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Business

Troubled German Travel Sector Hopeful of Upturn

Heads of Germany’s tourism industry are optimistic of a turnaround in the flagging travel sector. Speaking at an annual tourism summit in Berlin, Michael Frenzel, managing director of TUI, Europe’s largest tourism and travel company, said two years after the global tourism slump following the terrorist attacks in the U.S., the travel sector could once again count on an upturn. "We’re past the rock-bottom level," he said. "If the conditions are right, 2004 will be a sensible year," he added. The tourism industry is however counting on a five percent loss for the tourism year 2002/2003 which runs till the end of October, on account of the Iraq war, the SARS epidemic and poor economic growth. Klaus Laepple, president of the Federal Association of the German Tourism Industry (BTW) chiefly blamed poor consumer spending for the travel malaise and urged the governing coalition to speed up the reform pace to stimulate the economy.