Outlook 2022: What's next for Berlin tourism?
Burkhard Kieker, Managing Director of visitBerlin, takes an optimistic view of the new year
Berlin, January 7, 2022
Mr. Kieker, the Corona pandemic continues to hold the world in its grip. What do you expect for Berlin tourism in 2022?
Because of the omicron variant, I expect a difficult start to the new year. However, the situation will improve with rising temperatures in the spring, and Berlin tourism should take off again by summer at the latest. Experience from the past two years has shown that people travel to Berlin as soon as it is possible. But they are cautious and make their travel decisions at very short notice. Brand Berlin has survived the pandemic unscathed so far, and the figures confirm that: in the summer of 2021 we experienced a fantastic restart, and in October hotel overnight stays reached around 80 percent of their pre-crisis level.
What about the trade fair and congress business, which is so important for Berlin?
The industry is suffering massively from the economic consequences of the pandemic. The cancellation of the Green Week and the ITB was another bitter blow for business. With the Berlin Congress Fund, the state of Berlin has set up a successful economic stimulus program that helps us to bring events to the city. Together with Messe Berlin, we are also working on ideas for offering organizers further financial security in the event of cancellations at short notice.
What activities does visitBerlin have planned for the coming months?
Together with Berlin's politicians, we have actively supported the restart of the Visitor Economy in recent months. With our Christmas campaign, we promoted retail in the city in November and December, and "Berlin bewegt" made people want to visit Berlin in the summer. This was complemented by travel offers and digital tools such as the "TourismusHub" e-learning platform. We will continue this successful cooperation. We are currently showing the new openings and events that Berlin 2022 has to offer its guests. In the B2B sector, we plan to develop new events and formats ourselves. In this way, we are making the congress business fit for the new start.