Tour operators between two waves

By Camille FratiLex KlerenMisch Pautsch Switch to French for original article

For the second year in a row, the health crisis is weighing on residents' holidays. Since the beginning of the summer, travel professionals have been juggling with the very different situations from one country to another concerning Covid-19, between the yo-yo of contaminations and restrictions likely to dissuade holidaymakers.

Their job was to sell dreams, white sandy beaches, emerald water and comfortable hotels. For the past 18 months, travel professionals have been undergoing lockdowns, closing borders in Europe and beyond, and accompanying a timid return to the holidays of yesteryear. Remembering the summer of 2020 when Luxembourg, like most European countries, advocated "Vakanz doheem" (holidays at home or in the country) – a message that goes down more easily in countries with several thousand kilometres of sunny beaches like France or Italy. As a result, even die-hard travellers have cut back on their trips. "Our 2020 turnover was 80 percent lower than in 2019," says Christiane Wagner, marketing and communications director of Voyages Emile Weber.

The year 2021 is shaping up better even if it remains below the pre-Corona level. "We are counting a lot less bookings than in 2019 but more than in 2020", Wagner continues. "Currently, it is around –50 percent compared to the 2019 turnover."

The same goes for LuxairTours. "Bookings for this summer are quite positive, " notes Alberto Kunkel, executive vice president tour operating of LuxairGroup. "In July we were only slightly below the same period in 2019. The figures for August are even better." That is –11 percent compared to 2019 in July and –7 percent in August. "Over the year 2021, we are 28 percent short of turnover due to the very bad first quarter (-60 percent)."

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