The Future of the German MICE Market: Online Training Session Takeaways
As restrictions continue to ease, borders start to open and booking numbers show signs of improvement, hoteliers are beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel, despite the localized spikes causing some concern and confusion. Health, hygiene and safety measures continue to be put in place and to the test, and hotels begin to focus on ramping up efforts to redesign sales and marketing strategies to target relevant and revenue generating clients for the post-summer months. Of course, understanding markets, their needs, and how to reach them is key at this stage.
As part of a series of initiatives undertaken by Great Hotels of the World to help our portfolio of well-performing independent hotels navigate these unchartered waters, we have been hosting monthly members-only Online Training Sessions that provide a roadmap to recovery. Previous Online Training sessions for hoteliers included “A Roadmap to recovery” and “The Future of the UK MICE Market”.
Recently we held the “Future of the German MICE Market” OTS exclusively for GHOTW member hotels, led by Gregor Rummel, CWW WorldWide and Great Hotels of the World Area Sales Director based in Frankfurt, who was joined by Juliane Berauer, Senior Commercial Manager, City Breaks at FTI Group and Sabine Heblich, Director at Acanto Conferences, Incentive Travel, to give members an overview of the German MICE Market before the pandemic, the current status and a window into what the future holds so that independent hotels can act in preparation for the inevitable uptick and take full advantage of Europe’s second largest source market.
If you are planning your hotel’s road to recovery and would like relevant market information and insights, we invite you to take a look at our main takeaways from the session.
Germany – A powerful source market:
- With low unemployment rates and high GDP, 78% of Germans took a holiday trip (at least 5 days) in 2019 and 74% of leisure travel was abroad. According to data from 2018 travel spend hit US$ 94.2 bn!
- Before 2020 business travel across all industries and company sizes was on the rise. In fact, a record 12 million employees packed their bags on business in 2019. Top destinations included the UK, Austria, Spain, France, Italy Switzerland, Poland, Netherlands, Hungary and Sweden.
- Industries leading events and incentives trips included Finance, Insurance, Pharma and Automotive – industries that have big spending budgets for events and incentives.
- A less known fact, perhaps, is that when it comes to travel, Germans love mixing business with leisure. More than any other source market 66% of business trips were extended for “bleisure”. If you’d like to find out more about how this can significantly impact your hotel’s revenue, click here.
Germans Are Ready to Travel!
With summer holidays taking off, booking data indicates that Germans are in the mood to travel. This is crucially important. How confident Germans feel about their leisure travels now will hugely impact how quickly business and MICE pick up after that.
But what has changed?
Current bookings primarily cover the next weeks and the next months. Domestic and self-drive destinations such as different cities in Germany, Austria and the Netherlands are doing well, while favourite sunny destinations such as Spain, Italy and Portugal are being looked at in the longer term – spring and summer 2021.
Flights are proving to be a major hurdle – airlines aren’t necessarily keeping up with how fast borders are opening up, and last minute cancellations make travellers nervous about committing.
Health, safety and hygiene measures are the biggest concern for consumers and agencies alike.
Digital is not likely to replace live events any time soon. But technology will play an increasing role with hybrid events becoming the norm.
And what hasn’t?
Events for the second half of 2020 have not been cancelled and are expected to take place as scheduled. This includes Mice by Melody which will be attended by GHOTW and the Germany/Switzerland Roadshow in November.
Event planners have not been looking to reduce the size of events but rather to ensure that venues can accommodate the events as planned with all social distancing and safety measures in place.
Depending on the economic situation, budgets may need to be altered.
If you receive a request – you must meet expectations
We know this is easier said than done so we’d like to share some very practical tips proposed by our 3 German MICE market experts.
- Be creative. It’s not enough to just announce that your hotel is open or opening. With more time on their hands, Buyers are more willing than ever to take the time to know your hotel. Set up virtual meetings and or virtual walkthroughs of your meet venues.
- Instil confidence. Be specific and clear about your new measures to ensure the safety of your guests and your staff. Create new capacity charts. If you have an official certificate, make sure it’s front and center of your communications and explain what they mean
- Sell your destination. Make sure to highlight all the positive aspects of your destination. Especially if it is easy to drive to, secluded and less well-known. This is the time for the hidden gems! Join forces with other nearby hotels and local businesses.
If you’d like more information about the German MICE market, about how we’re working closely with our member hotels to navigate this complex situation or how we can help you prepare for the upturn, please visit www.join.ghotw.com and reach out to us.
Our next Online Training Session will take place on July 15 and will focus on Corporate Market Trends and Optimization.