Along with reunification, the CEO of the German National Tourist Board believes the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 also played a significant role in helping shape Germany into the thriving tourist hub it is today, reports assistant editor, Ann Ruppenstein in this week’s digital edition of Canadian Travel Press.
“The fall of the Berlin Wall was also a tourism gift,” Petra Hedorfer said at the recent Germany Travel Mart (GTM), the largest business-to-business workshop for Germany’s inbound tourism industry. “All of us tried to reconstruct the country, tried to make sure we have interesting travel destinations.”
By the numbers, overnight stays by foreign visitors have increased by 49.2 million over the past 25 years, and global demand for the destination is up 142% since 1993.
“Tourism is a core asset for the German economy,” she said. “It really is a success story.”
A prime example of a German city that’s undergone a remarkable transformation over the past few decades — and one that continues to increase and build on its tourism offer — is Dresden, where the 44th annual GTM was held.
“The GTM is an ideal platform for satisfying the existing high demand for travel to Germany and for harnessing untapped potential,” she said, adding that Dresden has changed significantly since it last hosted the travel mart in 1998. “For us, this means intensive communication with the traditional travel trade as well as with online tour operators.”
More than 500 travel industry representatives from 51 countries attended this year’s show, which included sales and networking sessions for buyers and travel agents to meet with regional tourism organizations and exhibitors within the hotel and transportation industries, as well as opportunities to discover some of the highlights of the surrounding area during functions like a sunset boat ride on the Elbe river.
For the full story, check out this week’s digital edition of Canadian Travel Press.