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21 Mar, 2011

Outbound Giant Germany Seeks Inbound Travel Glory, Too

ITB BERLIN — Germany, one of the world’s largest outbound travel markets, is on its way to becoming one of world’s top inbound travel nations. The country crossed 60 million overnight stays in 2010 and is targetting 80 million by 2020, with arrivals from China and India expected to figure highly.

Speaking at the ITB Berlin, Petra Hedorfer, Chief Executive Officer of the German National Tourist Board (GNTB), said: “Germany has the potential to stake out a permanent place for itself as one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations.”

She added, “We believe that growth of between 2 and 4 per cent is entirely realistic for inbound tourism, and the domestic market is also expected to grow by up to 2 per cent.”

German domestic travel totalled more than 320 million overnight stays in 2010 and is projected at 390 million overnight stays in 2011.

While most of the projected growth in inbound arrivals will continue to come from the euro zone, with Spain and Italy offering the greatest potential, the GNTB forecasts further growth from Central and Eastern Europe, particularly Poland and the Czech Republic. “Significant increases” are expected from the BRIC states (Brazil, Russia, India and China).

Said Mrs Hedofer, “As the economies of these countries grow, so does the enthusiasm for travel of their people. The number of overnight stays by visitors from India could rise by an average of 13.5 per cent up to 2020. China is close behind with a projected increase of 9.3 per cent, followed by Brazil at 8.5 per cent and Russia at around 5 per cent.

“China and India are the most important future growth markets for Germany. The GNTB expects the number of overnight stays by Chinese travellers to double by 2020 from the current level of 1.1 million. The predicted figure from India by 2020 is 1.4 million.”

(Download the German Tourism Board’s market research reports on Brazil, China, India and Russia).

The German tourism industry is undergoing a major revamp with much help coming from political parties because benefits are now trickling down to the small and medium sized enterprises.

Klaus Laepple, President of the Federal Association of the German Tourism Industry (BTW) said: “With its wide range of holiday destinations and products, Germany has managed to withstand the impact of the global economic and financial crisis, to rise to the challenge of tough times, such as those during the volcanic ash cloud, and to make 2010 a record year.”

Rainer Brüderle, Federal Minister for Economics and Technology, said: “Germany’s travel industry, which largely consists of small and medium-sized companies, has played its part in enabling us to overcome the crisis so successfully.”

Ernst Burgbacher, Member of the German Parliament, Parliamentary State Secretary at the Federal Ministry for Economics and Technology says: “The tourism industry is one of the most important sectors in the German economy. Our task is to remain supportive of the key role played by Germany’s incoming tourism industry and the opportunities for our economy that it provides. SMEs benefit particularly strongly from high numbers of visitors travelling to Germany.”

Of the 60.3 million overnight stays recorded in 2010, visitors from other European countries accounted for more than 76 per cent. Both holiday and business travel were up strongly.

Said Mrs Hedorfer: “Since 2004, Germany has continuously outperformed the rest of Europe in terms of growth, and on the popularity scale now ranks second, behind Spain and ahead of France. Italy and Austria are fourth and fifth.”

This year, Germany is projecting another boom thanks to international events such as the FIFA Women’s World Cup Germany 2011 and the celebrations surrounding the 125th anniversary of the motor car.

Domestic travel is also booming. Said Mrs Hedorfer, “In 2010 the number of overnight stays by domestic travellers in hotels and guesthouses with more than nine beds and on campsites increased by 2 per cent year on year. In total, the German Federal Statistical Office registered more than 320 million overnight stays in Germany by domestic visitors – a record number.

According to EUROSTAT, this makes Germany the biggest internal tourism market in Europe, with an average of four overnight stays per head of population in their own country.

Another research company IPK International reports that major cities were the biggest winners, particularly Berlin, Hamburg and Munich. Germany’s capital recorded an increase in overnight stays of 7.7 percent, while Hamburg managed a rise of 8.6 per cent. Munich did slightly better with growth of 8.7 per cent. Frankfurt also recorded a significant increase (12.2 per cent) in overnight stays by German visitors.

Several culturally and historically important cities with a population of less than 500,000, also recorded growth. Münster, for example, recorded more than 1.1 million overnight stays by domestic visitors in 2010 (+7.7 per cent). Heidelberg was up by just under 6 per cent to around 600,000 overnight stays.

The positive trend in the towns and cities also rippled out into the neighbouring regions, some of which recorded double-digit growth figures.

In 2013, the GNTB plans to target younger groups with its theme of ‘Germany for young people – vibrant, fashionable, innovative’. It will also mark the 200th anniversary of the birth of the music composer Richard Wagner by promoting Germany’s classical music heritage in selected source markets.


Germany Marks 125th Year Of The Invention Of The Automobile

In 2011, the German state of Baden-Wurttemberg (capital: Stuttgart) is celebrating the 125th anniversary of the automobile with a series of high-profile events. At the ITB 2011 the Stuttgart Region’s Stand focussed exclusively on that theme, highlighting the museums of two of its most prestigious automobile producers: Mercedes-Benz and Porsche.

According to Stuttgart Tourism, it was in 1886 that both Gottlieb Daimler and Carl Benz invented an automobile at almost the same time. Ever since, the Benz Patent Motor Car has ranked as the world’s first automobile. In 2011, countless events on the theme of the automobile and mobility in general will be held in Stuttgart and its surrounding region.

Automobile Year 2011 will kick off with an opening event on 7 and 8 May, spanning everything from the early stages of automotive history to the unique achievements in automobile development in the 20th century and the futuristic visions of car producers and suppliers, including vehicles powered by electricity and other alternative means of propulsion.

The bridge between the past and the future of the automobile will end on Konigstrasse, where visitors can marvel at the very latest present-day models at the popular “S-City mobil” car show. The grand finale will be a birthday motorcade with 125 different types of vehicles of the Mercedes-Benz, Porsche and Audi brands, comprising both old and new models and prototypes of the future.

Mercedes-Benz will mark its 125th anniversary with some “star-studded” occasions. The opening event is an international football match between the German national men’s team and the Brazilian representative team on 10 August 2011 in the redesigned Mercedes-Benz Arena in Stuttgart, with Mercedes-Benz as the “Sponsor of the Day”. From 11 August – 14 August 2011 Mercedes-Benz is staging a series of events on Stuttgart’s Palace Square, including an open-air concert, insights into future mobility, multi-media and art performances as well as trial drives in vehicles with innovative propulsion technology.

Here’s a list of other events in Stuttgart and the surrounding region in the Year of the Automobile 2011. Stuttgart Tourism says the dates may be subject to alteration:

7 – 8 May Opening event of the Automobile Summer of 2011, Stuttgart

22 – 23 May Celebrations in honour of the Mercedes-Benz Museum’s 125th anniversary, Stuttgart

9 to 13 June A Journey through Time in the Rems Valley

24 to 26 June Retro Classics meets Barock, Ludwigsburg Palace

22 to 24 July Solitude Memorial, Stuttgart

10 August Inauguration of the Mercedes-Benz Arena, Stuttgart

11 to 14 August Stuttgarter Sternstunden, Stuttgart

website: www.automobiljahr-stuttgart.de and www.stuttgart-tourist.de.


A Suggested Eight-Day Tour Of Southern Germany In Its Iconic Brand-Name Cars

The Stuttgart-Marketing GmbH, in cooperation with its partners Munich and Ingolstadt, has devised a unique automobile tour “Premium Cars of Southern Germany” aimed in particular at the US and Asian markets. In their city marketing concepts, Munich, Stuttgart and Ingolstadt will make full use of the tourism potential of the automobile. The three automobile locations have engaged the services of Spillmann, the Stuttgart tour operator, to manage and operate the tour.

The exclusive package comprises a high-class tour in BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche and Audi cars through Southern Germany, with the accent on the participants’ own driving enjoyment. All overnight stays will be in four- or five-star hotels. This trip through beautiful countryside can be augmented by optional tour packages in each of the three locations, including, for example, visits to the automobile museums and sightseeing in the cities. The scheduled duration is eight days, but this can be adapted to suit individual requirements.

Suggested itinerary:

The round trip normally starts in Munich. However, it can also start in Stuttgart.

Day 1:

Airport pickup and transfer to hotel

Optional tour: Sightseeing in Munich and BMW World

Overnight stay in Munich.

Day 2:

Automobile: BMW 5 Series

Choice of 5 optional day-tour packages

Berchtesgadener Land


Tegernseer Land

Neuschwanstein Castle

BMW safe driving training

Overnight stay in Munich

Day 3:

Drive to Lake Constance

Automobile: Mercedes E Class

Opportunity to spend some time at Lake Constance

Drive to Stuttgart

Overnight stay in Stuttgart

Day 4:

Optional sightseeing tour of Stuttgart with a visit to the two automobile museums. Recommended evening meal at either the Cube or the Wielandshohe restaurants. Overnight stay in Stuttgart

Day 5:

Choice of 5 optional day-tour packages

AMG Driving Experience through the Affalterbach area

Outlet City of Metzingen with visit to Tubingen

Outlet City of Metzingen with visit to a Stuttgart wine estate

Hohenzollern Castle and Tubingen


Overnight stay in Stuttgart

Day 6:

Automobile: Porsche Panamera

Drive through the Rems Valley (with individual tour of Daimler’s birthplace) and along the R. Danube to Ingolstadt

Optional package: sightseeing in Ingolstadt and Audi Forum

Overnight stay in Ingolstadt

Day 7:

Automobile: Audi

Choice of 4 optional day-tour packages

Audi Driving Experience through the Altmuhl Valley

Shopping in Ingolstadt Village

Boat trip on the Danube from Kelheim to Weltenburg

Ingolstadt Golf Club golf course Overnight stay in Ingolstadt

Day 8:

Transfer to Munich Airport and departure (or extension)

Says Georg Ansmann, Deputy Director of Tourism for the Bavarian state capital of Munich, “Together with the Munich Oktoberfest and FC Bayern Munich, the cult brand BMW is one of the best-known brand names worldwide. Thus BMW, along with the world’s biggest beer festival and the German football record-holders, is responsible for promoting the global awareness of our region more than almost any other brand name. The ‘Premium Cars of Southern Germany’ tours were conceived in order to boost Munich’s international image as well as strengthening it throughout the whole of Germany. A strategic alliance with Germany’s other two high-end automobile locations was in this case merely a logical and consequent step.”

Bookings can be made directly via Spillmann by calling ++49 (0)7142 9788-15, or online under www.premiumcars-of-southern-germany.com.


The Mercedes-Benz Museum claims to be the only museum in the world that can document in a single continuous timeline over 125 years of auto industry history from its very beginnings to the present day. On nine levels and covering a floor space of 16,500 square metres, the museum presents 160 vehicles and over 1,500 exhibits.

The main themes of the exhibition – legendary automobiles, technology and research, adventure, myths and milestones – provide the museum with a host of stirring stories. One unique attraction is the section “Silver Arrow – Races”, which presents around 40 highlights from the company’s long tradition of motor racing history.

In the “Gallery of Names” are fascinating originals with their authentic signs of use, such as the large Type 770 Mercedes used by the Emperor Hirohito and Kaiser Wilhelm II, Konrad Adenauer’s last official limousine or Princess Diana’s red SL. In the “Fascination of Technology” section visitors can take a look at the Mercedes-Benz laboratories, where engineers show the latest in research, design, development and production. There is also a children’s area and an inventor’s workshop.


The Porsche Museum in Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen presents the fascinating thrill and diversity of the Porsche brand to visitors from all over the world. More than 80 vehicles are exhibited, from the early years all the way to the present days of Porsche’s history. Encounter legendary racing and sports cars, fascinating production models and unusual prototypes.

The museum is also an eye-catcher in terms of its dynamic architecture: Resting on just three V-shaped pillars, the dominant main body of the Museum appears to hover high above the ground like a monolith. Also enjoy a live experience of how Porsche classics are restored and prepared for racing in the Museum Workshop.

The Museum is an exhibition and an events venue rolled into one. Its extensive conference rooms and catering service can also be used for congresses, business and private events.


The Audi museum mobile combines historic exhibits with modern presentation forms to produce an exciting symbiosis, making the journey through the past an equally informative and interesting experience. As well as the company history of the present-day AUDI AG, the museum focuses on the technological progress that took place in the car industry in the last century.

The fact that the exhibits are integrated into their specific economic and social surroundings makes the museum mobile far more than merely a technical museum: the museum not only takes visitors on a tour of the entire history of the car, but also provides a fascinating look back at the 20th century with its radical changes.

The museum is happy to arrange individual tours or additional tourist programmes. Special children’s programmes open up the fascinating world of the car to the “drivers of tomorrow” in a particularly interactive way. Great for school classes and children’s birthdays.


Three Winners Of The To Do! Contest For Socially Responsible Tourism

On 11th March 2011, the Studienkreis für Tourismus und Entwicklung honoured the winners of the international TO DO! Contest Socially Responsible Tourism which has been conducted annually since 1995. The TO DO! 2010 was awarded at the 45th International Tourism Exchange (ITB) in Berlin.

The three equal winners are the HISTORIC AND EDUCATIONAL CENTRE RIIJ IB‘OOY in Río Negro, Guatemala, the regional development project COMMUNITY BASED TOURISM IN THE ZERAFSHAN VALLEY in Tajikistan, and the travel agency ANDAMAN DISCOVERIES in Thailand. All the three award winners have one aspect in common: They emerged from crisis situations and have successfully developed under most difficult circumstances.

Read full details of the award-winners.


Fair Trade Tourism Packages For South Africa Launched In Germany

Fair Trade Travel packages to South Africa were launched at an event at the ITB Berlin on 09 March 2011 and are now available to book in Germany. All components of SKR Reisen’s Südafrikas Gardenroute – Fair & Fine (tour operator/s, activities and accommodation) as well as all contractual relationships in the value chain have been audited against Fair Trade Travel standards.

According to Fair Trade in Tourism South Africa organisation, “This pioneering work marks the first time in the nearly 50-year history of the global Fair Trade movement that systems have been developed for the international trade in tourism services, and the initiative has been officially endorsed by the Fairtrade Labelling Organizations (FLO) International.”

Fair Trade Travel packages to South Africa are already available in Switzerland, and are expected to be made available in many more European markets by the end of 2011. FTTSA, the developers of this groundbreaking initiative and South Africa’s leading tourism NGO, also marked this day by signing a joint marketing agreement with South African Tourism to promote this unique offering.

For background information and technical details, please click here.

For information about project partners:

arbeitskreis tourismus & entwicklung

EED – Tourism Watch

SKR Reisen

South African Tourism

Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs

Transfair Germany

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