June 2018, London
What travel brands need to know about the German leisure traveller
German consumers are set to spend more than €130-billion on leisure travel in 2018 in a market that is going from strength-to-strength, finds a new EyeforTravel report
Travel brands looking for European road warriors to target in 2018 could do worse that to focus on the German market. In the first quarter of this year, the German economy has been in pretty good shape and wages are rising. This means increased spending on both domestic and international travel, says EyeforTravel’s new German Travel Consumer 2018 report.
An interesting finding of the report is that the world’s third largest outbound market will continue to be less mobile-focused than other major markets for the foreseeable future. Although younger people will continue to drive a rise in mobile bookings, even by 2020 forecasts are that two-thirds of bookings will still be made on a laptop or desktop computer.
In the survey conducted for the report, just 0.6% of over 55s reported buying their flight through a smartphone; by comparison, 29% said they booked their flights in person, with an agent. Another factor to consider is that consumer behaviour shows that if the desktop or laptop is the device of choice, that tends to be hard to change - very low numbers of consumers switch over to mobile devices after using a desktop as their primary research device!
Just 0.6% of German people aged over 55 reported buying their flight through a smartphone
What may seem surprising, says Alex Hadwick, head of research at Eyefortravel, is that survey and transaction data from multiple sources finds that German travellers are more conservative when it comes to new technologies.
But that is not the only issue, low rates of mobile usage in the German market relative to other European travel markets, such as France, Scandinavia and the UK, is the result of limited access mobile data. Broadband infrastructure for mobile devices is relatively weak in Germany and data plans are often expensive.
According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Finland, at 11GB of data usage per mobile suscription, is the biggest user of mobile data. By contrast, Germans use just 1.21GB of mobile data per subscription, and only seven of the OECD’s 32 countries lag Germany.
Finns use 11GB of data per mobile subscription, while Germans use just 1.21GB
Another priority for Germans is privacy – hence the relatively low rates of social media usage.
However, that doesn’t mean that firms targeting German consumers shouldn’t be digitally driven, says Daniel Wishia, a digital marketing expert at GCH Hotel Group, Germany’s second biggest hotel management chain.
“We see Germany as another mobile-first country. But as with all markets, we need an outstanding approach to technology, if we are going to win the customer, especially given the growing competition between airlines, hotels and travel agencies,” he says.
GCH, for one, is implementing virtual reality and chatbots in its hotels and is actively looking at advanced ways to distribute hotel inventory, says Wishnia, who will be speaking at EyeforTravel Europe in June. (see Shiny new travel tech 'absolutely does work', says GCH Hotels).
You can download THREE FREE EXCERPTS from the report:
Click here for a report covering the state of the German economy, consumer and travel market in 2018.
Click here for a report covering both outbound and domestic markets.
Click here for a report covering digital habits, device ownership, cross-device movements, research behaviors, lead times, search terms, key research and booking points, social media engagement, and device usage rates both inside and outside the travel journey.