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12.03.2020 – 18:40

Global Communication Experts

GCE news mail: German market news week 11

German market news week 11

Dear all,

Please find hereby the weekly market news:

Coronavirus update

- German tourism chiefs seek state support : The travel industry is severely
  affected by the effects of the corona virus. In a current flash survey by the
  German Travel Association (DRV), around 700 companies indicated that they
  already have significant sales losses of up to 75 percent. "The effects of the
  corona virus threaten employment and put a significant strain on companies'
  liquidity," emphasizes DRV President Norbert Fiebig. The effects are even more
  pronounced if the market disruptions caused by the virus persist beyond the
  Easter season. In order to cushion the economic consequences, the German
  Travel Association is demanding a package of measures from the federal
  government to support the travel industry. DRV President Norbert Fiebig
  presented this catalog to the Federal Government's Tourism Commissioner,
  Thomas Bareiß, at a top-level meeting at the Federal Ministry of Economics.
  The DRV presented a nine-point plan calling for: - Unbureaucratic short-term
  loans for travel agencies, cruise companies and tour operators to cope with
  liquidity gaps - Simplified financial support for companies introducing
  ‘short-time’ working - More flexible rules for workers taking longer unpaid
  holidays - Reduced advance tax payments - Financial compensation for travel
  cancellations - Urgent repayment of corporate tax payments - Delay to new
  insolvency insurance regulation - Post-crisis demand stimulation program to
  aid recovery - Suspension of airline slot usage rules
- USA thirty-day travel ban on travel from Europe : In the fight against the
  corona virus, the United States has already imposed entry stops for foreigners
  who were previously in China or Iran. Now US President Trump announces another
  drastic measure: Even travelers from Europe will no longer be allowed to get
  into the USA for a 30 days period. The measure also does not apply to
  travelers from Great Britain. Trump said on the that the EU had not taken the
  same protective measures as the US and had not stopped travels from China to
  Europe early enough.
- Italy closes shops and restaurants : The number of infected people in Italy
  continues to grow. The previous blocking measures did not worked as
  efficiently as planned, therefor new mesures had to be taken. Italy orders
  further measures against the spread of the corona virus and closes bars and
  restaurants and almost all shops. Only grocery stores and pharmacies are still
  open, Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said on Wednesday evening. All unnecessary
  business activities would have to be stopped. All company departments that are
  not indispensable for production will have to close. Despite all the measures,
  the virus continues to spread. The hospitals, especially in the particularly
  affected region of Lombardy, are at their limit. Overall, according to
  official statistics in Italy, more than 12,400 people have been infected with
  the virus, and more than 820 have died. Experts assume that there are a large
  number of unrecorded cases.
- Austria stops train traffic with Italy: Passenger trains to and from Italy
  across the Austrian border have stopped. "We follow the instructions of the
  authorities," said a spokesman for the Austrian Federal Railways (ÖBB).
  Freight traffic is not affected. The Austrian government announced further
  measures in the fight against the corona virus on Tuesday. Checks on the
  border to the southern neighboring country Italy will soon become normal
  again. Almost no one from Italy is allowed to travel to destinations in
  Austria for professional or private reasons. For tourists who are still in
  Italy, the following applies: transit through Austria is possible - but
  without a stop. The measures initially apply until April 3. However, Health
  Minister Rudolf Anschober (Greens) already indicated that the restrictions on
  social life could also take months. The controls on car traffic on the border
  with Italy announced in the fight against the corona virus have began on
  wednesday. In the morning, started the "extensive preparations". "Structural
  measures" are required for the controls, including crash barriers. In
  addition, it should be clarified where the vehicles are headed to and how
  exactly expected traffic jams are handled.
- IMEX, RDA Group Travel Expo and GTM canceled : The fair for the meeting and
  incentive industry in Frankfurt should have taken place from May 12th to 14th,
  the incoming trade fair Germany Travel Mart (GTM) was planned from May 10th to
  12th in Rostock. Both events were canceled on Wednesday. The RDA bus travel
  association also canceled its trade fair planned for April 21 and 22 in
  Friedrichshafen.
- More and more countries reject German travelers: Already more than 20
  countries do not allow travellers from Germany to enter the country or
  quarantine them immediately after arrival. Most recently, the USA and Jamaica
  closed the borders to Germans. Other countries also are moving in, according
  to reise vor 9’s reports: - Benin requires travellers from Germany to maintain
  a 14-day quarantine in their hotel even if no symptoms are present. - Bhutan
  has initially closed its borders to all tourist travel by foreigners until
  March 20. - Travellers from Germany to China must expect to be obliged to
  undergo a 14-day quarantine after entering the country. - El Salvador has
  issued an entry ban for Germans. - Grenada has decided to extend an entry ban
  to Germany for travelers from particularly affected countries. - Israel is
  ordering a 14-day home quarantine for travellers from Germany. Entry is only
  possible if a home quarantine can be proven and performed. Hotel or apartment
  bookings, for example via Airbnb, are not considered sufficient proof. Many
  flights to Israel are temporarily suspended. - Italy has declared itself a
  restricted zone and largely restricted the freedom of movement of travellers.
  Many flights from Germany have been cancelled.India has declared all issued
  visas of German citizens who have not yet entered the country invalid. -
  Jamaica has extended the current entry ban to travellers coming from Germany.
  The sole criterion for rejection is the stay or transit through Germany within
  the last 14 days. Whether someone already shows symptoms of an illness or not
  is irrelevant for the entry ban. - Jordan decided to impose an entry ban on
  travellers from Germany with effect from 16 March. Exceptions apply to
  employees of international organizations, investors and travelers residing in
  Jordan. Measures by the Ministry of Health for this group of persons are still
  to be specified. Quarantine measures are to be expected. - Kazakhstan refuses
  entry to Germans. - Malawi classifies Germany as a "High Risk Country". As a
  result, German nationals entering the country from Germany will be required to
  undergo a house quarantine at the international airports in Lilongwe and
  Blantyre. How such a self-quarantine for business travellers and tourists will
  be implemented is currently not clear. - Malta has decided on a 14-day
  quarantine for all travellers from Germany. Mauritius is subjecting travellers
  from Germany who have cough, fever or other respiratory complaints to a 14-day
  quarantine. - Mongolia s uspends all international flights until 28 March.
  Entry by land is also no longer possible at present. There is therefore a de
  facto ban on entry and exit for all. - Mozambique is ordering a 14-day
  compulsory quarantine for travellers from Germany, regardless of whether there
  are any symptoms of illness. Visitors without private accommodation are
  assigned a quarantine site by Mozambican health authorities. - Nepal suspends
  the visa on entry and requires a medical certificate confirming a negative
  test for Covid-19. - Rwanda isolates travellers from Germany who show symptoms
  of the disease and tests them for coronavirus. Regardless of the result, a
  14-day quarantine is ordered. Travellers without symptoms are subject to daily
  monitoring for 14 days. - Russia's capital Moscow requires travellers from
  Germany to undergo a 14-day quarantine. - Saudi Arabia imposes an entry ban on
  visitors from Germany. It is still possible to leave the country. Many direct
  flights from and to Germany are suspended. - Uganda places Germans under
  self-quarantine for two weeks after entry. Anyone who appears ill must go to
  the hospital in Entebbe. - USA impose an entry ban on Europeans from the
  Schengen area, including Germany. It applies from Friday, 13 March, 23:59,
  local time, for an initial period of 30 days. - Cyprus orders a 14-day
  isolation for all travellers from Germany. 

Airlines news

- Etihad now flying to new Beijing Aiport: Beijing Daxing Airport has been in
  operation since autumn 2019. Middle East carrier Etihad is now relocating its
  flights to the new mega-airport. Etihad will change the airport in Beijing on
  June 1, then the daily flight from Abu Dhabi will no longer go to Beijing
  International Airport, but to the new Daxing airport. Flights from Beijing to
  Nagoya, Japan also start at the new mega-airport. The airport in Daxing,
  around 50 kilometers south of the city center, is the largest airport in the
  world in terms of building area. It is expected to handle around 45 million
  passengers a year by 2021 and later expand to 100 million. The construction is
  also called "starfish" because of its six side arms.
- Lufthansa Group announces flight cancellations for April 2020: Due to the
  exceptional circumstances caused by the spread of the coronavirus, Lufthansa
  today publishes reduced flight schedules of its passenger airlines for the
  period from 29 March to 24 April. The flight cancellations will be implemented
  successively in the booking systems, and affected passengers will be informed
  of the changes and rebooking options as of today. For all passenger airlines
  in the Group, a total of 23,000 flights must be cancelled. Further
  cancellations are expected in the coming weeks. Flight schedule adjustments
  for the period after 25 April will be made at a later date. The capacity
  adjustments mainly affect Europe, Asia and the Middle East. In the
  cancellations, care will be taken to ensure that all destinations on all
  continents can be reached with a Lufthansa Group airline via the hubs of
  Frankfurt, Munich, Zurich, Vienna and Brussels. Lufthansa passengers who are
  planning a trip in the coming weeks are recommended to check the current
  status of the respective flight on lufthansa.com before departure. Guests who
  have left their contact details with Lufthansa will be proactively informed if
  their flight is cancelled. 

Market News

- Amadeus booking figures – Decline in package tours expands: The ten largest
  holiday destinations still have difficulties with package and last-minute
  trips. In February 2020, only one destination closed in the plus at Amadeus.
  Overall, bookings for these destinations were 14 percent down on the same
  month last year: The Canary Islands are all of more than 20 percent behind the
  February figures from 2019. Also Mallorca is struggling at the moment with
  minus 27 percent. However, Fuerteventura was the only destination to escape
  the negative trend in February and closed the month with a booking increase of
  1.6%. Antalya, the destination with the highest volume among the top 10, is
  doing better than the average with minus 11.6 percent. In terms of booking
  channels, the following trend is continuing: the booking weakness is less
  pronounced in online sales (minus 5.1 per cent in February) than in stationary
  sales (minus 23.7 per cent). Across all booking channels, the average price
  for package and last-minute trips to the ten regions was 837 euros per booking
  and person. The average price at the stationary booking offices was 956 euros,
  online 749 euros. 

Cruises

- Abu Dhabi and Dubai close ports for cruise ships : Abu Dhabi and Dubai are
  closing their ports to cruise ships. Among others, ‘Mein Schiff 5’, Royal
  Caribbean's ‘Jewel of the Seas’ and the ‘Costa Diadema’ are affected. Aida
  Cruises has already cancelled the planned voyages on the ‘Prima’ between 13
  and 31 March. The Oriental season of the ‘Prima’ will have to be interrupted
  from 13 March to probably 2 April, the shipping company announced. TUI Cruises
  had initially declared that ‘Mein Schiff 5’ will also not be able to make any
  further voyages in the Gulf region for the time being. The ‘Jewel of the Seas’
  is – reported by the ‘Big News Network’ portal – moored in the port of Dubai
  and its further course is still unclear. Previously, Royal Caribbean, like
  other shipping companies, had already had to cancel a stop in Muscat, Oman,
  after the Sultanate had also closed its port to cruise ships. Two suspected
  Covid-19 cases on board were not confirmed, the report says. The ‘Costa
  Diadema’, which had also been refused by Abu Dhabi, the ‘MSC Lirica’ and the
  ‘Norwegian Jade’ were also moored in Dubai port recently. The Emirate's cruise
  ship terminal, which is sealed off out of concern about the spread of the
  corona virus by crusaders, is now well filled.
- Shipping companies want to move from Italy to Mallorca: After the whole of
  Italy was declared a restricted zone because of Covid-19, cruise operators
  have to reorganize many trips. Because in Genoa and Civitavecchia near Rome
  many cruises start and end in the western Mediterranean, shipping companies
  now want to switch to Mallorca as a port of exchange. As an Italian shipping
  company, Costa Crociere is particularly affected. ‘The current cruises will
  only call at Italian ports to allow guests to get off and return to their
  homes without excursions or new boardings,’ Costa informs. What will then
  happen to the ships and the new guests remains unclear at first. However, like
  Costa, there are other cruise operators who have lost their important port of
  exchange due to the coronavirus crisis. Mallorca should profit from this above
  all. ‘So far we have received 40 additional applications for a berthing permit
  between March and June’, port manager Raimond Jaume told the ‘Mallorca
  Zeitung’. The port of Palma will then be full. But not all calls are likely to
  be approved.
- River cruise ship quarantined: According to local media reports, almost 60
  people are quarantined on board a river cruise ship in Cambodia because of a
  corona case: a positive tested female British passenger is now stable staying
  in hospital. The other passengers and crew are being tested for the lung
  disease Covid-19, the ‘Khmer Times’ newspaper reports. According to the
  newspaper, the boat is moored on the Mekong, a major river in Southeast Asia.
  According to the Minister of Health, the people on the boat came from the USA,
  Great Britain, Canada, Denmark, Myanmar and China. The shipping company
  ‘Viking Cruises’ announced that it would stop operating the river and ocean
  tours by April 30 in view of the worldwide consequences of the virus. 

Tour operators

- Thomas Cook Insurer wants to settle all claims by June: 220,000 Germans were
  affected by the Thomas Cook bankruptcy. By June 2020, all of them are now
  supposed to get their money back – but only 17.5 percent of the amount of
  damage. The background to this is a stipulation in the travel law: the
  liability sum for tour operator insolvencies can be limited to 110 million
  euros per year. So far, Thomas Cook’s insurer Zurich already repaid about half
  of the 220,000 injured parties whereby the total loss in December is estimated
  at 287.4 million euros according to the insurer. The German government itself
  will therefore probably be responsible for the majority of the losses: ‘The
  Federal Government will provide a simple procedure for handling compensation
  payments free of charge for package holidaymakers,’ the Ministry of Justice
  and Consumer Protection (BMJV) had announced accordingly in February.
- TUI expects booking restraint to continue for several weeks : In mid-February,
  TUI expected another record summer. One month later the tourist world looks
  different due to the coronavirus. TUI CEO Fritz Joussen expects booking
  restraint for several more weeks: ‘We had a very strong start to the year.
  This lead is melting away at the moment,’ said Joussen on the sidelines of a
  works council conference. At present, he said, customers are very reluctant to
  make bookings which will certainly remain the case for a few more weeks
  according to the CEO. After the 14 percent increase in summer bookings and the
  expectation of a "boom year" following the insolvency of rival Thomas Cook,
  the situation today is viewed with mixed feelings: ‘We don't know what the
  year will be like. However, a distinction must be made between individual
  business areas.’ says Joussen. Branches are particularly affected where
  short-term decisions are made. Several customers would probably stick to
  medium-term holiday plans. The Hanover-based Group could also cushion declines
  in Asian business at present with destinations in the Caribbean or the
  Mediterranean. Joussen explained that particular attention was paid to the
  ‘sensitive’ cruise sector. One ship had just been brought back from the Far
  East because certain ports were currently not willing to accept German guests.
  Joussen said that the Corona crisis "naturally" forced TUI to take
  cost-cutting measures e.g. by postponing investments. However, in general TUI
  will cope well with the corona-crisis as the tour operator is not
  inexperienced in managing crises according to the CEO of the tourism market
  leader in Germany. 

Best regards,

your GCE Team

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