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April 20, 2009


2008 Ends on a Positive Note

  • German bookings to the United States ended 2008 on a positive note, countering the trend of declines registered from other countries in fourth quarter 2008.
  • German tour operators reported (as of January/February 2009) that 2008 bookings were up 10 to 15 percent compared to 2007.
  • The strong growth was more consolidated than in past years, with fewer major destinations driving the gains.

First Quarter Bookings Overall Flat

  • More than 21 percent of the German tour operators reported that bookings to the United States for the first quarter 2009 catalog period would be about the same as last year, with 43 percent of tour operators reporting gains.
  • In contrast, just over two thirds (36%) of the German tour operators reported a decrease in bookings, hinting of a potential downturn.

Second Quarter Bookings Impacted by Economic Slowdown

  • Concerns over the global economic crisis will impact travel in the second quarter 2009. German bookings for the second quarter 2009 catalog period (at the time of the January/February 2009 survey) were lower, on average compared to the same time last year.
  • Only 21 percent of the trade reported growth, while nearly two thirds (64%) of the trade reported a decrease in current bookings for the second quarter 2009 compared to the second quarter 2008.

Actual German Arrivals to the United States: Fourth Quarter 2008 and Annual 2008

  • Fourth quarter 2008 arrivals from Germany totaled 420,285, up nine percent compared to fourth quarter 2007.
    • In October 2008, German arrivals totaled 177,167, up 16 percent when compared to October 2007.
    • Visitation slowed in November 2008, totaling only 117,125, but still up five percent when compared to November 2007.
    • In December 2008, arrivals from Germany reached 125,993, up two percent when compared to December 2007.
  • Annual 2008 arrivals from Germany totaled 1,782,299, an increase of 17 percent when compared to 2007.


An updated German Travel Trade Barometer 1 (survey collection in March/April 2009) will soon be released. This Barometer will report first quarter 2009 bookings along with projected bookings through the third quarter 2009.

The U.S. Department of Commerce released actual 2008 visitation to the United States on March 24, 2009. January and February 2009 visitation data will be released throughout April.


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. Reports sent to subscribers include additional information, such as:

  • Bookings - looking at the past quarter and the next two quarters for U.S. and competitive regional destinations;
  • Short term bookings for more than five specific categories; and
  • Over 15 motivators or deterrents for travel to the United States.

Specific (proprietary) destination data is also available through a subscription.

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.