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Amusement parks report thrilling sales despite crisis

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Amusement parks report thrilling sales despite crisis
A roller coaster at the Europa Park. Photo: DPA
13:58 CEST+02:00
While most branches of the German tourism industry are suffering post-crisis losses, close-to-home amusement parks are welcoming more guests than ever, daily Financial Times Deutschland reported on Friday.

Germany's largest amusement park, the Europa Park in Rust, had more than four million visitors in 2008 compared to the 3.5 million who went to the country's favourite island destination, Mallorca.

“In hard times attractive destinations within Germany profit,” Europa Park owner Roland Mack told the paper, saying he expected a record number of visitors for 2009. “Many guests currently prefer to steer towards closer destinations instead of taking longer trips.”

The Foundation for Future Studies found that 62 out of 100 German families had visited an amusement park in the last year.

“The crisis strengthens the existing trend to vacation at amusement parks,” the group's head Ulrich Reinhardt told the paper.

Meanwhile the Federal Statistics Office (Destatis) reported in June that five percent more Germans are taking their vacations in-country.

The trend has fuelled growing offers at the amusement parks, including theme hotels, more shows, gastronomic variety and last-minute deals, the paper reported. The additions are meant to attract guests for multiple days and give return guests something new.

Adding hotels to park offerings had been among the most successful, the paper reported. Europa Park reports that 90 percent of its 5,000 beds are full.

The Heide Park in Soltau and Phantasialand in Brühl also reported their hotels are full to almost capacity – in a time when more than half of Germany's hotels are reporting losses.

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