Asia and Caribbean battle for European tourists

Tour operators think euro devaluation can work in Asia’s favour
German tour operators predict that the devaluation of the euro can turn the tide for Asia, especially if sellers are level-headed about pricing, TTG Asia reports.
While the impact of the falling euro is not being felt yet, as the big tour operators have hedged the exchange rate and are able to sell their packages at the rates of last summer, pricing will be a big issue for 2016.
Asia could seize the opportunity to grab back German tourist flow to the west – Caribbean, Mexico, Latin America – which has been going on since last year, tour operators said.
“Latin America, for example, is running well but we feel it has reached its pricing limits and, with the US dollar being more expensive, it is getting more difficult to sell,” said Holger Baldus, managing director of Marco Polo Reisen. “In this price-conscious market, [German travellers] may defer their trip there to two or three years later and shift to value-for-money countries.”
This could cause a flow back to destinations such as Vietnam, Thailand and Sri Lanka, said Baldus, pointing out that land costs for similar tours in Vietnam are half those of Latin America, while airfares and connections are better to the Far East.
German tour operators have seen a big increase westwards, possibly due to events such as the coup in Thailand and the Malaysia Airlines accidents, with increases of up to 50% to places like the Dominican Republic, Cuba, St Lucia and Barbados.
TTG Asia
[photo courtesy Emperor Cruises]


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