Germany breaks overnight stays record

Roeding-Boudier...intensive marketing

LAST year was another record one for Germany’s tourism industry with overnight stays by visitors from abroad passing 60 million for the first time to hit 60.3 million from January to December 2010.

The figures signify a 10 per cent increase in comparison to the previous year, illustrating an upward trend in both holiday and business travel.

A key growth market for Germany has been the Gulf, with the number of overnight stays reaching 968,336 in 2010 by regional visitors showing an increase of 26.4 per cent as compared to 2009.

The German National Tourist Board (GNTB) expects this figure to reach 2.3 million by 2020.

'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 market for Germany. Between January and December 2010, 26.4 per cent 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 and sales office for the Gulf countries at the German National Tourist Office (GNTO) in Dubai.

The rising numbers result from the country’s intensive marketing in the region, amongst other factors. Roeding-Boudier stressed 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 recent years the GNTO has conducted active promotional activities in the 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. GNTO also launched its annual roadshow, held under the name Dallal fi Almania (Feel Good in Germany), where the country’s touristic offerings and attractions are showcased across Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the UAE.

GNTO also has an active participation at regional travel exhibitions including the Arabian Travel Market (ATM) where specific marketing themes are targeted. This year, health and wellness tourism as well as the 125th anniversary of the motor car were the key highlights at the show. Medical and wellness tourism has always received high demand from 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. Roeding-Boudier said: '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.'

For the 125th anniversary of the motor car, 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 occasion.