Number of international visitors to Berlin exceeds five million for the first time

  • Moderate growth in visitor numbers
  • 7.7 million overnight stays for conferences and conventions

Berlin, 22 February 2017 Tourism in Berlin has risen moderately over the last year. The number of overnight stays by visitors to Berlin increased by 2.7 percent to more than 31 million, reports the Berlin-Brandenburg Statistics Office. This means that the number of international visitors has exceeded five million for the first time. Particularly large numbers of visitors came from Great Britain, USA and Spain. Israel also features among the top 10 countries with the most overnight stays for the first time. German guests, with 54.4 percent, still account for the largest proportion of overnight stays.

"Berlin has become one of the top tourist destinations and is considered a role model around the world", says Ramona Pop, Senator for Economics, Energy and Public Enterprises. "Our success in the tourism industry is thanks to our creativity, welcoming culture and the hard work of the hotels and other partners in the tourism sector. Tourism now ensures the incomes of more than 240,500 people in our city." Pop announces plans to develop a new approach to tourism in the year ahead. "The first concern will be to take into account criteria for a city-compatible and sustainable tourism industry."

"Berlin has asserted itself in a difficult international environment as one of the top 3 European destinations”, says Burkhard Kieker, CEO of visitBerlin. "To continue our success, we must improve the connections for intercontinental visitors. After years of growth, it is time for all parties to work together to create a tourism infrastructure for the future."

More than half of visitors come for art and culture

A typical visitor to Berlin is an average of 39.3 years old. On average, guests stay 2.4 days in the city. However, with 2.8 days visitors from overseas stay longer in Berlin than German tourists. The three most important reasons given for a trip to the German capital are the sights, the art and culture scene as well as the cityscape and architecture. 

Over the past year, the art and culture scene under the title "BERLIN 365/24" has been successfully marketed throughout the world by visitBerlin in cooperation with Kulturprojekte Berlin. The German capital is a cultural and event location of outstanding importance compared to other European cities.

One quarter of all overnight stays by conference delegates

The Berlin conference industry has developed positively in 2016. With 7.7 million overnight stays, the conference industry generated around a quarter of the 31 million hotel stays in Berlin in 2016. These figures come from the latest conference statistics* from the visitBerlin Berlin Convention Office.

Last year a total of a more than 11.5 million participants travelled to the German capital for around 137,500 events. This represents an increase of around two percent in both the number of participants and events. Around 2.4 million international participants attended events in Berlin in 2016 and one in five of these travelled from an overseas country.

Berlin is the city for future issues, medicine and research

More and more conventions in Berlin deal with future issues. Some famous examples are the “World Health Summit”, the “Re:publica” or the “TechCrunch Disrupt Berlin” that will move from London to Berlin in December 2017. Over the past year 16 percent of events in Berlin can be attributed to the medicine, science and research industries (2015: 12 percent). Conferences dealing with the IT, electronics and communication industries come in second place with 13 percent.