Germans generally prefer spending holidays in their own country. However, many of them want to get to know new cultures, in Europe and beyond and opt for long haul destinations.
Holidays on the North or Baltic Seas, hiking in Bavaria or Austria, sunbathing on Mallorca or Crete. This is the way many Germans spend their holidays. But what are the most popular destinations worldwide?
With respect to Europe and the Mediterranean it is Spain, Italy, Turkey, Austria and Greece that are the most popular – in this order. For some travellers this is simply not enough and they are keen to travel much further for the ultimate experience.
The most visited long haul destinations for German tourists is the USA. In 2015, 2.27 million visitors from the Federal Republic arrived in the States. Last year it was a little less because of the strong dollar, though the official figures are not yet available.
“USA is the undefeated number one among Germans,” says Torsten Schäfer, spokesman of the German Travel Association (DRV).
Thailand keeps the second place with about 840,000 visitors from Germany. The DRV, however, does not compare countries, but travel regions. The Caribbean is also among the top destinations. Cuba, Mexico and the Dominican Republic are all countries with over 200,000 annual visitors from Germany.
Asia is highly popular among Germans. Indonesia, including Bali, welcomed 230,000 visitors from the country last year. China, without Hong Kong, had 650,000 German guests. However, there are uncertainties when it comes to visitors to this region. It is often not possible to distinguish between casual tourists or businessmen, since China is an important trading partner for Germany. This also applies to India, for example.
It is questionable whether the United Arab Emirates can be defined as a long haul destination. The DRV does not classify it as one. Dubai alone attracted around 460,000 Germans in 2016.
South Africa has meanwhile registered a total record of 311,832 German tourists, according to South Africa Tourism.
According to the DRV, the Maldives and Mauritius annually welcome 100,000 Germans each. Australia has a total of 200,000 visitors from Germany, while Brazil 250,000. In 2016, more than 5.5 million Germans booked a long-distance trip with German tour operators. In addition to this, many were also travelling individually.