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Germany: record-breaking 60.3 million overnight stays by international visitors

altGCC is one of the growth markets with an increase of 26.4% in 2010

The latest numbers published by the German Federal Statistical Office show that overnight stays by visitors to Germany from abroad totalled 60.3 million in the period spanning from January to December 2010, with the number of overnight stays by international travellers passing the record-breaking 60-million mark for the first time. Compared to the data of the previous year, these figures indicate a remarkable increase of 10%, illustrating an upward trend in both holiday and business travel. One of the growth markets is the Arabian Gulf, with the number of overnight stays reaching 968,336 in 2010 by visitors from this region showing an impressive increase of 26.4% as compared to 2009, when 766,089 overnight stays by Gulf Arabs were registered in Germany – and the German National Tourist Board (GNTB) even expects this number to reach 2.3 million by 2020.

Germany has been continually attracting more visitors since 2004 and its growth rate in the touristic sector has steadily surpassed other European countries. The latest numbers demonstrate that Germany’s popularity is growing at above-average rates amongst international visitors, especially attracting travellers from the GCC. “I am particularly pleased about the high number of overnight stays by visitors from the Arabian Gulf. With almost one million overnight stays recorded for this group, the Gulf region is now the fourth strongest overseas source markets for Germany. Between January and December 2010, 26.4% more overnight stays by GCC travellers were recorded, as compared to the figures of 2009 when this number stood at 766,089. This shows an increase of 202,247 overnight stays,” said Antje Roeding-Boudier, Director of the Marketing & Sales Office for the Gulf Countries at the German National Tourist Office (GNTO) in Dubai, the local affiliate of the GNTB.

The rising numbers of visitors from the GCC to Germany result from the country’s intensive marketing in the region, amongst other factors. Mrs. Roeding-Boudier stressed on the fact that “statistics provide tangible evidence of the efforts put into the GNTO’s annual campaigns aimed at promoting Germany’s image as a favourite tourist destination.”

Over the past years the GNTO has intensively promoted Germany in the Gulf region. Various projects were initiated not only to directly attract potential tourists, but also to draw the attention of local media representatives and to further intensify the collaboration with the travel trade. For instance, press trips, study tours and general trainings that seek to inform the regional audience more broadly about Germany as a travel destination are frequently organised. Moreover, the GNTO launched an annually recurring roadshow. Held under the name ‘Dallal fi Almania’ (‘Feel Good in Germany’), the country’s touristic offerings and attractions are showcased in cities across Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the UAE, in particular promoting those offers which are especially suited to meet the needs of Arab visitors.

Another promotional method is Germany’s participation in travel exhibitions, such as the upcoming Arabian Travel Market (ATM), also giving partners the opportunity to present their offers to the regional audience. This year the GNTB focuses on two major marketing themes that are particularly appealing to travellers from the Arabian Gulf: health and wellness tourism as well as the 125th anniversary of the motor car. Consequently, Germany’s stand at the ATM, which also includes 20 partners ranging from German regions and cities to hotels, airlines and car rental companies, will provide extensive information these topics.

Medical and wellness tourism is a travel segment experiencing high demand across the Gulf region. Therefore, GNTB’s marketing theme 2011 aims at emphasising the high standard of German clinics and hospitals as well as the special expertise of its medical staff. According to Antje Roeding-Boudier, “Germany is the ideal destination to combine medical treatment and a relaxing holiday. Guests enjoy the excellent conditions of the German medical sector that are targeted to their needs. Many medical facilities have specific offers for Arab guests, such as Arabic language support for patients as well as their accompanying relatives and friends.”

With regards to the second marketing topic for the year 2011, the GNTB’s activities focus on automotive-themed tourist attractions. Amongst other things the numerous car museums and events are promoted in order to commemorate the 125th anniversary of the invention of the automobile.


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