and especially air travel, came to a complete standstill in 2020, the airlines reacted with drastic measures.
The majority of aircraft fleets were mothballed, sold or even scrapped. If the number of passengers now increases, this initially means a shortage of the available seats. Especially on popular travel routes, such as New York – Munich, Los Angeles – Munich or Bangkok – Munich, this will lead to a much higher demand for seats than available. After all, long-haul flights in particular are likely to be more expensive than short and medium-haul flights which will again have an impact on the number of long-haul travellers (see point 1).
The trend towards the creation of loyalty programs will continue. Something that was previously only operated by very large hotel and airline chains now appears to have also arrived at the medium-sized hotel chains. Everywhere you can see the creation of new loyalty programs and the competition for frequent travelers.
But this development will probably also separate the wheat from the chaff. Because not every loyalty program is worth to be used. The Hotel chains will have to focus on providing members with a real advantage compared to “ regular travelers“, but at the same time not losing any money through free upgrades, and cash benefits.
At the same time, there may be so-called „fare wars“, which means that the hotels outbid each other with (free) additional services or more attractive rates. Travelers will also take a closer look at loyalty programs. Only those programs that really offer a benefit, much lower rates or where the collection of points, miles or nights does not degenerate into a mammoth task, are accepted. Programs that will not offer any value will probably be punished by the customers. Especially the trigger word „according to availability“ will surely play a big role here, because it makes a big difference for travelers whether a late checkout is guaranteed or just possible and in reality hardly ever available.
Flash-sales, discount coupons, black-something-sales will gain in significance. In order to avoid or at least to soften the possible oversupply of hotel accommodation (especially outside of usual vacation and travel periods), there will be special sales with coupons and similar things. Possibly this will also be combined with loyalty programs (see point 3). This will often result in very good prices for travelers. But here, too, the customers will have a close eye and hotels with „fake deals“ will have a hard time.
Especially in Germany, the topic of „travel cancellation“ was a huge issue. In 2019, Germans were in third place among the countries whose citizens travelled the most (1st place: USA, 2nd place: China, 4th place: UK). In 2020, the value of the trips booked probably totaled several hundred billion US dollars. And then Covid-19 came. Hotels closed, borders closed, flights were cancelled, and all travelers asked themselves „How do I get my money back?
When the travel market reopened slightly in 2021, hotels in particular responded with flexible cancellation options, sometimes until a few hours before arrival.
Especially hotel chains will propaply loose guests when they switch back to very strict cancellation regulations.