80 million overnights booked by foreign visitors in 2020 – this is the goal of the German National Tourism Board (DZT), which in 2013 saw figures close in on this target. At 71.9 million visitors, a new record was set. 75 per cent came from European countries, of whom the majority were Dutch, followed by the Swiss.
In his speech, Klaus Laepple, president of DZT, struck a political note: “Germany’s tourism industry can only flourish if Germany’s neighbours are economically stable.
If your heart beats for tourism then I urge you to vote in the European electioins.” Speaking on Wednesday at ITB Berlin, Petra Hedorfer, head of the board of DZT, noted that the UK, Russia and Switzerland had recorded the highest growth rates. Germany was also the favourite holiday of the Swiss. For the last four years Germany had been the second most popular destination, behind Spain and ahead of France.
Iris Gleicke (SPD), the Federal government’s newly appointed tourism commissioner, said she intended to focus on improving employees’ working conditions and their opportunities for vocational training. “They have to be able to go to a restaurant or on holiday themselves.“ Furthermore, with the digital revolution taking hold in tourism, she said she aimed to make sure small and medium-sized enterprises received their fair share of business.