German tour operator Schauinsland-Reisen managed to generate 2% growth this year amid difficult trading conditions but has made a fast start to bookings for winter 2019/20.
The family-owned tour operator will increase revenues by 2% to €1.37 billion in the year ending October 2019 and customer numbers by the same figure to 1.64 million. The company also expects a 2% profit margin for 2018/19. Top growth destinations this year were the UAE (+43%), Maldives (+25), Egypt (+21%) and Turkey (+15%).
Owner Gerald Kassner said he was satisfied with the results, which were better than the overall market, given the difficult trading conditions this year. Weak market demand for package holidays, booking shifts to the Eastern Mediterranean and the insolvency of leisure airline Germania all combined to challenge business this year.
“It was an intensive year. We have performed extremely well in a difficult market environment and once again showed that our lean structure and quick decision-taking are a real competitive advantage,” he commented.
Schauinsland is more optimistic about the forthcoming year and is targeting growth of between 3% and 5%.
The winter season has started very strongly with an 11% rise in customer numbers and a high 21% increase in revenues. Long-haul destinations, particularly the Dominican Republic, the UAE, Thailand and the Maldives, are driving growth.
Schauinsland is particularly hopeful of a “small comeback” for Spain, its top destination, next summer. The tour operator is expanding its programme for Andalusia with increased capacity on Lufthansa flights to Malaga.
Overall, the tour operator has added 200 more hotels for summer 2020 and is targeting younger customers with price advantages and upgrades. There are also cruises on several new ships, including the Aida Mira and the Costa Smeralda.