Tui Travel and Thomas Cook in Germany are seeing a boom in high-street bookings for summer 2011 that outstrips any growth in the market in the UK.

Bookings for this summer through German travel agents were up 8.6% on last year at the end of January and industry analyst GfK says the upturn continued into February.

The value of high-street sales in Europe’s biggest travel market was more than 18% up year on year, with the average sales price 4.6% higher than in 2010. Inflation in Germany was 1.7% in January compared with 4%-5% in the UK and the economy is growing where the UK’s appears to be stagnating.

UK analyst GfK Ascent reported the market here as 4% up year on year at the same stage, although the sales cycle in the two countries differs. Summer holidays go on sale much earlier in the UK than in Germany. However, January accounts for almost one quarter of total trade sales in Germany.

Tui Travel and Thomas Cook are the number one and two groups in Germany as they are in the UK.

GfK in Germany reports: “The current optimism of German consumers is clearly having a positive effect . . . [there is] evidence of remarkably high demand on the travel market.”

The average holiday duration is 11 nights and average price above 950 euros per person.

Spain is the top-selling summer destination in Germany with sales revenue to the destination up almost 23% year on year. Turkey is in second place and Greece third, although sales to the latter are down on 2010. UK sales to Turkey were down on last year at the end of February.

GfK also reports “noticeable signs of recovery” in the German market to Egypt at the end of February. It said the Canary Islands benefited most from the slump in bookings to Egypt and Tunisia during the recent revolutions in the two countries.