TORONTO — Germany is on track to make significant gains in inbound tourism in 2023 following a particularly robust summer in 2022.
According to the Federal Statistical Office, the number of overnight stays by international visitors rose to 50.6 million from January to September 2022, representing 72% of 2019 levels. In July, incoming numbers reached 84% of pre-crisis levels, and then 83% in August and 87% in September. The top inbound markets were the Netherlands, followed by Switzerland, the United States, Austria and Poland.
Based on current data, Tourism Economics forecasts a volume of approximately 60 million overnight stays by foreigners in 2022, around two-thirds of the previous record year in 2019.
Looking ahead to 2023, Tourism Economics predicts a further increase from 60 million to 67 million international overnight stays in Germany. Despite inflation and higher energy costs, more than one-third of top managers state that moderate price increases would not affect customer demand in Germany.
The extensive marketing activities of the German National Tourist Board (GNTB) is having a significant impact. According to mobile phone data by Teralytics, on behalf of the GNTB, arrivals by train from January to October 2022 rose from 10.6% in the same period last year, to 14.4%. The length of stay in the flight segment increased from an average 8.3 to 9.9 days in the first 10 months of 2022 compared to the same period in 2019, according to research by Forward Keys,.
IPK International (IPK) found that sustainability, climate and environmental protection will be important, or very important, to 80% of international travellers in the future. Around 40% of those surveyed expect a broader, more cost-effective range of offers and more specific information about sustainable trips.
More than half of respondents also said they would travel outside of the high season, while 43% said they would do without comfort in order to be more sustainable. Also notable, more than 90% of foreign travellers worldwide are interested in combining a city trip with a stay in rural regions.
According to a European Travel Commission (ETC) autumn survey, Germany rose from sixth to fourth place in a ranking of Europe’s most popular travel destinations for the next six months, following France, Spain and Italy.
November forecasts by Deutsche Bank Research predicts that the global inflation rate will climb to 8.4% on average in 2022, more than double compared to the previous year. For 2023, economists expect inflation to remain high at 6%. This will have an impact on consumer behaviour, said an ETC study in October 2022, which analyzed the most important reasons that would prevent people from travelling; a total of 23% of responded cited increasing travel costs due to inflation as their top reason not to travel. Other reasons included Russia’s war against Ukraine (8.9%), and being caught en route by the enforcement of quarantine rules (9%).
According to the GNTB Industry Expert Panel, three-quarters of the key accounts in the international travel industry assume that their customers still want to travel abroad, despite limited travel budgets.