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Overnight stays by GCC visitors to Germany up 15% in 2023

  • Germany recorded almost 1.3 million overnight stays by GCC visitors in 2023
  • GNTB aiming to match 2019’s6 million overnight GCC guests in 2024
  • GCC one of the top 3 inbound markets behind US & China in 2023
  • Bavaria top region attracting over 527,000 GCC guests in 2023, a 7.4% increase over 2022

Dubai, United Arab Emirates, 6th May 2024: The German National Tourist Board (GNTB) announced today (Monday 6th May) that GCC travellers spent 1,297,256 room nights in Germany during 2023, a 15% increase over the 1,128,341 overnight stays recorded in 2022.

The announcement was made while addressing Middle East travel professionals during a press conference, which was held on the opening day of the Arabian Travel Market (ATM) 2024.

Yamina Sofo, Director at the German National Tourist GCC Office (GNTO GCC), an affiliate of the German National Tourist Board (GNTB), commented, “During 2023 we witnessed a considerable increase of 168,915 overnight stays, compared with the previous year.

“The increase in overnight stays in 2023 underscores Germany’s enduring appeal among GCC travellers, which is a testament to the continuous efforts of GNTO in its ongoing marketing campaigns across both B2B and B2C channels. We are delighted to witness our destination maintaining its position as a top choice for travellers from this region. Germany’s rich culture, rural customs, natural beauty, sustainability efforts, accessibility, and inclusiveness all play significant roles in its popularity. Additionally, our warm German hospitality, traditional cuisine, and exclusive retail opportunities further enhance the visitor experience,” she added.

“Being the largest travel and tourism event in the region, participating in ATM is an integral part of our marketing strategy and we are confident of a significant increase in overnight stays, which would exceed our pre pandemic figure of 1,604,753 overnight stays.”

The GCC region is currently ranked in the top three incoming markets, behind the US and China. In 2022, the GCC region was Germany’s top performing inbound source market in Asia and Australasia, with more than 404,000 arrivals, representing an increase of over 117%, compared with the same period in 2021.

GCC guests also generated 2.1 billion euros in 2022, a 110% increase over the previous year, averaging 4,443 euros per trip/per guest.

“These figures underscore Germany’s increasing post pandemic popularity with GCC visitors and bodes well for 2024. This year we want to capitalise on Euro 2024, to encourage longer stays and showcase Germany as an all-year-round holiday destination.

Increased flight availability will support those ambitions, with more than 207 direct weekly flights between the GCC and Germany, compared with 201 in 2022. At present, there is direct flight accessibility from the GCC to five German international airports – namely Munich, Frankfurt, Dusseldorf, Berlin and Hamburg.

New flights are being added this year, with services from Doha to Hamburg by Qatar Airways and from Manama to Munich by Gulf Air both opening on the 1st of July, as well as new routes launching in November operated by Eurowings from Jeddah to Cologne and Berlin. Additionally, Flynas will be offering flights from Jeddah to Berlin starting from 4th September.

In addition to connectivity, the GNTB also has a marketing strategy that it believes will achieve those numbers, both in the short term and the longer term. Under the slogan, ‘Germany, simply inspiring’.
Germany now boasts 52 World Heritage sites, over 6,000 museums, offering a wealth of interesting places of cultural and historical significance, for GCC tourists to visit. This includes Chemnitz, the European Capital of Culture for 2025, which is located in the Saxony region of the country.

The GNTB’s ‘Simply Feel Good’ – Sustainable Travel in Germany campaign also underscores Germany’s rural natural landscapes and activity holidays, raising awareness of the fragility of ecosystems.

Germany has 20 sustainably certified regions and cities, and in terms of accommodation, it has over 1,540 sustainably certified establishments and 350 spa and health resorts. The GNTB is focusing on the sustainability-related aspects of health tourism, including the preservation of traditional treatment methods, location-specific treatments and remedies as drivers of regional prosperity, and examples of sustainable energy management.

Clearly the standout sporting event of the year in Europe will be the Euro 2024 football tournament which takes place in Germany between 14th June & 14th July.

“The GNTB’s strategy is to promote the ten host cities (Berlin, Cologne, Dortmund, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, Gelsenkirchen, Hamburg, Leipzig, Munich and Stuttgart) and surrounding areas to encourage tourists to stay longer and explore other regions throughout Germany. This also has the added benefit of reducing the overall carbon footprint per travel day,” added Sofo.

The Germany stand will be bigger this year with 15 co-exhibitors/participants which include Adina Hotels, Avalon Waterways, Courtyard by Marriott Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf Airport, Elinor Travel Germany, Fraport AG, Frankfurt Tourism Board, German National Tourist Office India, Helios Hospital Group-Germany, Hotel Palace Berlin, Hospital Solingen-Germany, visitBerlin, visit Düsseldorf, visit Cologne and Wiesbaden Tourism Board.

Arabian Travel Market 2024 takes place from 6-9 May and the Germany stand is located in the Europe Hall, Stand EU6340.

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