What about summer vacation?

Binc on Rügen or Ballermann on Mallorca, mountaineering in the Karwendel or bathing on Crete – in the Corona crisis vacation plans are overshadowed by the question of whether and where a trip is still possible. EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen put the biggest damper when she said about summer vacation: “I advise to wait with such plans.” The reactions from tourism were harsh. “We don’t need anyone to catapult summer vacations,” replied Norbert Fiebig, President of the German Travel Association (DRV).

Timo Kotowski

But there is no certainty about destinations and accommodations: is Greece more likely to open than Spain? For Hellas, the Johns Hopkins University counts only 2400 cases, for Spain 208,000. Or are holidaymakers better off in German low mountain ranges? Or should you postpone trips to autumn? Summer vacations are considered unlikely for Italy, which is the most affected by the corona virus in Europe. Sweden, on the other hand, has not prevented entry, but it is currently not possible to drive there via Denmark.

The Spanish government expects the holiday business to start slowly in the second half of the year, but would like to leave foreigners outside – to the displeasure of hoteliers in Mallorca. While the pandemic on the mainland claimed thousands of victims, the consequences on the islands remained more manageable.

In Germany, the infection numbers in the otherwise popular Alpine foothills are higher than in other parts of the republic. Islands in the North Sea and Baltic Sea from Sylt to Usedom are at least currently closed to tourists – however, any kind of opening is sought.

Very few click on “Book”

At least when it comes to deciding not to travel after weeks with contact restrictions, the travel association should have many citizens on its side. Even if customers think of their own relaxation rather than the well-being of the company. Sunshine and vacation – this pairing has worked for decades. It is hardly surprising that the big holidays come into view with the current sunny days. TUI, the travel market leader, observes that many people do research on the Group’s website. Only a few click on “Book”.

At the same time, hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of customers who booked early before the virus shock persisted. They are afraid of their travels or reimbursement of their payments. TUI had the strongest booking January in the Group’s history. In the holiday world, the impatience and the feeling of being left in the dark in the crisis grows. Travel agencies feel this through vigorous customer inquiries. The offices miss information from travel companies. They refer to the federal government.

The only thing that is certain is that no trip starts until May 3rd. As long as the global travel warning of the Federal Foreign Office applies – extension possible. Already for May 4th – in less than two weeks – vacationers lack the certainty. DRV President Fiebig criticized Foreign Minister Heiko Maas (SPD) in an unusually sharp form. “If there are general warnings about trips abroad in the future, this will not do justice to reality,” he said. So far, travel warnings have been a guideline for the industry and have only been discussed in the back room.

For the time being, the choice of destination is like a big guesswork, in which more and more voices are getting involved. The Bavarian Prime Minister Markus Söder (CSU) said: “From the current perspective, the likelihood that vacation in other countries is possible in the summer turns out to be unlikely.” in Bavaria – can catch up on business. CSU party colleague and development minister Gerd Müller, on the other hand, said that summer vacations could not only be possible again in Germany. “I also believe that there is an opportunity to do so in the Mediterranean region – including in North Africa,” he told the Funke media group. There are fewer than 4,000 corona cases in Egypt, but secretly even touristy suspect that the virus was only brought there by vacationers.


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