The volume of international travel to Germany reached a record high for the fifth year running in 2014, with a total of 75.6 million overnight stays by foreign visitors. Overnight stays by visitors from Ireland increased by 22.3 per cent – with December recording a 34.1 per cent increase. Irish arrivals totalled 170,338, up 25.7 per cent.
According to the German Federal Statistical Office, the number of overnight stays by visitors from abroad in accommodation establishments with 10 or more beds went up by 3.7 million in the period from January to December, a year-on-year increase of 5.1%.
Petra Hedorfer, Chief Executive, German National Tourist Board, said: “Once again we are able to look back on an outstanding set of results – our record in 2014 provides further evidence that Germany has arrived in the top tier of international travel destinations. Arrivals went up by 4.6%. This means we are comfortably above the comparable growth rate for Europe, which the UNWTO puts at 3.9%, and on a par with the global growth rate of 4.7%.
“The latest UNWTO forecasts suggest that the international travel market will expand by between 3% and 4% in 2015. We will build on last year’s strong performance and take a bigger than average cut of this growth. This will lay the perfect foundation for our long-term outlook of achieving 121.5 million international overnight stays a year by 2030, which we believe is a realistic objective.”
Growth Drivers from Europe
Europe continues to be the biggest player in inbound tourism to Germany, accounting for roughly 75% of the market. Ireland, for the month of December 2014 alone, showed an exceptional increase of 34.1% compared to the same period in 2013. For the annual period January – December 2014 overall, 385,423 overnight stays by visitors from Ireland were recorded – a growth of 22.3%.
Switzerland contributed the highest volume of absolute growth in 2014, with nearly 378,000 additional overnight stays bringing the total for the country up to 5.9 million. In second place came the UK, with a gain of almost 255,000 overnight stays compared with the previous year. UK travellers made a total of 5.2 million overnight stays in Germany in 2014. The third fastest growing market in Europe is Poland, which added 247,000 overnight stays. This brought Germany’s eastern neighbour up to a total volume of around 2.4 million overnight stays in 2014.
The Arab Gulf States are on a steep upward curve and hold the top position among the overseas markets in terms of absolute growth in overnight stays: an additional 318,000 overnight stays were generated last year by visitors from the Arab Gulf States, as part of a total volume of almost 1.9 million.
In second place came China, which generated an additional 298,000 overnight stays in Germany, pushing it above the two million mark for the very first time.
The USA, which remains the biggest overseas market for Destination Germany, continued to grow strongly, with its travellers making nearly 246,000 more overnight stays in Germany than the previous year, as part of a total volume of 5.2 million in 2014.