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February 26, 2009


Despite global economic conditions, German tour operators report (as of October/November 2008) that bookings for their winter catalog were up four to nine percent. Actual German arrivals to the United States in October/November 2008 totaled 294,292, up nearly 12 percent compared to the same period 2007.

A strong majority (64 percent) of German operators also projected an increase of four to nine percent in bookings in the first quarter 2009, compared to the same period in 2008.


  • Bookings to the United States were projected to end the year with growth. For the fourth quarter 2008, 79 percent of the trade reported that bookings to the United States will increase. Over two thirds (36 percent) of the trade projected much higher bookings – despite the negative economic climate.
  • At the time of the survey, the German travel trade reported that bookings for the fourth quarter 2008 were up 10 to 15 percent on average, compared to the same period in 2007. This is good news given that in the fourth quarter 2007 more than 387,000 German travelers visited the United States, up nearly 15 percent over 2006 arrivals.
  • The German travel trade projected higher demand for travel to major cities, nature-based destinations, and family-oriented destinations.
  • German travel trade bookings are projected to continue to increase through the first quarter of 2009. A strong majority (64 percent) of trade projected an increase in bookings in the first quarter 2009, compared to first quarter 2008.
  • Accommodation rates and travel promotion programs are the driving force behind the projected growth into 2009.
  • The German travel trade projected that Asia is the primary long-haul competitive destination to the United States, followed by travel within Europe.


An updated German Travel Trade Barometer 1 (survey collection in January/February 2009) will soon be released. This Barometer will report year-end 2008 bookings along with projected bookings through the first half of 2009. Given the continued global economic slowdown, it will be interesting to see if advanced bookings to the United States hold in 2009.


Travel Market Insights (www.travelmi.com) conducts the German Travel Trade Barometer in conjunction with the U.S. Travel Association. The U.S. Department of Commerce, Office of Travel and Tourism Industries, is a sponsor and developed the barometer program. The Barometer program is conducted with support from the U.S. Commercial Service – Germany and the Visit USA Committee Germany.

The Travel Trade Barometer survey is conducted on a quarterly basis in Germany, the United Kingdom, Canada, and Mexico and is available through subscription. Additional information on bookings, motivators, and deterrents for travel to the United States are included in reports sent to subscribers. Specific destination data is also available.

For more information on the Travel Barometer Program, please visit http://tinet.ita.doc.gov/research/programs/barometer/index.html


U.S. Department of Commerce, International Trade Administration
Office of Travel and Tourism Industries (OTTI)
1401 Constitution Avenue N.W., Room 1003
Washington, D.C. 20230
Phone: (202) 482-0140
Fax: (202) 482-4279
Email: Otti@trade.gov

1 The German Travel Trade Barometer is a qualitative survey designed to collect input from active German Tour operators. The German Travel Trade Barometer is a U.S. Travel Association sponsored program in partnership with the U.S. Department of Commerce, and Travel Market Insights.