• 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

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)

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
Fourth time lucky for free Berlin WiFi?
Coming soon? Photo: DPA

Fourth time lucky for free Berlin WiFi?

Berlin's bid to set up a free city-wide wireless network has so far come to nothing. But city bosses are now trying for a fourth time - and hope to have the project running next year. READ  

Opinion
Do German unions have too much power?
Lufthansa passengers rush to change their flights at Frankfurt Airport on Monday. Photo: DPA

Do German unions have too much power?

Germany's pilots and train drivers are taking it in turns to bring the country to a standstill with strikes that have cost the economy tens of millions of euros in the last two weeks. Are unions abusing their power or standing up for their rights? READ  

Older workers can have extra days off, court says
Photo: Workers in a German shoe factory. Photo: DPA

Older workers can have extra days off, court says

Older workers in Germany are allowed more time off than younger ones, a court ruled on Tuesday, saying the difference was not discriminatory. READ  

Expat's family battles for answers four years on
Matthew Fitzpatrick died in 2010 in Mannheim. Photo: Fitzpatrick family

Expat's family battles for answers four years on

In 2010 an Irish computer engineer was found dead in his apartment in Baden-Württemberg. Four years on, his family are still pressing the German justice system for answers. They feel badly let down by police who they say have refused to examine evidence of foul play. READ  

Court: Germany can keep arms deals secret
The judges of the Supreme Court announce their decision about weapons exports on Tuesday. Photo: DPA

Court: Germany can keep arms deals secret

The government can keep arms deals secret and only tell the public about them after contracts have been signed, the Supreme Court ruled on Tuesday. READ  

Tourist finds €7,500 instead of cheesecake

Tourist finds €7,500 instead of cheesecake

Just how honest would you have to be to return €7,500 that you found in a box supposed to contain your favourite cheesecake? READ  

Tanker fills up gas station with wrong fuel
Photo: DPA

Tanker fills up gas station with wrong fuel

Around 160 car owners are stuck after a gas station's storage tanks were filled with the wrong fuel, causing an estimated €100,000 in damage. READ  

Lufthansa strike hits 1,500 flights
Photo: DPA

Lufthansa strike hits 1,500 flights

UPDATE: In the second day of their strike, Lufthansa pilots have, as promised, extended their industrial action to include long-haul international flights until the end of Tuesday. READ  

Merkel tells allies to pay Ukraine's gas debts
Chancellor Angela Merkel in Bratislava, Slovakia, on Monday. Photo: DPA

Merkel tells allies to pay Ukraine's gas debts

Chancellor Angela Merkel on Monday called on Ukraine's allies to help the war-scarred nation pay off its gas debts to Russia, amid concern over gas supplies this winter. READ  

Steinmeier wants epidemic task force
Frank-Walter Steinmeier speaks at the World Health Summit in Berlin. Photo: DPA

Steinmeier wants epidemic task force

At the World Health Summit in Berlin, the Ebola crisis took centre stage at talks meant to create plans for how to handle future outbreaks. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Photo: Mariana Schroeder
Munich
Special Report: Hope and chaos at Munich's refugee shelters
Photo: DPA
Berlin
Robbers blow up Berlin bank
Photo: DPA
Culture
Can you top our history quiz leaderboard?
Photo: Facebook
Society
German motorcycle gang joins Isis fight
Photo: DPA
Politics
UKIP ‘seeks EU pact’ with German satirical party
Photo: DPA
Gallery
PHOTOS: World's biggest erotic fair opens in Berlin
Photo: DPA/Shutterstock
Gallery
11 things Germans are afraid of...
Sponsored Article
International School on the Rhine: a legacy
Photo: DPA
Gallery
The ten richest people in Germany
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Sponsored Article
Bilingual education from nursery to graduation at Phorms
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

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

3,471
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd