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.