Larry Brain - Mar 3, 2024
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The Federal Statistical Office has reported that in 2023, German inbound tourism increased, and the number of overnight stays by foreigners in the country increased by 18.8 percent compared to the previous year, reaching 80.9 million. This growth has resulted in key source markets matching or surpassing the record results in 2019. Despite intense competition, Germany has remained the second most popular European destination, trailing behind Spain.

According to a report by IPK International, 95 percent of consumers worldwide intend to travel in the next twelve months, with 28 percent planning to travel more frequently than in the previous year. The international travel industry expects Germany to experience favorable growth prospects in 2024.

Petra Hedorfer, Chairwoman of the GNTB, explains that the business climate index in the GNTB Travel Industry Expert Panel has risen to 54 points in the first quarter of 2024, which is the highest value since measurements began two years ago. She believes that Germany has a good chance of matching the results of 2019 in 2024.

Significant Growth from All Regions of the World

In 2023, the European source markets remained the strongest for German inbound tourism. These markets generate almost 77% of German incoming visitors. The Federal Statistical Office recorded an above-average increase in the number of overnight stays, with a growth of 22% from USA. Positive trends are also emerging from the high-potential Asian markets, which boosted the recovery process by 42%, especially in the fourth quarter of 2023.

With 11.5 million overnight stays, the Netherlands is currently the leading source market for German incoming tourism. Switzerland comes in second with 6.8 million overnight stays. The USA, the most important overseas market, rose from 5th to 3rd place with 6.5 million overnight stays. Great Britain, Austria, and Poland followed in second place.

Higher Expenditures

According to experts, travel costs are and will remain a major factor in travel decisions for European and overseas tourists. Despite this, outbound travel remains a popular choice for consumers in the 27 source markets examined, coming third after food and health costs.

In 2023, the value added in German inbound tourism increased due to the number of travelers and their higher spending. Based on preliminary data, foreign guests' expenditure on travel, accommodation, local transport, food, and shopping has already surpassed the 2019 level of 66.2 billion euros, reaching around 69.6 billion euros.

Compared to 2019, rail travel by Europeans to Germany has increased by eight percent in the modal split of the modes of transport. However, arrivals by car were nine percent, by bus ten percent, and by plane eleven percent lower than the comparable figures for 2019. The average holiday duration was 6.6 nights, six percent longer than the pre-crisis level in 2019 (6.3 nights).

Football Championship Contributes to Success

In addition, several events also boost German inbound tourism. UEFA Euro 2024, for example, is expected to increase the number of overnight stays by up to four percent, according to a GNTB forecast. Moreover, notable cultural events such as the 250th anniversary of Caspar David Friedrich's birth, the 35th anniversary of the Berlin Wall fall, or Chemnitz - European Capital of Culture 2025 provide significant opportunities for international visitors. As a result, the number of overnight stays in incoming tourism is projected to return to pre-pandemic levels by 2024.

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