The Future of Package Tours – Dr. Markus Heller at the DRV Annual Conference


The Future of Package Tours – Dr. Markus Heller at the DRV Annual Conference


Between the Elbe Philharmonic Hall and the fish market, the DRV Annual Meeting this year took place in a very special setting in the port of Hamburg. Here the MS Artania from the charter of the Bonn tour operator Phoenix Reisen was moored and served as an event location from 10th to 12th December. After the opening speech by DRV President Norbert Fiebig and greetings from Johannes Zurnieden, founder of Phoenix Reisen, and Michael Otremba, Managing Director of Hamburg Tourismus GmbH, the conference started with interesting keynotes and lively panel discussions, including the future of package travel.

Exclusive study on the package tour

Dr. Peter Matuschek of forsa presented in his keynote speech on the subject of “What does Germany think about travel” a study commissioned by the DRV on the image of package travel, which was positive despite Thomas Cook’s bankruptcy. Astrid Stosius from the Holiday Land Reisecenter Stosius subsequently described the effects of this insolvency on travel agencies. The importance of personal service became particularly clear in this context.

Beyond this concrete example, Dr. Markus Heller, Managing Partner of Dr. Fried & Partner GmbH, Ralf Hieke, Managing Partner of IVR Reisebüro Ibbenbüren, Hubert Kluske, CCO of TUI Deutschland, Ralph Schiller, CMO of the FTI Group and Mark Tantz, Managing Director of DER Touristik Deutschland discussed the future of package travel.

Experts give prognosis for the future

It was forecast that package tours would increase in value in the future and move away from the bargain price segment towards individualised package tours. The customer must again be brought more into focus and become more important and his wishes must be more in the foreground than the insurances and protections in the background. Dr. Markus Heller pleaded for the right conclusions to be drawn from the insolvency and for aggressive price wars, which ultimately harm the entire industry, to be minimized.

Package travel will continue to exist, but is developing strongly, driven by digitalisation and innovative technologies. A look at the major travel distribution portals shows how the classic package tour will develop in the future in the direction of a “Connected Trip” through the individual combination of individual components via a platform approach.

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