In the other direction, Germans are set to spend a good EUR 59bn on travel abroad in 2006 (+ 2 percent). "Thanks to the strong euro, demand will again be particularly strong for long-distance travel", said Muntzke. "A good year after the tsunami disaster southern Asia will again see a strong rise in revenue. But Turkey will also remain popular. And Majorca will again benefit from the influx of budget fliers." According to the forecast, the global tourism industry is set to grow by 4 percent.
Last year revenue from foreign tourists and business travelers in Germany rose by an estimated 4.5 percent to around EUR 23bn. Four-fifths of this came from tourists from neighboring European countries. Trips to German cities were particularly popular. The most guests last year came from the Netherlands, closely followed by the Swiss and Americans.
In 2005 Germany just managed to defend its title as World Travel Champion, ahead of the USA. Austria, having toppled Spain as the most popular destination in 2004, managed to defend its lead. Spain, in second place, benefited from the sharp rise in short holidays, fueled by the budget airline boom. Italy and France were in third and fourth position.
In the tourism year 2004/2005 German travel organizers recorded sales of just under EUR 20bn, an increase of 4 to 5 percent on a year earlier. Following the deep crisis between 2001 and 2003, when sales plummeted by 20 percent, the holiday industry has now enjoyed two years of growth. But the industry is still short of the record figures seen in 2001.
In 2005 travel agencies notched up only modest sales growth of 1 percent. Over the last two years the increase adds up to 4.5 percent, less than half the increase seen in the organizers' market. The reasons for this are to be found in growing multi-level and direct marketing and the expanding online business of holiday providers.