Germany welcomes strong numbers from Canada, gears up for popular Christmas markets

TORONTO — Canadian travellers are finding their way back to one of their long-time favourite destinations: Germany.

Germany welcomed more than a quarter of a million overnight stays from Canada in the first seven months of 2022, “and we’re quite happy with that,” said Anja Brokjans, Director, Canada for the German National Tourist Office.

Brokjans shared the latest travel stats from Germany at an industry lunch yesterday at 1 King West in Toronto.

In 2019 there were some 730,000 overnight stays in Germany from the Canadian market. Year-to-date numbers are about 70% of 2019.

And while 2022 is winding down, more visitors will arrive thanks to Germany’s world-famous Christmas markets, which Brokjans assured would be happening this year. Plans for a revival of the markets in 2021 were derailed by COVID-19’s omicron surge.

Lift from Canada to Germany is strong, with up to 54 weekly flights between the two countries with Air Canada and Lufthansa. Gateways for the Star Alliance partners include Toronto, Montreal, Calgary and Vancouver.

And Condor Airlines is going year-round with its Toronto-Frankfurt service. Condor also offers flights to Frankfurt from several other Canadian cities including, new in 2023, Edmonton.

Canadians not only love Germany – the country was #4 on the Europe wish list for Canadian travellers in 2022 – they also visit Germany for a good long time. Average stay from this market in 2019 was eight nights, and that edged up to 9.8 nights in 2022, “which we think is quite sustainable,” said Brokjans.

The GNTO’s marketing campaigns include: German Local Culture (with its four pillars: Flair, Taste, Green and Craft); FeelGood; and Embrace German Nature.

The country boasts more than 300,000 kilometres of hiking routes, 130+ nature parks, 350+ spas and wellness centres, and much more.

BAYREUTH, BERLIN, BODENSEE, MUNICH, ROTHENBURG & SAXONY

The GNTO’s partners from six regions and cities across Germany also took part in yesterday’s event.

Bayreuth Marketing & Tourism’s General Manager, Dr. Manuel Becher, talked about everything from wheat beer to Wagner (Bayreuth is home to the Richard Wagner Museum, in the composer’s former home, Villa Wahnfried).

Next up, Catarina Erceg, Deputy Director Market Management | Market & Media Relations Manager for visitBerlin, proclaimed “Berlin is back!” and highlighted the lively city’s gastronomy scene, upgrades to popular cultural hub Museum Island, and airport-turned-green-space Tempelhof Feld. A new app, Going Local Berlin, is used by visitors and locals alike for its 700+ tips on Berlin sightseeing and more.

Lindau Tourism / Bodensee Trips & Tours’ Managing Director, Carsten Holz, shared the many draws of Bodensee / Lake Constance, where Germany, Austria and Switzerland meet. Visitors can sail the lake by paddle steamer, circle around it by bicycle, or even fly over it by zeppelin. Other top draws include the region’s medieval cities, Mainau Island, Rhine Falls and opera by the lake at Bregenzer Festspiele.

Munich is winding down from Oktoberfest, the city’s highlight event. “After three years without it, it was great to have it back,” says Munich Tourism’s Team Lead Media Relations, Max Berger.

And there’s so much to do in and around the city all year round. Munich’s Christmas markets open Nov. 21. New urban hiking routes take explorers on a choice of two routes – from east to west across Munich, or from north to south. Plus, a new campaign called Hoodlove showcases nine different Munich neighbourhoods. Guided tours in English will be available starting in early 2023.

Two hours south of Frankfurt, the beautiful town of Rothenburg is one of the top stops on southern Germany’s Romantic Road route. When it comes to tourism, Rothenburg punches above its weight, with a population of 11,500 but attracting 5,000 annual overnights. With its half-timbered houses, the town is a medieval gem, says Rothenburg Tourism Service’s PR Manager, Robert Nehr. Rothenburg has more than 60 accommodation options, most family-owned, he adds.

Last but not least, Saxony Tourism’s Wolfgang Gaertner, Head of International Marketing, shared all the news from Saxony, especially from Dresden, “the most beautiful city in Germany,” said Gaertner. Dresden’s Royal Palace is a perennial draw, as is Dresden’s Old Masters Picture Gallery.

 


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Main image from L to R: Consul General of Germany: Thomas Schultze, Saxony Tourism – Wolfgang Gaertner, Head of International Marketing, Rothenberg Tourism Service – Robert Nehr – PR Manager, Anja Brokjans, Director Canada German National Tourist Office, visitBerlin – Catarina Erceg – Deputy Director Market Management | Market & Media Relations Manager, Lindau Tourism/Bodensee Trips & Tours – Carsten Holz – Managing Director, Bayreuth Marketing & Tourism – Dr. Manuel Becher – General Manager, Munich Tourism – Max Berger, Team Lead Media Relations