Germany's tourist numbers up 4 percent
BERLIN, Germany - In the first eight months of 2013, tourism in Germany showed a continually positive trend. According to data from the Federal Office of Statistics, there were more than 49 million overnight stays by foreign guests in hotels with more than ten beds, equivalent to an increase of 4 percent compared to the same period of last year.
Despite flooding in some regions, Germany, as a destination, has positioned itself very well once again in the international context. The backbone of arrivals in Germany consisted of European guests. The most positive aspect is that, as indicated by the IPK research institute, European travel in Germany between January and August of 2013 was up by as much as 4 per cent, while in the same period the total volume of trips abroad made by Europeans was limited to an increase of 2.5 percent.
The countries bordering Germany, in particular, are those which contributed to the increase in overnight stays, beginning with Switzerland which is the second market in order of importance.
In the first eight months of the year the Swiss have recorded nearly 3.7 million overnight stays, an increase of 5.5 percent compared to 2012.
Growth for British tourists was even more significant, from January to August 2013; they generated a total of 3.2 million overnight stays, equivalent to a 9.1 percent rise over the previous year.
Also significant was the increase for the Poles who gained a 9.1 percent rise (based on about 1.5 million overnight stays), while Belgium after a difficult start has recorded a turnaround exceeding 2 million overnight stays (+0.5 percent).
Overseas markets and the BRIC countries have contributed significantly to the growth of German tourism. While the U.S. has accelerated during the summer, recording in the month of August an increase of 5.7 percent, overall, U.S. overnight stays in Germany from January to August were just under 3.3 million, equivalent to an increase of 1.7 percent.
Italy in the first eight months of 2013 showed an overall stable development. The slight decline in overnight stays (-0.1 percent) is a satisfactory result considering the current state of the Italian economy. Italy therefore remains in 5th place in the ranking of international markets for Germany.
Proportionately, the largest percentage increase was that of the Arab States of the Gulf, from January to August the overnight stays of visitors from this area were more than one million, an increase of 17 per cent compared to the equivalent period of 2012.
The Russians have contributed to the growth of the German tourism with a total of 1.7 million overnight stays in the first eight months of this year, accounting for 17.2 percent more in comparison to 2013.
China, which has become the largest Asian market, has generated more than 1.1 million overnight stays in Germany; an increase of 10.5 percent compared with the same period of 2012.