Germany a hit

Cities, holiday regions and coastal resorts in Germany welcomed record numbers of visitors in the first half of 2018, including strong growth in international tourists.

Various major destinations across Germany have released positive figures for the first six months of this year, including several new records. Across the country as a whole, the total number of overnight stays by domestic visitors grew by 4% while foreign visitors generated a 5% rise in stays. Many destinations are now aiming to attract more foreign visitors to reduce over-dependence on domestic holidaymakers.

Berlin welcomed about 6.4 million visitors between January and June, which is a 4.4% increase on last year. The number of overnight stays in hotels and other commercial accommodation rose by 4.2% to 15.3 million nights. The capital continued to see strong growth in foreign visitor numbers, which increased by 4.7% to about 2.5 million travellers. Domestic visitor numbers increased by 4.3% to about four million.

Hamburg saw a similar trend, with 3.4 million visitors and 6.8 million overnight stays, an increase of 4.6% on last year. The bulk of these visitors were from other parts of Germany, with domestic numbers rising by 5.8% to 5.2 million. The northern German metropolis welcomed 1.6 million international visitors, an increase of only 0.7% on the same period last year: Hamburg is now aiming to generate stronger growth from European and overseas markets.

Nuremberg saw a surge of American visitors whose overnight stays increased by 9.1% to 67,000 in the first half-year. The overall number of stays by foreign visitors increased by 10.6% to 571,000 while domestic overnights were up by 7.9% at 1.09 million. Similarly, Stuttgart had stronger growth in overnight stays by international visitors (+7.3%) than from the rest of Germany (+1.7%), resulting in an overall 3.3% increase.

Dresden also had a good overall half-year, with overnight stays up by 8.4% at 2.1 million, while the neighbouring ‘Swiss Saxony’ region achieved a new record of 729,000 overnight stays, a 6.9% increase.

Among traditional holiday regions, Schleswig-Holstein had a very strong half-year thanks to the long heatwave which drew people to its beaches. The number of visitors grew by 13.5% to 3.75 million, and overnight stays increased by 17.9% to 13.8 million. The Lake Constance region in southern Germany also performed well with a 6.7% rise in visitor numbers and a 3% increase to nearly two million overnight stays.

In contrast, North Rhine-Westphalia stagnated in the first half of this year, with 11.4 million visitors and 24.8 million overnight stays, following a record 2017. The number of overnight stays by foreign visitors declined by 3.5% to five million.