Tourism a driving force for Germany

Germany’s tourism sector set a new international arrivals record last year but that was no thanks to the Canadian market, reports Montreal editor, Mike Dunbar in this week’s digital edition of Canadian Travel Press.

North America as a whole turned in the world’s highest regional growth rate, but the 8.2% boost came solely from south of the border, while Canada posted a marginal 0.2% decline.

The cause of the downturn was strictly weather-related, according to Antje Splettstoesser, marketing and sales director for the German National Tourist Board (GNTB) in Canada. She explained, “January to August was rough because of the weather at home,” and revealed that in April 2014 alone the market tumbled 14%.

The prolonged inclement conditions saw Canadians flocking south to sun destinations instead of holidaying in Europe in general and Germany in particular, said Splettstoesser, who added that relief only came in September when demand finally turned up.

“As of September we started growing month over month,” said the Toronto-based exec. She noted, “November was up 7.4% and the latest figures show that February overnights rose 10.9%, resulting in a year-to-date increase of 3.4%.”

Splettstoesser was speaking at last week’s Germany Travel Market in Erfurt, Thuringia, where her boss, GNTB CEO Petra Hedorfer pointed out that tourism is so important to the national economy that it accounts for 4.4% of GDP. To put that in perspective, it’s twice the GDP contribution made by Germany’s massive automotive sector.

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