Berlin Tourism 2020: Between lockdown and summer highs

  • Annual Review 2020: 4.9 million visitors and 12.3 million visitor nights / overnight stays drop by 64%
  • In the crisis year 2020, 70% of all visitors came from Germany
  • The prognosis for 2021: Berlin expecting catch-up effects after the lockdown ends
Tourismus-Bilanz 2020 ©  visitBerlin

Berlin, 23 February 2021 In 2020, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Berlin only had one third of the visitor numbers recorded in the previous year. According to the Berlin-Brandenburg Statistical Office, 4.9 million visitors (- 65%) spent around 12.3 million nights (-64%) in the city – figures which Berlin last saw in 2001. Visitors from Germany accounted for around 70% of hotel nights. The other 30% comprised international guests, above all from the UK, Holland and Spain. After a very promising start to the year in January and February, the first lockdown began on 22 March and lasted until 25 May 2020. In summer, the hotels managed to increase visitor nights to more than 47% of 2019. In 2020, the city’s attractions – as reported by the Visitor Insight market research tool – recorded around 40% of the number of visitors in the previous year.

Ramona Pop, Senator for Economics, Energy and Public Enterprises, said: “The coronavirus crisis has hit tourism and the congress industry with full force. We reacted quickly and, in a remarkable tour de force, are supporting these sectors with a variety of funding instruments and assistance programmes. We are all longing for the day when Berlin comes back to life as a cosmopolitan metropolis. Together with visitBerlin, we are preparing for that day to ensure the tourism sector has the best start possible when it is brought up to speed again."

Burkhard Kieker, CEO of visitBerlin: “The pandemic has severely impacted tourism, gastronomy, fairs and congresses in Berlin and, at the same time, shown just how important the sector is to our city’s economy and culture. In 2020, working together with the Senate Department for Economics, Energy and Public Enterprises, we have done everything possible which was possible – from introducing hygiene guidelines for events and offering to set up time slot ticketing for museums and attractions to short-term marketing campaigns. We are reckoning on catch-up effects for Berlin when travel becomes possible again. With the Senate and the sector, we are already preparing this phase now.”

Berlin-Tourismus 2020 ©  visitBerlin

33 percent of people in Germany want to visit Berlin again

A current study by the German Institute for Tourism Research (DEST 2020) on travel behaviour shows that around 33% of people in Germany would like to travel to Berlin in the next 12 months. For such a trip, the factors they view as important are compliance with social distancing and hygiene regulations, cancellation policies, and the accommodation and travel destination’s honest and transparent communication. 63% envisage taking such a trip by car.

Visitors to Berlin in 2021 can look forward to the reopening of the Neue Nationalgalerie (New National Gallery), the Humboldt Forum, the opening of the ANOHA Children’s World at the Jewish Museum, the Long Night of the Sciences, and a high-speed sightseeing tour on the extended U5 metro line. Berlin is also responding to the trend towards water attractions and countryside.

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