Germany sees strong GCC arrivals

Roeding-Boudier ... GCC stays on top of the list for arrivals

THE popularity of Germany is continuously on the rise among international travellers and in 2011, the country’s tourism sector achieved new impressive numbers. The concluded year set a record also for the data regarding tourists from the GCC, who outdid for the first time the mark of one million overnight stays. As for the recently released figures of the German Federal Statistical Office, the number of overnight stays by visitors from this region reached 1,006,856 in the period from January to December 2011. The statistics show an increase of four per cent as compared to the data of 2010, when the overnight stays by Gulf nationals over the same period stood at 968,336.

When taking into consideration the international market, during 2011, Germany beat its own record as favourite travel destination of foreign visitors. The record breaking 60-million mark reached in 2010, with 60.3 million overnight stays by international visitors, was outperformed in 2011, with 63.8 million overnight stays.

“In 2011, Germany again strengthened its position as one of Europe’s favourite travel destinations in striking fashion and generated considerable growth from the key source markets,” explained Petra Hedorfer, chief executive officer of the German National Tourist Board (GNTB). “We expect the annual volume of overnight stays by foreign visitors to pass the 80 million mark by 2020 on the back of continued market growth and our customer-oriented, targeted marketing activities,” she remarked.

Inserted in a perspective of general growth for tourism to Germany, the outlooks concerning the Arabian Gulf region deserve particular attention. Overnight stays by visitors from the GCC countries are predicted to reach 2.3 million by 2020.

“The GCC region continues to represent one of the top source markets in the German tourism industry and the latest figures demonstrate that the popularity of Germany as travel destination is growing,” 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 for the GCC countries.

The GNTO has promoted the diversity of Germany’s tourism offer through several marketing activities in the region, realized in cooperation with various partners. Particularly important is the Germany Travel Mart™ (GTM), the largest workshop for incoming tourism to Germany, which in 2012 will be held in Leipzig from 13th to 15th of May.