• Germany edition
 
Tourists flock to Germany in 2011
Photo: DPA

Tourists flock to Germany in 2011

Published: 09 Feb 2012 17:06 GMT+01:00
Updated: 09 Feb 2012 17:06 GMT+01:00

Tourists spent a record number of nights in Germany last year, the country's statistics office said Thursday, with visitors from abroad registering a sharp increase despite gloomy economic conditions.

German hotels and guest houses recorded a total of 394.1 million overnight stays in 2011, compared to 380.3 million the previous year, the federal office of statistics said.

The number of overnight stays by tourists from abroad rose by six percent to 63.8 million, rising twice as fast as domestic visitors.

The Dutch and Swiss were the most frequent foreign visitors to Germany. Although the number of Spanish tourists increased last year, visits from other crisis-hit European countries such as Greece, Italy and Portugal decreased.

Germany cemented its position as the second most visited European country after Spain. Visits by Chinese, Indian and Brazilian tourists all saw double-digit gains.

However, overnight stays by domestic tourists far outweighed foreign visitors, with 330.3 million Germans choosing to stay in their home country.

AFP/DPA/The Local/mry

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

02:44 February 10, 2012 by Redwing
I am not at all surprised that Germany should be the second most visited European country. It has all: seasides with gorgeous beaches, mountains of all shapes and sizes, beautiful towns and cities, not to mention the varied countryside. On the whole the people are welcoming and friendly. It does not at all conform to the ideas many foreigners have of the country.
08:16 February 10, 2012 by wood artist
As a frequent visitor from the US, I'm often asked (at home) what's so special about Germany. It's funny to hear the responses, largely because some (most?) people think of Paris, London, or Rome as the "important cities" in Europe. When I speak of wandering the castles of the Rhein, or the Dom in Köln, or exploring the remnants of East Germany or the history within Berlin, they act like those are places they've never heard about. When I talk about what can be learned by visiting Weimar...or Buchenwald, they seem stunned.

Sadly, at least for too many Americans, Germany holds no "important" things to see. Then, when I add things like Bavaria, or the Romantic Road, or many other wonderful places, they suddenly wonder why they didn't "know that."

I honestly don't think it's a carry-over from WWII, but I can't explain it. Any military person who was stationed in Germany immediately says how much they enjoyed their time there...and the people. With few exceptions, I have always found Germans to be gracious hosts and wonderfully helpful guides. I'll keep coming back.

wa
08:28 February 10, 2012 by TFGumby
Good point, wood artist. I don't think its WW2 either, but when was the last time you saw an ad on TV or in print promoting Germany as a tourist destination? I'm from Ireland and I have never seen one on British or Irish TV.

Germany isn't promoted enough as a tourist destination. They are not reaching out to the masses.

If the country was better promoted as a tourist destination, maybe those old stereotypes might be forgotten.

TF.
10:13 February 10, 2012 by Johnne
@TFGumby

You are correct. Germany isn´t promoted enough as a tourist destination or friendly country. This is because sometimes, first impression last a long time. Many people don´t see this country that way because it is an obviousely welcoming country. And you need some level of mental freedom for "popularity" and that popularity automatically spread into the media and then the world will find the country very likable. Germany sometimes feels too difficult & too strict on everything...and people need freedom. I myself feel more welcomed in a country like Belgium for example especially Brussels. Multiculturism and diplomacy play big roles. Nobody likes a situation where Polizei check your ID, Bahn ticket, & Bahncard on a train just because you look "foreign" while coming from a free & multicultural No matter how beautiful your country a country looks. If you look at the figures, it shows that you have more EU-Schengen visitors than Non EU. I for example would rather take my family on a trip to Brussels, Dublin or even Glasgow or Edinburgh rather than Berlin even though 90% of my life is German. I love this country but diplomacy & Multiculturism are not well managed. That is the honest truth.
10:48 February 10, 2012 by Gaffers
I have to agree. In the UK people have no idea what Germany has to offer. Everyone who has visited Munich falls in love with the place and when you take them to the mountains they usually want to move here :-)
13:24 February 10, 2012 by mike_1983
whether people think it or not it still has something to do with WW2 and the stigma of germany constantly portrayed in hollywood films. i grew up in australia and i get the same response when saying I'm living in germany and really love cities like munich, berlin, towns like rothenburg and the amazing castles. most people still have negative images in their head when germany gets mentioned.
17:01 February 10, 2012 by kebaugm
I come from a German Lutheran/Mennonite Community of Manson, Iowa, with descendants from Ost Friesland and the Alsace. We were deprived of our German Heritiage because of two wars with Germany. But as I visit Germany, I still see remnants of our long lost culture that sitll exist in Iowa. In fact Germany is the most Americianized country in Europe sans the language, but you can find an English speaker everywhere one goes. I have met many friends there over the years, it is just like home to me. I am most enamered with the trains and S Bahns and the beautiful countryside of Bavaria and Baden Wurttenberg.

Ich Liebe Deutshland.

Kebaugm@aol.com
17:38 February 10, 2012 by sybil
I'm from Ireland and I've come to Germany every year for a holiday for the last 10 years. I've gone to various places but have found over the years that because we are a mixed race family the best places for us to go is Berlin and Munich as we have had some annoying situations elsewhere. Outside of Berlin and Munich I have found that there can be difficulties with multiculturalism more so than in those cities. I love to visit Berlin especially but we have noticed that even there in the last year the attitude has changed slightly towards visitors. We plan to return this year so I hope they are back to their usual selves.
23:06 February 10, 2012 by Runnerguy45
I talked to a German tourist in Utah last year and they asked why I had not visited Germany after finding out I have never been despite a German background, I had never thought of it, next summer I will be there and cant wait.
00:51 February 11, 2012 by kjello
Germany is great, I live in Berlin and loving it. Only problem: they work too long and too inefficient. Germans are in general (yes, generalizing a bit) a little thick-headed and do not show a great deal of flexibility and modernity in daily life. Having lived in NYC, Germans have much to learn from the NewYorkers way of running a company. Basically they both work a lot Germans and Americans, difference is Americans give you a much more rapid climb in the hierarchy if you work hard.
Today's headlines
April wraps up with stormy week ahead
Lightning over Lake Starnberg, in Bavaria. Photo: DPA

April wraps up with stormy week ahead

The end of April is looking stormy for Germany with hot and cold air mixing and making for wild spring weather over the coming few days, state forecasters DWD said on Wednesday. READ () »

Germany sold €40 million of arms to Russia
Russian troops pictured in March in Crimea. Photo: DPA

Germany sold €40 million of arms to Russia

German arms sales to Russia have come under fire following the crisis in Ukraine. In 2012 Germany sold €40 million worth of rifles, pistols and armoured vehicles to the country. READ () »

Munich to get 'Tetris cube' hotel
Photo: Nieto Sobejano Architects, Berlin

Munich to get 'Tetris cube' hotel

Munich's old city centre is to receive an ultra modern addition to its skyline in the shape of a new hotel dubbed 'the Tetris cube'. READ () »

The Local List
German beer culture in 11 gulps
Photo: DPA

German beer culture in 11 gulps

Wednesday marks the 498th anniversary of Germany's celebrated beer purity law, so in honour of nearly half a millennium of hoppy history, this week's Local List tells some beer truths you may not know. READ () »

Feminist's apartment advert goes viral
Photo: Screenshot/Facebook

Feminist's apartment advert goes viral

Finding accommodation in Berlin is notoriously tricky. But one woman on the hunt might have a particularly hard time of it, with an advert for an apartment so absurd it has gone viral. READ () »

Russian spies step up activity in Germany
The Russian embassy building in Berlin. Photo: DPA

Russian spies step up activity in Germany

Russian spies are increasingly targeting potential informants in German politics and business by taking them out to dinner, according to counterintelligence services. READ () »

Jobless benefits to get leaner and meaner
Photo: DPA

Jobless benefits to get leaner and meaner

The German government is planning a shake-up of the country’s unemployment benefit system, Hartz IV, by introducing stricter rules on claimants in a move which supporters say will cut bureaucracy. READ () »

Germany's oldest woman dies aged 112
Gertrud Henze. Photo: DPA

Germany's oldest woman dies aged 112

Germany’s oldest woman died at the age of 112 on Tuesday. Gertrud Henze was born on December 8th 1901 and joked her long life was down to never getting married. READ () »

Exchange student 'murderer' stays silent
Police search the area near where Gabriele's body was found in October 2013. Photo: DPA

Exchange student 'murderer' stays silent

The alleged murderer of an exchange student in southern Germany stayed silent in the dock on Tuesday on the first day of his trial. READ () »

European Elections 2014
'If Britain goes, Europe is lost'
Hans-Olaf Henkel (r) celebrates the one-year anniversary of the AfD with leader Bernd Lücke. Photo: DPA

'If Britain goes, Europe is lost'

In an interview with The Local, one of the leaders of Germany's eurosceptic party talks about Europe's future, why Britain is a model country and why he will not work with UKIP's Nigel Farage. READ () »

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Photo: DPA
Politics
Interview with AfD - 'If Britain goes, Europe is lost'
Photo: DPA
National
Police damage own water cannon with eggs
Photo: DPA
National
Let us start work later after World Cup nights, unions says
Photo: DPA
Society
Crystal meth use hits record level
Photo: DPA
Rhineland
Elderly man taped €200,000 to his genitals
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
What's the unemployment rate in your area of Germany?
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Nine ways to celebrate Easter like a German
Photo: Galerie Bilderwelt
Gallery
World War I in colour photos
Photo: DPA
Society
JobTalk: Why you should teach English in Germany
Photo: DPA
National
330,000 sign up against TV licence fee
Photo: DPA
Hamburg
School kids hospitalized after 'porno' party
Photo: Submitted
Frankfurt
'I'll get even with my old pal Schwarzenegger'
Advertisement:
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Ten great inventions you (probably) didn't know were German
Photo: J. Arthur White
Berlin
Clashes in Berlin as refugees tear down their own camp
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Munich's baby polar bears are finally named
Photo: DPA
Gallery
The 10 best German employers to work for
CurrencyFair
Sponsored Article
Why it pays to avoid banks when making overseas transfers
Mr. Lodge
Sponsored Article
How to find a furnished rental in Munich
Sponsored Article
How to make a lasting impression in business
Hult International Business School
Sponsored Article
What they don't teach you at Business School
Photo: DPA
Society
Nine jobs you can only do in Germany
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
Photo: DPA
Features
The Local List Archive - Your guide to all things German
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

3,070
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd