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European tourists prefer Germany over France

The Local · 24 Feb 2011, 12:26

Published: 24 Feb 2011 12:26 GMT+01:00

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The German National Tourist Board (DZT) said Germany was now second only to Spain as the top holiday destination for Europeans, edging out France, Italy and Austria.

“In 2010 we broke through the historic mark of 60 million foreign overnight visitors,” said DZT chairwoman Petra Hedorfer in a statement.

Proving that bratwurst can be more appetizing than baguette, the German hospitality industry booked a 10 percent jump in overnight stays by foreign tourists in 2010 compared to the year before.

Larger German cities saw the largest surge in tourism, rebounding from the crisis-hit year 2009.

Visitors from Switzerland accounted for a most overnight stays, jumping 8.6 percent to 4.2 million last year.

Germany's neighbours in the Netherlands replaced tourists from Britain as the second largest group, but visits from Poland also surged 15.7 percent.

The numbers of visitors from further afield also increased, with visitors from the United States flocking to the famous passion play of Oberammergau - performed to celebrate the crucifixion of Jesus once each decade. This helped American visits rise 11.1 percent last year.

Tourism from the Persian Gulf states also rose some 26 percent, with a rise in demand for holidays in Germany noticeable during the hot summer months back home.

Among Asian nations, China overtook Japan as the biggest source of tourism to

Germany, accounting for some 1.1 million overnight visits.

The DZT is looking for another banner year for tourism in 2011, with major events such as the FIFA Women’s World Cup and the 125th anniversary of the automobile set to attract visitors from all over the world.

Story continues below…

Hedorfer estimated that if Germany's tourism boom continues, the country will welcome more than 80 million overnight visitors annually by 2020.

The Local/rm/mry

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

14:22 February 24, 2011 by catjones
It's not a preference based on desire, it's based on cost. Compared to Paris, Berlin is a bargain....but Berlin is no Paris.
14:56 February 24, 2011 by FreiburgandCambridge
...and Paris is no Berlin.
15:08 February 24, 2011 by marimay
Or everyone has already been to France and decided to try Germany for a change. Now that they have made that mistake France will go back to number one next year. lolz
15:30 February 24, 2011 by idiot
The burning barricades in paris are indeed a showplace.
16:18 February 24, 2011 by lordkorner
But of course they do,as Jeremy Clarkson once said,the trouble with France is its full of french.(-:
22:21 February 24, 2011 by peter douglas
germany is superb as a tourist you can around faster and cheaper.
23:17 February 24, 2011 by Bishopbayern
Paris is a damn stuffy place full of over dressed women with bad taste, better the earthy german women and their wench like ways.
02:32 February 25, 2011 by rsrobbins
Paris was the first European city I visited. But I'm coming to Berlin in April. Next year I may go to London. I don't like those whirlwind tours where you try to visit as many countries as you can squeeze in during your vacation.
09:55 February 25, 2011 by catjones
Don't forget to book your train reservations.....
09:58 February 25, 2011 by aceroni
Could it be because the people here are a bit more friendly than the average Parisian and can actually talk in english?
11:21 February 25, 2011 by Gilly58
Yup lord korner…I think that some of those French types seriously need to take course in mannerism and perhaps purchase the odd broom and duster. Germany is a far all round better deal and is much cleaner and tidier, it is easily the most organised and much better mannered, and most even have a sense of humour! Oh yeah, and the majority also speak English. No contest!
07:58 February 26, 2011 by Garth Rex
The French are their own worst enemies: Too often arrogant...and stupidly rude!
09:30 February 26, 2011 by readnow
I'm not convinced - it isn't only Paris tourists visit, it is the whole of France and they are definitely still the top tourist destination in Europe. I live in Germany and never see many tourists. I have seen more in Belgium in Brussels where it is packed with tourist buses.
19:43 February 27, 2011 by CPT/USA
Besides French women don't shave their arm pits. No one wants to see that :)
00:05 February 28, 2011 by belfast-jamie
Berlin is also 4 times the size of Paris as well as being cleaner and having 3 City centers oh yeah and the biggest bordello too
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