Hamburg, February 8, 2021

Insolvency risk in the German travel industry

Insolvency risk in the travel industry has increased significantly in Germany – with the potential number of insolvencies already higher than in 2020

Due to the Coronavirus crisis, travel agencies and tour operators have been among the hardest- hit industries in Germany. In June 2020, 85% of the travel agencies and tour operators surveyed saw their existence threatened.

An analysis by the information service provider CRIFBÜRGEL has now shown that the consequences of the pandemic significantly increased the risk of insolvency in the travel industry. Compared with February 2020, the number of travel agencies and tour operators that are financially vulnerable and therefore at risk of insolvency has risen by 31.3 percent. A total of 8 percent or 1,810 companies from the travel industry are currently considered to be at risk of insolvency (as of January 2021). In February 2020, the figure was 1,379 (6.1 percent). For the evaluation, CRIFBÜRGEL examined the financial situation of a total of 22,600 travel agencies and tour operators throughout Germany.

"In 2021, every tenth company in the travel industry could be at risk of insolvency," says CRIFBÜRGEL Managing Director Dr. Frank Schlein. "Since insolvency statistics primarily reflect the past, they are in a sense a look in the rear-view mirror, the effects from last year will be most noticeable in the 2021 insolvency statistics," Schlein explains of the forecast.

A look at the regional figures shows that the insolvency risk from companies in the travel industry has increased in all German states, but markedly in Saxony (+ 48.8 percent), Rhineland-Palatinate (+ 47 percent), Bremen (+ 42 percent) and in Schleswig-Holstein (+ 40 percent).

Many companies from the travel industry were forced file for insolvency in 2020. Thus, bankruptcies of travel agencies and tour operators increased from 83 (2019) to 150 cases.

For the study, CRIFBÜRGEL evaluated information on the financial situation of companies that provides information on solvency. This includes information in balance sheets, profit and loss statements, employee and sales figures or payment experiences. Negative court features such as dunning procedures, debt collection monitoring or general entries in the debtors' register were also included.