The German travel and tourism market is definitely attractive. Germans are and will
continue to be the world travel champions. Of the total 623 billion US$ that were
spent on international trips in 2004, 71 billion originated from Germany. This figure
represents 11.4 percent of all global tourism spending. In comparison, Germans represented
less than 1.3 percent of the world population in the same period.
However, Germans who travel are spoilt and demanding. For most, traveling
has been a completely natural part of life for decades. Traveling has become integrated
into general consumer awareness. Therefore, the label travel consumption
is by all means admissible. And inevitably, every travel service provider has to
observe tourism from the standpoint of consumer behavior. Thus, it is of utmost
importance to understand who makes which travel decisions in what manner – and
first and foremost why.
Table 1. Top 3 countries for tourism spending in international travel
1 Travel decisions: Who makes them?
The assets of private households in Germany amounted to 4.26 trillion Euros at the
end of 2005. In 1994 however, they merely came to 4 trillion DM. Thus, in just
eleven years, the assets of the German people have more than doubled. German
households saved 180 billion Euros in 2005 alone (Deutsche Bundesbank 2006).
Even if around three quarters of the capital has been invested in real estate property,
a large portion of the remaining quarter is still available for consumption.
1.1 Who decides how to use the household income and assets?
Several studies vary slightly, but agree for the most part. They demonstrate that, in
the USA, between 83 and 87 percent of all private consumer decisions are made
by women. In contrast, these reports state that only 13 to 17 percent of all private
consumer decisions are made by men without significant or marginal influence
from a woman. The study results baffle everyone who is addressing genderspecific
decision-making power in end consumers for the first time. The following
examples, also taken from the USA, confirm to what extent women determine
- Home furnishings 94%
- Vacations 92%
- New homes 91%
- Home improvements 80%
- Cars 60% + 30 % influencing others2
- Consumer electronics 51%
- New bank accounts 89%
- Healthcare 80% and 2/3 of all expenditures
And more: Women in the USA
- write 80% of all checks
- pay 61 % of all the bills
- hold 53% of all stocks
- influence 75 % of the finance decisions (Peters 2003)
- buy 65 % of all Volvos and 31 % of all Mercedes Benz