TORONTO — Germany’s many treasures, from its charming old towns and vibrant urban cities, to its thriving wine and beer scene, unique architecture and resplendent green spaces, were in the spotlight yesterday at an industry lunch hosted by the German National Tourist Office (GNTO).
They’re all part of the GNTO’s relaunched German.Local.Culture. campaign, as strong as ever heading into high season for 2022. The campaign’s four pillars are Green, Flair, Craft and Taste.
Germany is wide open to Canadian visitors – “no tests and no quarantines” – and the GNTO is anticipating strong numbers for 2022, says Anja Brokjans, GNTO’s Director, Canada. The GNTO is represented in Canada by VoX International.
Canadians have made Germany their #4 wish-list destination in Europe, behind Italy, France and the UK, notes Brokjans, citing stats from the European Travel Commission’s 2022 Long-Haul Travel Barometer.
While 2020 and 2021 were as difficult for Germany as they were for destinations around the world – Canadian overnights in Germany dropped from a high of 730,000 in 2019, to 141,000 in 2020 and again in 2021 – the destination is poised for recovery. Germany and its travel product have strong positioning in line with what the ETC says will be key motivators for overseas travel in 2022: effectiveness in managing COVID (30%), flexible cancellation policies (28%), fully lifted travel restrictions (27%) and health and safety protocols (23%).
Getting to Germany from Canada should be easy too, thanks to flights with Star Alliance partners Air Canada and Lufthansa (and Eurowings). Flights will be operating out of Halifax to Frankfurt (three nonstop flights), Montreal to Frankfurt and Munich (21 nonstop flights), Toronto to Frankfurt and Munich (35 nonstop flights), Calgary to Frankfurt (11 nonstop flights) and Vancouver to Frankfurt and Munich (21 nonstop flights). Condor has flights too, May to October 2022 offering direct service from Toronto, Halifax, Vancouver and Whitehorse to Frankfurt. Condor’s Toronto-Frankfurt flights will operate year-round.
Germany is primarily a leisure travel destination from Canada, with 71% of Canadians heading to Germany either for holidays (58%) or VFR (13%). The remaining 29% is business travel.
The country will see a huge influx of leisure travellers this year in particular thanks to Oberammergau, taking place May 14 – Oct. 2 after a two-year delay due to the pandemic.
Wondering how to integrate the four pillars of German.Local.Culture into a client’s itinerary? Here are some ideas …
Germany is home to 53,000 hiking trails, 250 long-distance cycling routes, and green oases even in the busiest cities. Sustainable experiences in nature in Destination Germany include …
- The Rhine Cycle Route follows the banks of the river for a total of 318 kilometres. Thanks to the excellent rail connections, visitors can plan the tour the way they want it. Historic cities such as Speyer, Ludwigshafen, Worms, Mainz and Koblenz are well worth a visit, as are the winegrowing regions with their vintner’s taverns.
- The 45-kilometre Baden-Baden Panorama Trail, voted Germany’s most beautiful in 2020, is split into four sections, offering views over the spa town of Baden-Baden, across the Rhine Valley and into France, and over the peaks and valleys of the Black Forest mountains.
From half-timbered architecture to street art, Germany is a destination apart when it comes to its unique aesthetic.
- Hamburg’s Isemarkt is the top choice for foodies. Every Tuesday and Friday, 200 stallholders sell their wares, and sometimes local poets turn up for a live performance.
- Dresden hosts international stars of classical and contemporary music, jazz artists and renowned dance companies at its annual music festival. In 2022, the Dresden Music Festival takes place May 11 – June 10.
- Artpark Tegel in Berlin: Since 2015, leading lights of the international street art scene have adorned the facades of eight residential blocks near Berlin’s Lake Tegel with murals up to 42 metres high. Artpark Tegel has become a must-see for Berlin visitors.
Germany’s cuckoo clocks, the pride of the Black Forest, are just one example of the country’s extraordinary legacy of artisan traditions and centuries-old craftsmanship.
- The Black Forest cuckoo clock has been made by local manufacturers since the 17th century. The wooden timepieces enjoy cult status around the world as examples of quality German workmanship.
More than half of inbound international travellers say they want to enjoy food and drink that is typical of a particular region on their trip to Germany. The country’s legendary wine and beer scene is just the beginning. Germany offers a wealth of choice when it comes to food and drink: from vineyard visits to guided tours of 1,500+ regional breweries, to fine dining at some 300 Michelin-starred restaurants.