The Germans are coming! The Germans are coming!

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Great News! New air service will bring Germans to Barbados

Adrian Loveridge, small hotel owner - now selling!

Adrian Loveridge, small hotel owner – now selling!

According to recent media releases, European travel giant TUI will operate direct charter flights fortnightly from Hamburg, Germany’s second city and the sixth largest in the European Union commencing November 2013.  This will give Barbados two routes from the most travelled per capita population in the world, adding northern Germany to the current Frankfurt flight.

The UNWTO World Tourism Barometer estimated that Germans spent US$80.8 billion outside their own country in 2009.

The great circle distance of 4,661 miles will mean a flying time of just over 9 hours and the flights will be operated by a B767-300 of a TUI Dutch affiliate ARKEfly, with 265 seats in two classes. Hamburg is currently the fifth largest airport in Germany, handling nearly 14 million passengers a year, served by 60 airlines to 115 domestic and international destinations.

Justifying the move which includes other destinations in the region, Christian Clemens, CEO of TUI Deutschland Gmbh., stated ‘our choice of Hamburg as a departure airport was very deliberate. We have a unique selling proposition here, because there are, to date, no non-stop long haul flights from Hamburg to the Caribbean or Mexico’.

Recent research by the company revealed that one in four Germans wanted to undertake long-haul travel. Market leader TUI is presently experiencing record 30 per cent booking growth in this segment for winter 2013/14. TUI is already Germany’s largest tour operator, with a market share of around 20 per cent. With excellent rail and S-Bahn links to/from its airport, it will also open up not just Northern Germany but also Southern Denmark – perhaps two of the European countries least negatively affected by the global recession.

From our tourism partners point of view, the 14 night bookings will be a welcome relief from the recent trend towards shorter stays. Also depending on the final day of operation chosen, it could well be a perfect fit for a cruise and stay programme – perhaps appealing especially to the smaller ships like Star Clipper and the SilverSea and Seabourne brands.

Just 150 miles northwest of Hamburg is the island of Sylt, which has become a very popular centre for kite and windsurfing, even attracting the Kite Surf World Cup event in 2012. I really hope that our tourism policymakers bear this in mind and perhaps work towards attracting the organisers to stage the event on Barbados for 2014 or 2015 to support these new flights.

Our worldclass watersports ambassador, Brian Talma, has visited Sylt many times and maybe his proven expertise could be tapped. This minority sport is often overlooked in the scheme of things, but after counting a staggering 47 kites at one time off Silver Sands and Long Beach recently, we have to remember that active enthusiasts usually travel with a partner and family members and are not usually deemed budget travellers.

The Bad News: Air passenger duty increased again

Today, the dreaded APD (air passenger duty) is increased yet again, albeit by a small amount, which makes it all the more amazing that a charter airline has not seized on the opportunity to operate flights to the Eastern Caribbean from Belfast, after Northern Ireland reduced APD to zero from January this year. Even if the flight were shared with Grenada or St. Lucia and passengers were fed in from other British airports like Bristol, Cardiff and Liverpool by low cost carriers.

As a bonus, almost 40 per cent of the entire population of Eire (the Republic of Ireland) live in greater Dublin (1.8 million people) which is only 85 miles away from Belfast International Airport.

13 Comments

Filed under Aviation, Barbados, Barbados Tourism

13 responses to “The Germans are coming! The Germans are coming!

  1. Anonymous

    Good luck then and get some extra sun loungers.

  2. perplexed

    After reading the Der Spiegel article one can only hope that Harlequin
    Development sold to some Germans. That should clear things up
    really quickly!

  3. Anonymous

    I think the expression “be careful what you wish for” springs to mind !!
    Like all nations there are good and bad BUT when they are bad they really are and expectations far exceed the more easy going nations. Good for business but maybe short lived

  4. ACHTUNG (that should be enough)

  5. Willie and Rib Bone

    Hoo dat? Willie don’t tell me nuffin’ bout no germans coming! Do dat mean we needs to hide da silver, lock up da Banks and Cockspur, hide da womens? I’m knowin dat ho Rihanna prob alreddy be at the beech showin her heinie to da heinies hopin dat dey sine her up fo da beer and sossage festivle what dey gonna replace at Oistens insted da fish!!!
    Dat fool Willie must know bout dis alreddy cause he say he headed fo da hills-but dat mebbe cause he messed wit Madame Queen how engage to be wedded to Lightnin’ Jones what run dat rum shop by da coast road!!
    Anyhows if’n you here more bout da Germans be sho to let me no cause I think dey is trubble cording to what my BBF Demetrous in da UK say when we was in da UK lookin fo dat ho Rihanna.
    Yo bes fren Rib Bone who volinteer to leed da gorilla army of BIM aginst da Germs

  6. John Smith

    Funny, for a country with the nickname “Little England” and commentators that rival the sophistication of The Sun reporters, I am surprised you have not mentioned the war yet!!? But quite frankly, can it get worse than hordes of tattoo covered English pub freaks?? Please…
    At least the Germans will pay their bill before they leave….

  7. Canadian Tourist

  8. hmmm, maybe I need to think again

    The towels will be out and on them sunbeds at 4:00am…..maybe they will sort the beach vendors out, now that would be a good thing…yeah bring em on

  9. peltdownman

    Having lived and worked in several Mediterranean countries, I can confirm that the German stereotype does indeed exist. However, they should be welcome in Barbados, and it should be interesting watching them share a buffet with the Bajans – could end up in a food fight! Seriously, it could be a good thing for Barbados if they are ridiculously fussy, because it would help us raise our standards. Please the Germans, and you can be fairly sure that you can please anybody. Oh, and the towels on the sunbeds at 4.00 am? Absolutely true!

  10. Name.

    Bajans have standards?

    I thought things were simply allowed to “evolve” any way the winds blow them!

  11. 186

    This is very good news for the Barbados tourism industry. It has been my experience, in Barbados, that Germans are very civilized and very conscious of race relations. Most of them have got decent money to spend and like to have a good time spending it. Thumbs Up.

  12. Anonymous

    having visited a lot of countries i can only say that you will find well behaving tourists and misbehaving tourists from all over the world, whether they come from America, Europe, Asia, Caribbean or whatever. If tourists do not complain easily that might be because they are used to certain procedures like extended waiting times in their homecountry, they simply grew up with it. If they complain fast it might be that they are not used to waiting times. the willingness to understand people who behave in a certain way also plays an important role.