The New Normal: How will Berlin tourism continue in 2023?

Despite uncertainties caused by war and inflation, visitBerlin CEO Burkhard Kieker expects a further recovery for the travel and event industry

Berlin, January 10, 2023

Mr Kieker, the world is currently undergoing several crises at the same time. How do you see the chances for Berlin tourism this year?

The city's visitor economy has shown itself to be flexible and resilient over the past year. Despite the challenges in the coming months, we are optimistic about the future and expect to exceed the mark of 27 million overnight stays in 2023. However, I do not expect us to match the numbers of 2019 before 2024. We continue to lack international guests, especially from the previously strong markets like Great Britain, Spain and Italy. In addition, tourism from the Asian market has not happend so far. This was compensated for last year by the high number of guests from the United States. For the first time ever, the USA was the most important foreign market. Besides a strong dollar, the new direct connections were an important reason for this.

Since the beginning of the pandemic at the latest, there has been discussion of the "new normal". What role do you see for visitBerlin in the future?

Together with the Senat of Berlin, we have actively supported the restart of the tourism and event industry in recent years and will continue to do so in 2023. In June visitBerlin celebrates its 30th anniversary. Over the past thirty years we have developed from a pure marketing organisation into a marketing and management organisation that actively shapes and represents Berlin tourism. We will continue to promote the city nationally and internationally, but for the future I also see our tasks increasingly in accompanying the industry and our partners through the "new normal" - a world shaped by crises such as pandemics, war and the climate crisis - and in positioning them for the future.

Berlin is known for its large number of high-profile events. In 2023, they will probably take place under pre-Corona conditions again for the first time. What highlights will the city welcome its guests with?

Numerous highlights already inspire to plan the next trip to Berlin. In addition to the Berlinale in February, Berlin not only invites to the Carnival of Cultures and Christopher Street Day in summer, but also to the Special Olympics World Games, the largest inclusive sporting event in the world. Starting in autumn, two exhibitions will be dedicated to the life and work of Edvard Munch. My personal highlight is the opening of the Tempelhof Tower planned for this year, which will offer a fantastic view of the airfield of the former airport.