In 2016, city breaks were one of the prime growth drivers for Germany’s tourism industry. Take Berlin, Frankfurt, Munich and Hamburg – all very different places with unique urban characters, climates, economic underpinnings and even local dialects – and yet they were all in the top 25 cities for overnight stays. And in the same year, Germany was the only European country to have more than three cities on the list.
Germany is already one of the largest tourism markets on the continent, with a gross added-value of more than €105bn. In a country with unemployment at record lows, purchasing power at record highs, a population with a thirst for travel and a high level of connectedness and travel infrastructure, the tourism and leisure sector generally is enjoying a heady spell of success, be it incoming or outgoing. According to Eurostat, Germany is the biggest domestic tourism market within Europe; correspondingly, Germans spend €73.2bn holidaying outside of the country.
A good time to invest?
Investors of all shapes and sizes are enjoying the leisure boom. British hotel chain Premier Inn is planning a dozen hotel openings throughout the country over the next three years. Spanish boutique apartment company Eric Vökel is opening up a new block of boutique apartments in Hamburg. Tropical Island, a vast, climate-controlled dome south of Berlin opened in 2004 by Malaysian company Tanjong, has been basking in its success. Coral World, an Israeli aquarium operator, is also looking to expand into the German market.
“2016 was the seventh year in a row for record numbers in incoming tourism,” says Petra Hedorfer, CEO of the German National Tourist Board (DZT). “Germany is the number one place for culture and city trips for Europeans and is the most popular destination for young Europeans. It is also the top trade show, congress and summit location in Europe and is the most popular destination in Europe for international luxury trips.”