The result is not a surprise. German tourism was not spared by the Covid-19 crisis, but the pandemic did offer some grounds for satisfaction – especially regarding business tourism.
It is true that the total number of foreign overnight stays fell from almost 90 million to 32.2 million in 2020. This is the same level as 30 years ago. At the same time, however, Germany became Europe's leading destination for European travelers for the first time in 2020. The latter generated 23.5 million trips to Germany, ahead of Spain and Austria.
Business tourism has been one of the segments most affected by the crisis. Yet it is a more important segment than for other European destinations.
The number of Europeans traveling to Germany for business reasons represented 21% of all trips in 2020, compared to 15% on average for all trips.
In detail, 49% of all European business trips to Germany were for "classic" reasons, the rest being so-called "promotional" business trips. That is, in connection with a MICE activity.
In fact, this sector suffered the most in 2020. While the number of business trips to Germany in 2020 fell by 63%, trade fair and exhibition trips fell by 75%. Conference and convention travel fell by 65%.
If we look at the modes of transportation, cars represented the majority of trips at 54%, followed by air travel at 26% and rail travel at 9%.