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FTI expects highly successful winter 2023/24

FTI Group

Prices remain stable in the upcoming season; Already very good demand for the travel period November 2023 to April 2024. Package Holidays: wider selection for fans of nature, wellness and activities.

MUNICH – Intense travel experiences, new destinations and a greater variety of offers: this is what awaits FTI holidaymakers in winter 2023/24. An expanded portfolio of accommodation, optimal flight connections and newly designed round trips around the globe characterise the repertoire. There is already a particular demand for faraway breaks, especially in Thailand, but also in the USA, South Africa, Mexico and the Maldives. Holidays in Egypt and Germany are also in favour with travellers. The good demand is evidence of a great desire to travel and a renewed confidence among customers in long-term booking. “Tour operator trips are in greater demand than ever before,” FTI Group CEO Karl Markgraf notes. “During the pandemic, this form of travelling was able to prove itself with all its advantages and safeguards, and this is now bearing fruit. In general, since the beginning of the current business year, the average booking lead time has increased by more than 40 per cent compared to the previous year; so that at present there is again an average of almost 100 days between the booking and the start of the journey. Even though next winter is already very well booked, we therefore assume that the big run is yet to start in mid-summer and early autumn”. In relation to previous years, the CEO further explains, “The last three winter seasons were marked by the pandemic and uncertainty among customers. Even the winter of 2022/23 could not yet reach the ‘old’ level again. At that time, demand was already on the rise again, but there was still a clear lack of flight capacity. The flights are now there for next winter, people obviously still feel a great need to catch up on their travelling and we have very good offers. Therefore, all signs point to a highly successful winter 2023/24.”

Prices remain stable – on top many options for those who want to save money

Karl Markgraf has good news up his sleeve on the subject of price trends: “In general, prices for holidays in the coming winter season will remain stable, there will be no significant price increases,” emphasises the FTI Group CEO. Those who want to make additional savings are advised to book early – on the one hand to benefit from the widest possible selection, and on the other to take advantage of early bird discounts of up to 50 percent. But there are also a lot of further potential ways of saving money: “For cost-sensitive guests, we have put together packages with very attractively priced flights with partners such as SunExpress, SmartLynx, Salam Air or European Air Charter. For individual roundtrip travellers, we can offer our rental cars at an average of 20 per cent lower prices than last year thanks to the expanded vehicle fleets. And our long-stay offers are also suitable for budget travellers in winter. The hotel price is reduced by up to 30 percent,” says the CEO. In general, most guests still tend to book higher-quality hotels: “We checked whether, for example, lower star categories, self-catering apartments or hotels in the second and third row were in demand. But this is not the case: as in recent months, demand continues to focus on accommodation in the four- and five-star range. The trend towards all-inclusive catering also continues. And in fact, compared to last year, our guests are even choosing the hotel directly on the beach more often than cutting back on location in favour of price,” says Markgraf. “So the desire that arose among many wanderlust addicts during the pandemic continues to carry over: those who take a trip want to treat themselves to something and do something good for themselves.

Sustainability: progress in the right direction

“Doing good” is also the motto of the FTI Group in terms of sustainability. After the group already had all of its own hotels certified with Travelife in the last business year and fulfilled a catalogue of sustainability criteria consisting of 163 points, the FTI Group is now striving for Travelife certification for its incoming agencies, Meeting Point International. In order to make holidaymakers aware of the CO2 impact of a holiday trip, the company is campaigning for a uniform calculation standard as a member of the KlimaLink e.V. association. In addition, the FTI Group will soon launch a project that will enable FTI guests to promote the use of more climate-friendly aircraft fuel. Since 2020, the FTI Group has been the only major tour operator in Germany to do without printed seasonal and annual catalogues. This saves paper resources as well as CO2 emissions during printing and delivery – instead, the group presents its portfolio online in the FTI TravelMag, which means it is always up-to-date and can integrate videos and related links.

MP Hotels: spotlight on the Red Sea and the Turkish Riviera

The FTI Group can look back on highly successful months for the company’s own hotels. The new additions in Croatia and Soma Bay in Egypt and the introduction of operational service principles and standards in all eight MP Hotel countries are just a few milestones. Currently, the focus is on the rebranding of the umbrella brand. For the coming weeks and months, Egypt and Turkey will also be more in the spotlight. “We are planning quality investments in Makadi Bay and, of course, we want to expand our portfolio even further on the Red Sea and the Turkish Riviera. There are great opportunities for this at the moment,” announces Sabine Dorn-Aglagul, CEO Hotels at the FTI Group.

Orient: re-start of the extensive flight programme to the Emirates and Oman

FTI will once again be bringing the treasures and wonders of the United Arab Emirates to more German citizens from winter onwards. Holidaymakers will continue to reach Dubai daily from Munich, Frankfurt, Düsseldorf and Hamburg with Emirates and, as a new addition, also from Berlin and Leipzig non-stop. The Munich-Ras Al Khaimah route is also making its debut this winter. For the price-conscious, this pays off twice: they can travel in comfort and also enjoy attractive price packages on the new connections. The partner country of ITB 2024, Oman, is being connected for the first time by FTI with Salam Air: in addition to the daily flights with Oman Air, there is a flight from Munich via Muscat to Salalah and its Caribbean-like beaches. “Before the pandemic, we already had a flight programme to the Orient that covered all major regions in Germany just as closely. We are now picking up where we left off and are supplementing the scheduled flights with our own charters,” explains Casper Urhammer, CEO Tour Operating at the FTI Group. “With this, we want to consolidate our outstanding position as the Orient market leader.”

Egypt: new Sinai tour and higher quality level on the Nile

Sun worshippers and bathing beauties will find a further widened range of FTI offers on the Red Sea. Especially in Marsa Alam, new hotels are welcoming holidaymakers. In total, Egypt enthusiasts can choose from around 260 accommodations in winter and reach the land of the pharaohs with 218 flights a week from 16 German airports. Culture fans will be impressed by a new tour from/to Sharm El Sheikh – the itinerary includes Taba Heights, the Monastery of Saint Catherine and a detour to Petra in neighbouring Jordan. On the Nile, the tour operator is providing more ships of higher quality.

Morocco: non-stop flights to Agadir and offers from surfing to skiing

Thanks to new Condor connections, FTI guests can start their beach holiday in the Kingdom of Morocco in comfort. They can reach Agadir non-stop from Frankfurt, Düsseldorf, Hamburg, Berlin and Munich. The hearts of surfers will beat faster at many of the hotels that FTI has added in the surfer’s paradise of Taghazout. Those interested in culture can spend the night in Berber houses on a new round trip. Another new round trip combines a visit to the royal cities with the pleasures of skiing in the Atlas Mountains.

Package holidays: Wider selection for fans of nature, wellness and activities

In the other destinations of the classic package holiday, the tour operator is relying on a colourful kaleidoscope of choice for the preferences and hobbies of its guests. For beach lovers, FTI is expanding its selection in Monastir, Tunisia, and, for more variety in relaxation, is offering new hotel combinations in Gran Canaria. Those looking for holiday gems away from the mainstream will find new hideaways in the winter programme on Madeira, Gomera and Lanzarote as well as on the north coast of Malta. Wellness fans will enjoy new hotels in Dobrna in Slovenia and near Taormina in Sicily. Hiking are staying in traditional guesthouses along the trails in Cyprus. Skiers can test the slopes in Kolašin in Montenegro and in South Tyrol and Trentino.

Long stay: Tunisia as a golden address for savers

After long stays were the talk of the town last winter due to the rise in heating costs in Germany, big discounts for long-term holidaymakers will also be available in the coming cold season. These are possible for stays in Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia, the U.A.E., Turkey, the Balearic Islands, the Canary Islands and Cyprus. Tunisia offers the greatest savings potential. Here, up to 30 percent discount on the hotel price is possible for a stay of 21 nights or more. The lowest daily rate is for the five-star hotel Iberostar Kuriat Palace in Monastir: 21 days in a double room with half board and flight from Germany cost only 639 euros per person, which corresponds to 31 euros per day.

Caribbean: Lesser Antilles new in the programme and expansion of the Mexico portfolio

For lovers of Caribbean flair, FTI is offering an even larger island repertoire next season. St. Lucia will be bookable for discerning travellers and nature lovers. Species-rich underwater worlds will now also open up to guests around Antigua. Aruba enters the FTI compendium as a mix of exotic nature, colourful architecture and Dutch cultural heritage. The Tour operator is responding to the surge in demand for Mexico with numerous new hotels on the Yucatan peninsula as well as new round trips, including an eleven-day tour on the Baja California peninsula, which will offer whale watching from January 2024.

From America to Australia: new hotels, more round trips and unique experiences

On the long-haul route beyond the Caribbean and Mexico, the focus is primarily on more luxury, more privacy and a greater sense of freedom. In the USA, new hotels are available in Florida and California. In San Francisco FTI guests can discover the city by bike. Winter sports enthusiasts, on the other hand, will find happiness with additional offers in Canada. Those who want “long-distance heat”, on the other hand, can choose from freshly opened beach hotels in Costa Rica, Panama and Colombia. Those who don’t want to stay in one place enjoy a discovery tour with a new rental car round trip through Nicaragua, which can be combined with numerous countries in Latin America. Self-drive tours are also big in Africa, where there are more options to explore Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. New beach resorts on Zanzibar promise relaxation. For safaris, FTI is also increasing its selection of lodges in Kenya. A special highlight is a new round trip through South Africa: over eleven days, participants travel through the country under the motto “Wine, Wellness, Wildlife” and have the option to conclude the tour with whale watching. Mostly smaller marine mammals and fish appear before the guests’ snorkelling masks on the islands in the Indian Ocean. FTI is expanding its hotel portfolio, especially on Mauritius, but also on the Seychelles, La Reunion and the Maldives, and is paying particular attention to ensuring that there are enough offers especially for families and adults only. Sri Lanka returns to the tourist world map and offers freshly opened boutique hotels. The tour operator is also increasing its range of offers in Asia and is adding almost 50 new hotels. The focus is often on yoga and wellness. New in Thailand are authentic homestays with host families and excursions bookable by eTukTuk. In Australia, sustainable retreats have been added to the portfolio. Also new is a round trip through nature reserves on Kangaroo Island and an eight-day camping tour starting in Adelaide and ending in Uluru.

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