On March 26, in the framework of the debate day of the II South Forum, several representatives of the tourism sector were able to meet to discuss the issue of the prospects of the German tourism market and its current and potential relationships with destinations Spain, Andalusia, Costa del Sol and Malaga.
One of the interventions was by Manuel Molina Lozano, CEO and president of TSS Group and patron of this Cathedra, among others. In this meeting dedicated specifically to the German market, Molina began by explaining how the market works and how it is characterized. First of all, it should be noted that the German tourist, even before the pandemic, was in favor of relying on travel agencies to organize their vacations, in such a way that, according to Molina, half of the tourists that Germany emits they continue to trust their tourism intermediaries - a trait that will be further strengthened now during and after the pandemic. In this sense, Molina insists, that from the point of view of their business environment, they have never seen online platforms as a threat to the operation of the more than 3,500 agencies attached to the TSS Group cooperative, but on the contrary, - the world online is one more tool to improve business productivity and customer experience. "A client can book online, if they prefer, but after doing so many of these clients end up visiting their travel agency for personal advice on everything related to their future trip" - Molina clarifies and adds - "online tools help us to detect the preferences of clients, know how to match their needs and expectations, with this we can give what they are looking for, and what they are looking for is to be special in our agencies and in the destinations ”.
In the same terms, reminds that, in these times marked by uncertainty, the key factor for the recovery of tourist flows will be trust, for which the synergy between tourism intermediation and destinations will play a special role. “The client looks for flexibility and truthfulness. It is important that you know that the agency is not only looking to sell and collect the commission, but that its main objective is to give you an optimal experience, to ensure your well-being during the holidays ”- according to Molina.
In addition, explains the president and CEO of TSS Group, travel agencies, like other companies in the tourism sector and, first of all, tourists themselves, need to have more stability in policies on the part of governments. “We have the responsibility for our clients and the laws cannot be changed from one week to the next. This is irresponsible for the tourist consumer. We have to be faithful to the client and to tourism, tourism does not deserve this treatment, it is an industry that has brought together different cultures, it has generated many jobs. We need a long-term strategy, a common vision and have some grant funds that accompany the tourism sector to its recovery ”- he insists.
Likewise, he emphasizes the importance of adapting companies and destinations to the new tourist demand. In this sense, the German market is one of the ones that most like to plan trips more than 100 days in advance, which, in this case, has become a maximum of 30-40 days in advance, due to fear, given the possible changes in the rules and measures for travel, which makes it difficult to forecast the number of travelers, as well as business liquidity is paralyzed, remaining strongly dependent on trends that occur in the short term. In addition, according to Molina, it must be taken into account that German "traveling genetics" is like this, that many times, and more now, they prefer to travel through their own country, therefore, destinations and intermediaries have to make an effort in communication and promotion to attract the attention of this traveler and encourage him to travel outside his country. Despite this, after several months of being closed and hardly having the possibility of making tourist trips, there will be a great niche that will want to visit destinations that offer products and services related to classic sun and beach tourism, therefore which destinations have to be prepared, exhaustively analyze both the demand and the competitors, to program and offer the optimal experience for each specific niche and, as has already been mentioned before, make them feel special and safe, this last aspect being one of the keys for the German tourist.
Concluding his intervention, the expert assures that, despite the complicated reality, he feels optimistic, but insists that tourism must be respected and supported in a coherent way, for all the good it has done for the world economy and everything good that deserves as an answer.
The complete intervention can be consulted through the following link: