2011 results: 10 million guests, 22 million room nights/Berlin among European top three in city tourism/Berlin Senator for Economic Affairs: further strengthening of the tourism industry

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Berlin, a top travel destination in Europe

Berlin, 16 February 2012 More than 22 million room nights and almost 10 million guests – tourism in the German capital has reached new record levels in 2011. Berlin has successfully held its ground in the international city and convention tourism and further consolidated its ranking as a top three travel destination in Europe – behind London and Paris and ahead of Rome. New business impulses will be triggered by the new BER airport.

Tourism – a key industry for the city

“The interest in Berlin as a travel destination is unbroken”, said Berlin’s Senator for Economic Affairs Sybille von Obernitz at yesterdays’s press conference in the Waldorf Astoria, a significant new Berlin landmark hotel construction in 2012. “Tourism is one of the most important businesses for Berlin and is continuing to gain in weight.” This sector generates gross sales revenues of around EUR 9 billion and has a high employment impact – 230,000 people make a living in the tourism sector in Berlin. This is a major success for one of the key industries of our city.

Targeting the 30 million mark by 2020

Senator von Obernitz sees a lot of potential for the city in the new infrastructure for Berlin visitors: “The BER airport, with its many new air links, will continue to strengthen the tourism industry. The sector considers 30 million room nights to be realistic by 2020.” Frequently tourism comes first and is followed by investors. “Tourism conveys a positive image of Berlin to the world and lays the foundation for the further strengthening of the business location. Berlin’s Senate will, therefore, intensely support Berlin tourism in the years to come”, the Senator added. A special focus will be on the meeting and convention market.

Berlin establishes itself as a successful tourism metropolis

Burkhard Kieker, CEO of visitBerlin, comments on the growth course of the German capital: “More than 22 million room nights show: the world likes to come to Berlin. Despite economic crises in other European countries, increasing numbers of international guests come back to Berlin. The city has proven to be crisis resistant.” He expects the BER airport to create new momentum for the destination: “BER is an important stage on Berlin’s way back to a cosmopolitan city. New long haul flights will contribute towards turning the city into an even more successful tourism and convention metropolis.” The BER hub will in particular improve the prospects for Berlin when applying for large-scale international events.

Roland Berger Study: Berlin top 3 after London and Paris – tourism strategy works out
The German capital is a champion in Europe. Berlin plays, together with London and Paris, in a sovereign way in the league of the big three. With an average annual growth of 7%, Berlin even looks back on the largest growth rate in terms of room nights in Europe during the past five years. This has been established by the strategy consultants Roland Berger. 24 European capitals were compared for this purpose. Berlin convinces with a tourism concept which has been consistently pursued over the last years, as confirmed by the current study “European Capital City Tourism”. Berlin clearly shows that it has developed into one of the most important tourism and convention centres in Europe. The German capital owes this to a sophisticated tourism strategy and an excellent co-operation between politics and the business community”, said Dr. Vladimir Preveden, Partner at Roland Berger. As far as the share of international guest is concerned, Berlin has, however, still some catching up to do, according to Dr. Preveden.

The destination Berlin in numbers

“For years the number of room nights has risen in Berlin: in 2011, 1.5 million more room nights than in 2010 were counted”, stressed Professor Dr. Ulrike Rockmann, President of the Berlin-Brandenburg Statistics Office. “Apart from visitors from Germany, Berlin has become increasingly popular amongst international guests. 41% of all room nights were accounted for by guests from abroad. The highest growth rates were reached last year by visitor groups from Iceland, India, Russia and Brazil.” Professor Dr. Rockmann added that guests from the United Kingdom were the strongest foreign visitor group, followed by the Dutch, US Americans and Italians.

Growth potential for the city is in particular in the so-called BRIC markets (Brazil, Russia, India, China), which are intensively developed by visitBerlin. In these countries a new middle-class, which is fond of travelling, has developed, which is to be attracted to Berlin in an even stronger way than in the past.

At present 120,800 beds are available for visitors; 7.5% more than a year ago. The average hotel bed utilisation of 51.2% was slightly higher than last year (51%). Every overnight guest spends an average EUR 197 per day during his/her visit to Berlin (business factor 2009) – for the hotel room, the dinner, at the museum or during shopping).

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