Despite Corona, youth trips are well booked
Alone on a long journey – millions of students and trainees across Germany are looking forward to it. At the beginning of the year, children’s and youth tour operators registered bookings growth – and despite the Corona crisis, there are hardly any cancellations.
As of April 24, 2020 | Reading time: 3 minutes
GThe German schoolchildren have an endless vacation this year. Which is not only due to the Corona crisis, but also to the particularly early start of the summer vacation.
There is only three weeks between Whit Monday and June 22, when Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania is the first federal state to distribute school certificates; Hamburg, Berlin and Brandenburg followed shortly thereafter. In Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg, the summer vacation starts at the end of July and extends into September. But whether and where the students can go is still open.
This is not because of the children’s and youth travel organizers – “We are currently busy creating tour groups, keeping holiday camps and camps up to date, recruiting and training supervisors,” says Juliane Körner, Managing Director of Jugendreise.de.
Tour operators expect a clear signal from politicians
The fact that there is still a lot of uncertainty in the industry and among customers is “to blame for the politicians who still do not have a clear corona exit strategy”.
At the latest “at the beginning of June, or even better at the end of May”, the Dresden tour operator warns during the WELT conversation, “the federal and state governments must have decided whether they will relax the travel and contact restrictions. Both we children’s tour operators and the various camp operators need a clear signal from politics to be able to open the camps for the first holiday children on time in the fourth week of June. ”
As the bookings in February were already higher than in the previous year and there have been hardly any cancellations since then, “we have reached the minimum number of participants for a number of trips or are about to do so. We look forward to every further booking, which creates planning security for us, but also for the customers. Because we expect that the demand for youth travel will quickly exceed the offer as soon as the federal government gives the green light for summer travel. “
Worldwide travel warnings do not deter everyone
What if summer trips are not possible? – “If the federal and state requirements remain, the booked trips will be canceled free of charge,” says Juliane Körner.
This is also confirmed by the competitors at Kiju-Reisen.de, Ruf Jugendreisen and GO Jugendreisen, which also continue to accept bookings. Customers are “currently focusing on offers in Germany,” says Kristina Oehler from Ruf, the market leader for travel for children and young people, “although trips abroad can also be booked”.
There are adolescents who are not deterred by the Foreign Office’s worldwide travel warning: “Young people tick differently, Corona is for them today and now, and there is still a long way to go for summer.” However, the Foreign Office’s travel warning should remain , the organizers would have to cancel the trips abroad.
How do you protect children from the corona virus?
Oehler is optimistic about summer travel within Germany, and like Juliane Körner, she believes that the number of bookings will increase quickly once the Corona requirements are relaxed. Because in the meantime, “some parents are driven by pure fear of how to bridge the holiday, for example because they have already tapped their holiday account to look after the little ones and the grandparents cannot help in the foreseeable future”.
The question remains how the organizers want to protect children and young people traveling alone from being infected with the corona virus? – “The way schools are doing it now. If there are no infections in the classrooms and schoolyards in the next few days, we will do the same; the schools are our blueprint, so to speak, ”says Lena Eggers from GO Jugendreisen. And of course all organizers would adhere to the required hygiene and distance requirements.
According to the BundesForum, almost 15 million children and adolescents between the ages of three and 26 are usually traveling outside their family association every year, with 75 percent of these trips taking place domestically.