Germany – a Traveller’s Tale
Germans have often been counted the world champions of holiday travel. In recent years, Germany itself has flourished as a travel destination. In 2015, for the sixth year in a row Germany was the second favourite travel destination for holidaymakers in Europe, just behind Spain and outdoing France. And while many Germans do indeed spend their vacations in their own country, the number of foreign holiday visitors to Germany is steadily rising.
In 2015, the German Federal Statistical Office recorded almost 80 million overnight stays by foreign visitors – a new all time high for Germany. Visitors from other European countries made up almost three quarters of these overnight stays. Counting trips rather than overnight stays, some 40 million foreign holidaymakers visited Germany in 2015, marking an 4 percent rise over the previous year.
Strong World Cup year
Germany’s current popularity among its European neighbours can hardly be due to its weather. The German National Tourist Board (GNTB) in Frankfurt am Main has a different explanation: ‘The 2006 Football World Cup in Germany played a big part in focusing international on the country as a travel destination’. During the World Cup year 2006, Germany jumped from 19th to 9th place in the tourism category on a list of 50 countries rated for the Nation Brands Index – an image ranking of countries worldwide. Since then, Germany has managed to maintain its position in the top-ten.
So is it all thanks to that summer’s tale? Having a good image is not enough – the economic conditions must also be right. ‘Wanderlust is on the rise again, not just in Germany, but everywhere around the world. Germany profits enormously from this trend’, says GNTB’s Martina Binhack. Another plus point claimed by the GNTB is the large choice of accommodation in Germany that offers good value for money compared with the European competitors.
Destination Germany – Diversity in the Heart of Europe
Culture and health
A tourist destination that can’t offer the sunshine and beaches of the Mediterranean countries needs other attractions to compete. ‘German tourism scores highly in the very segments that are now absolute mega-trends - cultural trips and health tourism,’ says Martina Binhack, and points at the roughly 350 officially certified spas and health resorts. Germany’s cultural tourism also ranks first in Europe. The tourist attractions include historically significant places that belong to the World Heritage Site, fascinating natural landscapes as well as exciting metropolises. Berlin takes third place in a comparison of European cities, with only London and Paris attracting more overnight stays.
German cities – typically German?
Whether it's the capital city of Berlin with its vibrant arts and music scene, Munich that prides itself on its Oktoberfest and proverbial Bavarian conviviality, or Cologne with its cathedral and carnival – German cities have a lot to offer.
Community groups on the subject of travelling
Do you also like spending your holidays travelling in your own country? Or do you prefer following the call of faraway places? Have you had similar experiences in Germany as a travel destination? What journey has fascinated you the most? Tell us all about it! The community would enjoy learning about your travels, for example in the ’Global Travelers’ and ’Travel Lovers’ groups.
Update: September 2016