From January to August 2014, the German Census Bureau registered a total of 51.6 million overnight stays of foreign tourists in accommodation facilities with ten beds or more. In comparison to the previous year, this means 2.6 million overnight stays more – an increase of 5.3 percent.
“The incoming tourism in Germany is growing continuously and is stabilizing the position of Germany as a travel country in the European competition,” said Petra Hedorfer, chairwoman of the Managing Board of the German Headquarters for Tourism (DZT).
“With an asset of 5.3 percent in the first 8 months, we are even above the strong increases of the preceding year, at 4%. This difference is an important indicator for the future development of 2014. Despite inconsistent development in major source markets, the summer months continue to be crucial in the overall balance of overnight stays of the entire year,” Hedorfer explained.
Stable Business from the Austrian Market
From January to August 2014, Austria, as one of the most important European source markets, generated 7.1 percent more overnight stays, cumulatively lying at just about 2.5 million stays. Just in the holiday months – May (+ 6.9%), June (+5.2%), and August (+5.3%) - Austrian travelers represented around 1.5 million overnight stays.
“The result thus far indicates a further success in the overall development in 2014, since in the summer months from May to August, nearly half of the Austrian overnight stays of the entire year came about”, explained Laszlo Dernovics, leader of the agency abroad in Austria and Slovakia, and south-east-European regional manager of the DZT. This success is to be attributed to not only the leisure travels in the country regions but also the city- and culture- tourism.
The positive development in the first eight months of this year especially in Hamburg is to be noted, with an increase of 11.1% (173,524 overnight stays). The most popular city destination of the Austrian visitors is, as it always has been, Berlin, with 261,636 overnight stays and an increase of 8.5%. The capital city is therefore able to further its head start in comparison to Munich (231,500 overnight stays, +6.3%). The Austrian guests are also remaining loyal to the neighboring Bavaria, where the amount of overnight stays is at 929,367 (+6.3%). The German coastal region Schleswig-Holstein with its popular holiday spots at the North and East Sea is becoming more and more in demand with the Austrian guests.
“The development in the fourth quarter is expected to be positive – the popular city breaks in combination with shopping, culture, and events act as a motor for stable growth, as well as the traditional Christmas markets,” Dernovics continued.
Eastern Europe Is Setting Trends
Numerous Eastern European countries are expanding their position as source markets for German tourism. As such, the Czech Republic is responsible for an increase of 9.2%, with growths in the double figures from Romania (+14.7%), Greece (+13.1%), Bulgaria (+24.3%), Slovenia (+22.7%) and Croatia (+31.7%).