Germany’s tourism industry broke records in 2014. Germany’s hotels and hostels recorded an impressive 75.6 million overnight stays last year, 3.7 million more than in 2013. The latest figures were revealed at ITB Berlin, the world’s largest travel trade show. The German National Tourism Board, one of the main exhibitors at the event and used the opportunity to unveil its annual report. The fairy-tale landscapes, sweeping skylines and picturesque towns have helped the northern European country to retain its popularity among tourists, and the German National Tourism Board (GNTB) is expecting this year to be even greater than last.
European visitors to Germany are still the industry’s greatest asset, says the GNTB. Germany is the number two destination for European visitors behind Spain. In total, 50 million Europeans toured Germany last year. While those numbers remain strong, the number of visitors from outside the EU is also growing significantly. The number of Asian tourists grew by 11.7 percent in 2014, a sign of a growing trend. Meanwhile, Germany hosted 5.2 million American travelers in 2014, the third most by country behind Switzerland and the Netherlands.
The GNTB also revealed its tourism predictions for the coming decade. If the current trend holds true, Germany could see up to 121.5 million tourists by 2030, no small feat for a country roughly the size of Montana. All the same, the reasons for avid interest in German culture are clear. With the 25th anniversary of the reunification, commemorative years for the Brothers Grimm and Martin Luther, and various other anniversaries coming up, Germany has become more attractive. Germany is also home to 39 UNESCO World Heritage Sites and a wealth of European cultural and political history, both of which continue to draw interest. In short, as Petra Hedorfer of the GNTB at ITB Berlin put it, “Germany has arrived in the league of top international travel destinations.”
By Lauren Rogers, Press Officer, German Embassy Washington