Strong first half of year for German incoming tourism
With an increase of 3.3 percent in June, German incoming tourism is continuing its steady growth. According to provisional figures from the Federal Statistical Office, 39.8 million international overnights were registered across hotels and accommodation establishments with more than ten beds between January and June – a three percent (1.2 million) rise on the equivalent period of the previous year.
“Destination Germany is positioning itself well within the increasingly competitive market“, says Petra Hedorfer, Chief Executive Officer of the German National Tourist Board (GNTB). “According to the latest trend analysis by IPK International to develop international travel in line with the World Travel Monitor, Germany’s incoming tourism is performing better than the worldwide average (plus 3.5 percent) with an increase of 3.7 percent. Germany is even generating a growth of four percent from European source markets, according to IPK, placing it well ahead of the European average (plus 2.5 percent).”
There was a 4.7 percent increase on comparative figures of the previous year in flight bookings made by overseas visitors throughout the first half of 2019, according to analyses by market research company Forward Keys. The segment of advance bookings (at least 120 days prior to departure) grew far above average by 11 percent.
Destination Germany’s partners confirm positive development
Gabriela Ahrens, Senior Director of Leisure Sales Home Markets (DACH) at Lufthansa Group, explains: “As our home market, Lufthansa’s focus is on Destination Germany. We have recognised the importance and potential of Germany’s incoming tourism, and are increasingly targeting the segment with various target group-orientated activities with the German National Tourist Board.”
Andreas von Puttkamer, Head of Aviation at Munich Airport, adds: “In the first half of 2019, Munich Airport registered a new record of 22.7 million air passengers, with an increase just short of five percent (more than one million additional passengers). Once again, the intercontinental segment proved to be the driver of growth, seeing a rise of over ten percent within this period.”
And there is a further record year in sight for Germany’s hotels, according to Markus Luthe, Managing Director of the German Hotel Association (IHA): “Holidays in Germany are back in trend in Germany in particular. In addition, bookings made by international guests are continuing to rise. With an increase of four percent, the average return per room (RevPAR) is even above the European average of 3.3 percent.”
With its “German Summer Cities” campaign, the German National Tourist Board has already been able to strengthen the popularity of Destination Germany this year. Visitor attractions are enjoying an especially dynamic increase in demand. Dr.-Ing. h.c. Roland Mack, Managing Partner of Europa-Park GmbH & Co Mack KG, explains: “Europa-Park kicked off the 2019 season with many new, exciting attractions. “Krønasår – The Museum-Hotel” was completed in May and is welcoming its first guests. In addition, we have recently celebrated the reopening of the Scandinavian themed area. These highlights have played a role in increasing our overnights from France, Switzerland and the United Arab Emirates within the first half of the year already.”
Evelina Hederer, Director of Business Development at Expedia Group Media Solutions, comments: “The demand from Germany’s TOP 5 incoming markets – the USA, Great Britain, Japan, Canada and Australia – increased by more than five percent in comparison to the previous year within the first half of 2019. Berlin and Hamburg were particularly popular with steady growth throughout the first six months, as were Cologne, Düsseldorf and the Black Forest, which even registered double-digit growth.”
Cautiously optimistic outlook for second half of year
Early indications for the second half of 2019 suggest ongoing stable development. According to Forward Keys, the advance bookings for flights from overseas markets to Germany were 2.1 percent above the comparative figures of the previous year at the end of July.
Petra Hedorfer adds: “These latest analyses should not let us forget that we still have major challenges such as weaker economic growth in the eurozone, climate discussions, trade conflicts and the possibility of a no-deal Brexit to overcome.”