Global Tourism Trends after September 11, 2001
Dieter Grosse General Manager, Lufthansa

» The closure of American airspace for days on end after the horrific events of September 11th,

» the collapse of airlines in Zurich and Brussels

» the tragic plane crashes at Milan Airport and in New Jersey

» or merely flight cancellations because of pilots strikes - like those in Frankfurt, Madrid or Brussels

» and the resultant disruption faced by passengers

» those incidents last year have brought home sharply what it means when air traffic is suddenly disfunctional.

» What would happen , if it was brought to a complete standstill ?

* Air Traffic - like telecommunications - is an industry of strategic importance. Both together are engines of international solidarity and the backbone of open society.

* The strategic role of the aviation business is highlighted by its contribution to the world economy : it creates directly or indirectly 28 million jobs , worldwide

* And contributed in 2000 1,400 billion US Dollar to total global output.

* A not inconsiderable portion of our prosperity , and the function of almost all our systems, depend on transport. There is no disputing the logistical significance of aviation for the world economy.

» Admittedly: The repercussions of September 11th on air traffic and tourism cannot yet be foreseen.

» Because - for the first time since the assault on the civilised world, tourism is in focus today on the European stage- one of the strongest growth sectors in the economy. Will it remain so ?

» Lufthansa has many interests in this market.

* I need only to mention one household name that is familiar to all: Thomas Cook, the pioneer of the package tour business.

* Our CONDOR holiday carrier underpins the flight operations of this future - oriented leisure travel group forged by Lufthansa and Karstadt.

* Lufthansa is strongly committed to the tourist trade because tourism is closely related to our very core business.

* Travel is a basic human need and air travel is a basic need of modern man.

* That is why we have allocated leisure travel its own autonomous business area within our Group.

* Despite the current adverse economic climate and Winter season bookings down by 12 % on last year , Thomas Cook is expected to enhance the profits earned throughout the Group by around 530 million EURO.

* In order to meet this ambitious target, Europe's second largest Leisure Group will firstly adapt the capacities it offers in the respective markets to better reflect the current level of demand.

* Secondly, volume related costs are to be decreased by improving capacity utilisation, both for aircraft and hotels.

* Thirdly, planned capital expenditure will be cut by 50 % ,

And last, but not least , marketing expenses , data processing costs and budgets for other centrally organised activities will also be reduced.

Moreover , personnel costs are to be trimmed by some 13 %. This will be achieved by reducing the number of jobs within the Group by some 10 % ,
Cutting back on overtime and residual leave entitlements, offering staff unpaid leave, reduced working hours for those nearing retirement and part-time jobs or- where sensible and possible - introducing short-time work as well as postponing certain training projects.

These measures will be implemented with utmost care, to ensure the company remains flexible and , above all, in a position to raise flight and hotel capacities when bookings start to return.

» Apart from all the economic data, though, tourism is much more :

» It symbolizes the exact opposite of that which befell us all on that September morning in New York.

» Travel furthers communication between cultures , it encourages international understanding.

» As a key industry , tourism to which air traffic belongs, must show the way towards mobility, the market economy, prosperity and jobs.

This Tourism Conference is in any case an important stage in confidence-building and that is why I am so glad to be able to attend it.

Together, we have a real chance of tackling and overcoming September 11.