10 April 2009

Germany: Milder Downturn vs Full Recession

The German market seems to be holding up better than many others. While the UK languishes in a deep economic doom and gloom climate and Brits contemplate going back to Holiday Camps such s Butlins, the German market seems to be resilient and holding firm if down a little.

There are several reasons. So the Professor took a look at the market to see if he could understand why.

Germany is not as much of a property owning market as is say the UK and USA. With over 1/3rd of the population now living alone - one of the highest in the world - the concentration of these live alones seems to be concentrated as one might expect in the cities. However the characteristics are not similar across all sectors of the country. There is the prosperous older north and the swinging south up coming. Interestingly because Germany does not have the same concentration of population in any single geography there remains a strong tie to the region in which people were born. The migration to the cities is not concentrated as it is say in the UK towards the south east.

Because of these characteristics we believe the German market for travel will remain robust and stable for quite some time. Unless something dire happens in the coming months, the German economic engine - while perhaps not the huge driver of growth that it once was - will still however purr along nicely. This should mean good news for LH and the big 2 tour operators. In the short term Air Berlin should benefit with its focus on the German regions.


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