Germany Gears Up For Growth

In spite of record results for the sixth straight year, the German National Tourist Board (GNTB) is predicting a slightly lower growth rate of 1 to 3% for international overnights in Germany this year, reports Ann Ruppenstein in this week’s digital edition of Canadian Travel Press.

At the 42nd annual Germany Travel Mart (GTM), held in Magdeburg, Germany, April 17-19, Petra Hedorfer, CEO of the GNTB, cited mounting security concerns surrounding recent attacks in Brussels, Ankara and Paris, and the ongoing refugee crisis as some of the main factors currently impacting travel to Europe.

“Despite challenges, our arrivals have increased by 6% [for the first two months of 2016],” Hedorfer said. “We are growing at an above average rate and are experiencing growth from all continents.”

With 79.7 million international overnights in 2015 – an increase of 5.4% – the inbound figures exceeded the GNTB’s predictions for a 3-4% growth and was also above the global average.

“In a short period of time we’ve gained 20 million overnight stays internationally,” she says. “In 2010 we had 60 million.”

Although European countries represent the majority of all international arrivals, Canadian visitors also surpassed expectations in 2015 with a 3% growth over 2014, ahead of the projected increase of 2%.

As for the rest of 2016, Antje Splettstoesser, director of marketing and sales, Canada for the German National Tourist Office, expects a modest growth for Canadian travel and tourism to Germany.

“Given the Canadian dollar exchange vis-à-vis the Euro and some general degree of travellers’ apprehension regarding overseas trips, we expect a 1% increase for incoming tourism from Canada,” she says. “However, in our continued efforts to promote Destination Germany we certainly also aim for long-term results, where for 2030, we see a potential one million overnights from Canada – 350,000 more than last year.”

For the full story, check out this week’s digital edition of Canadian Travel Press by clicking here.