Germany recorded a 180 per cent increase in overnight stays from Gulf nationals in the first three quarters of this year compared to the same period of 2021, according to new data from the German National Tourist Board (GNTB).

GCC nationals accounted for more than 872,000 overnight stays, making the Gulf region Germany’s top Asian source market during the first nine months of 2022.

In 2021, the number of GCC nationals visiting the country was 311,000, demonstrating strong growth. Yet when compared to pre-pandemic figures from 2019, it still represents a decrease of 34.5 per cent, showing not only substantial space for future growth, but also the logic behind the tourism board expecting the gap to close further next year.

“We continue to see strong traction from the GCC region, with visitors looking to fulfil cultural experiences,” said Yamina Sofo, director of sales and marketing at the German National Tourist Office, the regional office of GNTB.

“Our goal at the moment is to continue to attract visitors from the region and aim to reach the numbers we welcomed prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. We have seen a striking performance this year when compared to 2021, demonstrating that our diverse campaigns and offerings are attractive, and effectively reaching the audience.”

The aggregate of Asian source markets recorded more than 2.9 million overnight stays between Jan-Sep 2022, indicating a 283 per cent increase on the same period in 2021. This upsurge indicates travellers are determined to travel even more than usual.

To further drive visitors – particularly those from within the GCC – the GNTB introduced three diverse campaigns this year that offer a wholistic tourism offering throughout the country. Aligning with market demands, these campaigns directly attributed to higher footfall from the GCC.

‘German.Local.Culture’ focuses on driving awareness of the huge number of traditional experiences, including national crafts and customs, local fare, and the diversity of the history-rich cities, whereas the ‘Embrace German Nature’ features a plethora of outdoor, nature-focused activities.

‘Feel Good’ focuses on sustainable travel, highlighting the importance of adopting eco-friendly practices when travelling. Under this campaign, GNTB supports its federal states and towns to highlight their innovative transport solutions and accommodation, along with eco-friendly restaurants and sustainable tourism activities – all of which ensure an exciting city break that can be enjoyed eco-responsibly. 

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