Germany ‘top European destination for Arabs’

Germany has plenty to offer Arab travellers

Germany was the top European destination for visitors from the Gulf in 2010, according to data released by IPK International’s World Travel Monitor.

For the first time, Germany surpassed other European countries, pulling in 307,000 of the 1.26 million Gulf Arabs who visited to Europe in 2010.

Another trend regarding inbound tourism from Arabian Gulf countries to Europe points to an average stay of 12 nights.

In addition, the German National Tourism Board’s (GNTB) figures for 2010 showed an impressive increase of 26.4 per cent in overnight stays from Gulf Arabs in Germany as compared to 2009, with the total number of overnight stays reaching 968,336 last year.  Further, the number of overnight visitors from the Gulf from January to May 2011 stood at 289,492, an 18.9 per cent increase from 2010.

The German National Tourist Office (GNTO) aims at further strengthening Germany’s reputation in the Gulf as a very diversified country which has plenty to offer Arab guests, says Antje Roeding-Boudier, director of the marketing and sales office at the GNTO in Dubai, UAE.

“Germany not only has vibrant towns and cities, which are a mix of cultural richness and an eventful life but it also offers a vast countryside, and an endless series of breathtaking landscapes. On the other hand, wellness, and medical tourism places Germany among the favourite destinations of GCC and other international travellers for the high-quality of services and medical staff,” she says.

Excellent flight connections, high-quality infrastructures and hospitality services specifically targeted to visitors coming from GCC countries, have built up over the years Germany’s reputation as preferred destination for inbound tourism from the Arabian Gulf. Nevertheless, also the diversified natural scenery, the abundance of greenery and the several shopping opportunities are particularly important when presenting in this region the main features of tourism to Germany.

The GNTO has embarked on a strategy of engaging the GCC travel industry directly in the region through various activities including road shows and by participating in some of the important trade fairs and workshops.

And with the increasing popularity of health and wellness tourism in Germany, the GNTB is also vigorously promoting this sector in its 2011 marketing campaign.

To this end, a road show focusing on health-related tourism was held in Qatar, Kuwait and the UAE in September.