Germany's travel sector is expecting to lose 10.8 billion euros ($11.8 billion) in revenue by mid-June, an industry body said on Monday, as the coronavirus crisis continues to take its toll.
Mid-June is the current expiry date for an unprecedented government warning against all international travel issued in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
“The work of travel agents and travel operators has almost completely been brought to halt by state order,” said Norbert Fiebig, president of the German Travel Association (DRV), in a statement.
Over and above these projected losses, the industry was also being slammed by the cost of reimbursing customers for canceled trips, he said.
Fiebig called for the state to provide an emergency relief program to support the travel branch with non-repayable aid, warning that two-thirds of German travel companies are already facing bankruptcy.
“Politicians can no longer stand by without acting while travel agents and travel operators lose their livelihoods,” he said.
The German government's tourism commissioner, Thomas Bareiss, raised the possibility of an aid fund for the sector over the weekend, if efforts to soften European Union regulations requiring refunds for canceled trips are unsuccessful.
Germany is pushing for businesses to be allowed to issue vouchers instead.
European Commission Vice President Vera Jourova has previously called for balance to be struck between consumer rights and the liquidity of the company.