City trips drive inbound tourism recovery for Germany in 2024

In 2023, Germany reaffirmed its standing as Europe’s premier city and cultural travel destination, with an offering catering to the nuanced demands of discerning target groups.

And in 2024, the German National Tourist Board (GNTB) fully expects that city tourism will present the greatest potential for the continued recovery of German inbound tourism.

Petra Hedorfer, chairwoman of the GNTB Executive Board, observed: “Germany has solidified its position as the top choice for city and cultural travel among Europeans globally. IPK International reports that out of the 46.5 million trips made by Europeans to Germany in 2022, 11.1 million were city trips, and 3.8 million were round trips. From January to August 2023, the recovery in city tourism reached an impressive 83% compared to the peak figures of 2019.”

Hedorfer continued: “Forecasts from various market research institutes, coupled with our own estimates, indicate that German inbound tourism is poised to match the record figures of 2019 in 2024. City and cultural trips remain particularly popular among Europeans, as highlighted by the European Travel Commission’s October 2023 Monitoring Sentiment in Intra-European Travel: City trips lead with 19.3%, followed by culture and heritage at 16.7%, and nature trips at 13.5%.”

Said Hedorfer: “Notably, interest in city trips remains robust, cultural and round trips are on an upward trajectory, while demand for sun & beach and coast & sea experiences is showing a slight decline. In alignment with these trends, our global theme campaigns for 2024 will centre around ‘Germany as a land of art and culture’ and ‘UNESCO World Heritage Sites,’ with a focus on commemorating the 250th anniversary of Caspar David Friedrich’s birth, the 35th anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall, the host cities of the European Football Championship, and Chemnitz as the European Capital of Culture 2025.”

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