Hamburg, March 1st, 2021. – No Easter vacation this year: With his statement, Saxony’s Prime Minister Michael Kretschmer caused a lot of excitement throughout Germany. After all, the tourism industry, which has been hit hard by the pandemic, had high hopes for the Easter vacation. What does the booking situation look like a few weeks before Easter? And what about the popular travel periods thereafter, such as the summer vacations? The four major vacation home brands DanCenter, TUI-Ferienhaus, Belvilla and Traum-Ferienwohnungen provide current figures and thus give a comprehensive insight into the situation in the vacation home sector.
Vacation in 2021? Yes, but less at Easter
The Easter holidays are usually among the most popular travel times of the Germans. Due to Corona everything is different: “There are of course bookings over the Easter holidays, our occupancy rate is even quite good against the background of the current circumstances. Many of our guests have booked their Easter trip well in advance. And if travel over Easter is possible, we are of course very happy about our guests. Overall, however, less is booked out than usual at this point in the year,” explains Hanita van der Meer, marketing and PR manager at Belvilla, adding: “Instead, we are seeing a clear shift in booking behavior: Instead of Easter as usual, this year trips are in demand in May and especially in the already popular summer months of July and August.” This booking trend can also be clearly confirmed by the brands DanCenter, Traum-Ferienwohnungen and TUI-Ferienhaus. At TUI-Ferienhaus, the proportion of bookings from German guests for the summer months is 50 percent. The DanCenter vacation homes in Germany are already 63 percent fully booked in July and 64 percent in August. And Traum-Ferienwohnungen even currently records more demand than supply for the months of July and August. Also for the autumn months as well as for the winter season 2021 the reservation numbers rise at all four vacation home brands already now.
Hope for vacations abroad
It is quite clear: The most popular destination for Germans in 2021 is domestic. Traum-Ferienwohnungen records this trend particularly clearly. Franziska Borel, responsible for PR & Influencer Marketing at Traum Ferienwohnungen underlines: “An impressive 80 percent of guests have searched for accommodation in Germany on the website in recent weeks.”
At TUI-Ferienhaus, more than half (58 percent) of all bookings by German guests are stays in their own country. And also vacation home specialist Belvilla observes this trend and registers for this year a plus of 21 percent in relation to the previous year for domestic journeys, although these had already increased massively in the last year due to the pandemic.
But hopes for foreign vacations in 2021 are rising, as all four vacation home operators can see from the booking figures. After domestic trips, foreign trips to France, Spain and the Netherlands are particularly popular among German Belvilla guests. And also DanCenter feels the hope, if not longing, of the Germans for foreign journeys: 53 percent of German guests have already booked a vacation home in Denmark this year. “We currently have even more demand than supply in the month of July for DanCenter homes in Denmark and also for autumn we are already seeing booking numbers increase from German guests for accommodation in Denmark.”, reports Maiken Osbæck Olsen, Senior Brand Manager DanCenter.
Guests want to have a good time: longer stays, more money in the vacation coffers
After the long abstinence, Germans are longing for a holiday. Dorit Schwarting Team Lead TUI Holiday Home for Germany and Austria can also confirm this: “After all the trips that could only be experienced in the imagination, many people want to look forward to their next holiday in a concrete way. This is also reflected in booking behaviour, for example in a longer length of stay in the holiday home. We recommend to book quickly accommodation for this summer, where you can feel at home away from home” The strongest growth was recorded by Belvilla with an increase of 16 percent compared to the previous year: the average length of stay in 2021 is 6.5 days, compared to 5.6 days in the previous year. But TUI-Ferienhaus, which has belonged to Belvilla since last year, has also registered similarly strong growth: while the average length of stay in 2020 was 7.2 days, it has risen to 8.1 days for this year. DanCenter can also confirm the trend: The average length of stay of guests in 2020 was 7.4 days, this year it is 8.6 days. Guests of Traum-Ferienwohnungen travel for an average of 7 days a year.
In addition, Germans spend more money on their vacation home stay, well-equipped houses are in demand. Guests of TUI Ferienhaus spend an average of 21 percent more on their accommodation this year than last year. In the case of Traum-Ferienwohnungen, German guests’ investment in their vacation accommodation increases by 23 percent to an average of 1,065 euros. An even clearer willingness to invest is registered by the brands Belvilla and DanCenter. Belvilla travelers invest for example in July on the average 37 per cent more into their vacation home stay than in the previous year: 873 euro opposite 542 euro. For DanCenter guests, the willingness to invest has increased the most: guests spend 47 percent more on their vacation home in the months of the high summer season – an average of 1,624 euros in July 2021 compared to 890 euros in the previous year.
Hanita van der Meer from Belvilla also speaks for TUI Ferienhaus, DanCenter and Traum- Ferienwohnungen when she emphasizes: “The additional expenditure for accommodation does not come about through price increases by us or the landlords – the prices remain constant. We have the impression that the guests have more money to spend, because they saved last year despite, but also because of the pandemic with all the leisure restrictions. And they are longing for a vacation. They want to enjoy it, more than ever before.”
Despite or because of the pandemic: the vacation home boom continues
Unlike many other companies in the tourism industry, the vacation home sector is coming through the Corona crisis comparatively well. Because in times when travel is possible, vacation homes are more in demand than ever. The reason for this is that many travelers prefer to keep to themselves and a vacation home offers sufficient opportunity to keep their distance from others. Many people also appreciate the advantage of being able to bring their own pet or personal toys for the children. Guests still prefer the privacy and flexibility of a vacation home, such as being able to cook for themselves. For all four brands – Belvilla, DanCenter, TUI Ferienhaus and Traum-Ferienwohnungen – all signs indicate that the trend towards vacation homes will continue this year.