Let's see where we're headed: Anyone who used to drive to the airport without booking and was flexible when choosing their travel destination was able to make real bargains thanks to last-minute offers. And that despite the fact that travel has always been cheaper anyway. But anyone hoping for similar savings this year will be bitterly disappointed.
"There will be no last-minute summer in 2023 like there used to be," Sebastian Ebel told "Bild am Sonntag". On the contrary, the CEO of the largest German travel agency Tui believes that prices will continue to rise shortly before the season. "The hoteliers and airlines also know that there are still a lot of bookings at short notice. Spontaneous bargains will be the absolute exception," he says with certainty.
He sees several reasons for the end of cheap travel. On the one hand, he mentions the increased energy prices, which would make long-distance travel noticeably more expensive. The strong dollar is also playing a role. Above all, however, the low flight capacities had an impact. According to Ebel, the airlines simply have no incentive to compete with cheap offers. "The demand for holiday flights in particular exceeds the supply. That's why these cheap offers, with isolated exceptions for marketing campaigns, will no longer be available as they used to be," he says, proclaiming the end of the low-cost airline.
Despite the increased costs, he still sees a great need for Germans to travel. Apparently, this does not lead to a greater willingness to pay more for it. "All-inclusive offers are particularly popular this year because all costs are covered," he explains. "But we observe that most customers have set themselves a certain budget that they don't want to exceed." Those who have previously booked expensively usually still do so.
The travel professional also has a few tips for saving. As the most popular travel destination, Greece, for example, is practically fully booked and therefore quite expensive. "Countries such as Morocco, Tunisia, Cyprus and Thailand only record minor price changes compared to the previous year," reveals Ebel. It doesn't always have to be all-inclusive either. "In some Mediterranean countries, the prices are cheaper than in Germany itself. In Spain you can eat and drink much cheaper than in Germany."
The summer boom has paid off for the company itself. If you still had to apply for state aid due to the failure during the pandemic, this difficult phase is now over. "We have paid back the state aid in full in the last few days," reports Ebel. "We will make a profit this year."
Source: "Picture on Sunday"