Looking back on 2022: Successful restart for Berlin tourism
- 26.5 million overnight stays and 10.4 million guests: Tourism in the city has recovered significantly in 2022
- Restart measures by the Senate Department for Economics, Energy and Public Enterprises as well as by visitBerlin have made the positive development possible
- More arrivals by train and great interest in culture: Quality tourism grows
Berlin, 23 February 2023 10.4 million guests visited Berlin last year, with approximately 26.5 million overnight stays in the city’s hotels and accommodations. These numbers were published today by the Berlin-Brandenburg State Office for Statistics. The number of overnight stays in 2022 achieved 78 per cent of the pre-crisis levels, with guest numbers equal to about 75 per cent of those in 2019.
Stephan Schwarz, Senator for Economics, Energy and Public Enterprises: “Last year’s tourism figures show where the road is leading: Berlin. Despite the volatile global situation in 2022, we were still able to make a comeback with regard to tourism and the conference industry, which was crucial for the city’s economic power. For us, it doesn’t just boil down to getting higher, faster, further. Instead, we used our restart programme to support a broad range of measures geared toward quality and that present Berlin as a hub of diversity, with a broad spectrum of things to offer beyond the usual attractions. Berlin, London, Paris, and New York make up the league of most popular city destinations, and I believe that this positive growth will continue in the coming years. However, this means that Berlin’s connections with international transport routes must be further expanded. This applies both to trains – with more connections within Germany and neighbouring countries, in particular Eastern Europe, and the night train network – and to the expansion of direct long- and mid-distance connections from BER Airport.”
Burkhard Kieker, visitBerlin CEO: “Berlin has claimed its position as one of the top 3 most popular destinations, alongside Paris and London. People appreciate the culture and what our global city has to offer.”
The new normal is bringing changes to Berlin’s tourism and event business
The coronavirus pandemic, war, and climate crisis will have a long-term impact on the travel behaviour of visitors to Berlin. Sustainability is becoming increasingly important, and most visitors are arriving by train as a result. According to a visitBerlin survey, the majority of train users would be willing to spend up to 10 hours on trains to visit Berlin.
Conference business picks up speed
Last year, Berlin hosted a variety of top-class B2B events and conferences, especially in the medical sector. These included the World Congress of the International Cartilage Regeneration and Joint Preservation Society in April, and the World Congress of the International Society for Heart Research and the World Health Summit in October. The WeAreDevelopers World Congress, one of the largest developer conferences in the world, was held in June. The organisers of business events are also increasingly prioritising sustainability, and 43 per cent of the events funded by the Berlin Congress Fund in 2022 were funded on the basis of sustainability criteria.
Cultural tourism is growing
Business at Berlin’s tourist attractions, museums, and memorials also improved in 2022, with around 80 per cent of the guest numbers from 2019. The city’s theatre stages even reached the same level of visitors as they enjoyed before the coronavirus pandemic, according to the visitBerlin market research tool Visitor Insight, which examines data from the “Interessenverband der touristischen Attraktionen Berlin” (Intoura), among other sources.
Most international guests were from the USA
Berlin continued to welcome more international guests in 2022. While overnight stays by international visitors were at 29 per cent in 2021, this number increased to 38 per cent last year. The USA was the chief international market, before the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, and Spain. However, at 62 per cent, Germany was still the most important market for Berlin. Guests were increasingly interested in culture and dining.
Restart measures help the industry recover
The Senate Department for Economics, Energy and Public Enterprises, as well as visitBerlin, continue to support the restart of Berlin’s tourism and events industries with a range of measures. International campaigns like “Visit the world of Berlin” sought to entice people to visit Berlin in the summer. This was followed by a national winter campaign at the end of the year that placed the spotlight on numerous businesses and shopping centres throughout the city, and inspired visitors to make a visit to the capital for their Christmas shopping. A Europe-wide “Restart Media Roadshow” with events in Paris, Rome, London, Warsaw, Amsterdam, Oslo, Barcelona, and Madrid, coupled with other media and influencer events in New York City, Los Angeles, and Fort Lauderdale, made Berlin more visible in international travel media.
In order to draw new conferences and events to Berlin, thereby triggering the restart of the MICE industry, the visitBerlin Berlin Convention Office established a new MICE Acquisition Taskforce in 2022. One of the biggest funding measures for the events industry was the Bestival 2022: 800 German and international representatives from the events and travel industries convened in Berlin for an innovative, festive event on 25 and 26 August. The Berlin Congress Fund established in April 2021 by the Senate Department for Economics, Energy and Public Enterprises to support the conference and congress industry was extended to late 2023, and the total funding per event was nearly doubled.