The leading trade fair for the international tourism industry, ITBwill open its doors from 7 to 11 March 2018. The topic is interesting, because the tourism industry is an enormous economic factor 67.5 billion euros the Germans spent 2016 on their holiday trips. The German holidaymaker is average 13.2 days on travel (Statista). City or beach trips are most popular. This includes the Range of its average editions while Turkey is cheap with 750 euros per person, Gran Canaria is at the upper end of the scale with 1,600 euros per person (statistic).

No wonder, then, that discounters have been participating in this market for years. Almost every second euro for food shopping is already going to discounters (42%), so why not put the next holiday trip to the Galapagos Islands in the shopping basket? But does the “stinginess is cool” of a discounter fit into the “treat yourself to what” concept of the travel industry? Is he also capable of providing complex services such as a trip?

This study deals with the perception of the discounter as a travel agent. In a longitudinal study in January 2018 and previously in 2012, 2010 and 2008, 1,000 Germans aged 18-69 were interviewed. The survey is representative of the German population by age and gender.

Travel with the discounter: High profile

Almost every German (91%) knows that you can book travel at a discount store. In the older target group 50+, which is keen to travel, awareness is highest (94 %). At the same time, the shopping centre also functions as a strong marketing channel for the travel offers of discounters: The vast majority of customers (77%) become aware of the trips on offer through flyers in the discounter’s branch. Flyers in the letterbox (29 %), newspapers and magazines (23 %), the Internet (21 %) and radio or television (8 %) reach significantly fewer potential customers.

Attentive through


Upward trend: confidence in discounters

Trust in discounter travel has increased significantly since the last survey just under six years ago. At present 46% of Germans attest to their confidence in discounters when it comes to holiday travel. For comparison: in previous years, this was only 26 % (2012) and 29 % (2008 and 2010) respectively It is striking that especially young, male customers trust the discounter: 53 % of men, but only 39 % of women would rely on discounters when planning their travel. The young target group of 18-29 years sees Aldi & Co highly in the course (55 %), while the confidence within the well-funded target group starting from 30 years clearly slumped (45 %). And there is still potential: because the group of rejects (18%) is significantly smaller than the number of those who are still unsure whether they are entrusting their trip to a discounter (36%).

Discounters gain confidence when travelling

Trust yes, booking not (yet)

Not even one in ten (8%) has booked a trip to a discount store, but at least one in two (48%) can imagine this. Here again, men are the deciding factor (52%). The destinations are clearly defined: it goes either within Germany (45%) or in other European countries (51%) on tour. Long-distance travel to the USA (26%) or Asia (16%) is particularly relevant for younger people up to 29 years of age.

Who travels, is confirmed

The majority of discount travellers liked it: 84% said they were satisfied or even very satisfied with the conditions at the holiday destination. Only 1% were very dissatisfied In the key benefit of all discounters – the price-performance ratio – the offers 61% of travellers attest to a very good price-performance ratio, at a consistently high level over the past few years.

How would you summarize the price/performance ratio of your trip with the discounter?

At 95%, the proportion of respondents who would book again with discounters is correspondingly high (57%: in any case + 38%: rather yes). Obviously positive experiences support the upward trend in the acceptance of travel bookings with the discounter.


Would you book another trip with a discounter?



The ranking of the most popular discounters for travel is clear: Aldi and Lidl are clearly at the top of the list. With the young target group under 29 years both offerers win against the field. Lidl is slightly ahead (54% vs. 52% Aldi).

With which discounter can you imagine booking a trip? (total population)


In summary, the discounter has established itself as a reputable tour operator on the German market. Consumers are increasingly accepting this alternative to the classic travel agency. Our study indicates that there is no success without quality: In the travel category, too, the discounter apparently delivers good quality at an affordable price. It is also clear, however, that it is the rather “simple journeys” within Germany or in other European countries that the discounter is trusted with. The travel agency will remain an important address for the”special” and for long-distance travel. Between the limitless online selection options and the predefined standard in the discount brochure there is enough space for human consultation in the travel agency of trust. This includes trust in the brands, be it at the local travel agency, the online offer or even discounters;


To the study

For the longitudinal study, 1,000 men and women aged 18-69 years from Germany were interviewed in January 2018, February 2012, June 2010 and February 2008, respectively. The study is representative by age and gender. We will be happy to answer any further questions you may have.


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