Our figure of the month 12/2019: Tourism boom in Germany

Highest intensity on the coasts, but hospitality industry profits most in the cities and in Bavaria

Tourism in Germany is enjoying a sustained boom, which is currently making the hospitality industry an important pillar of economic growth in Germany. The number of overnight stays in the lodging sector has been rising for ten years now. This has been boosted by geopolitical uncertainties and an increased risk of terrorism in popular holiday destinations, including the eastern Mediterranean regions, as well as by the recent very warm and sunny summers in Germany. In 2018, the coastal regions on the North and Baltic Sea, including the offshore islands, took particular benefit from this trend.

The map shows the tourism intensity by federal state for the year 2018. It is measured in the number of overnight stays in the lodging sector per 1,000 inhabitants (p. 1000 i). Accordingly, the two northern federal states – also due to a very low population density, especially in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania (MV) with 69 inhabitants per square kilometre, have the highest tourism intensity in Germany. In MV, it amounted to 19,000 stays p. 1000 i. and was three times as high as the national average (5,750 stays p. 1000 i.) and in Schleswig-Holstein the number was twice as high with over 12,000 stays p. 1000 i. Tourism intensity is lowest in North Rhine-Westphalia with 2,900 stays and Saarland with 3,200 stays p. 1000 i. This is however also due to the above-average population density of 530 inhabitants per square kilometre (NRW) and in Saarland compared to the national average (230 inhabitants per square kilometre).

However, the preferred accommodation in both northern federal states is not the hotel industry, i.e. hotels, hotels garnis, inns or guesthouses (classification system of economic branches (WZ) 55.1). These account for only 31% in SH and 44% in MV of all overnight stays in the entire lodging sector, while the nationwide share of the hotel sector amounts to 62%. Holidaymakers on the coast prefer to spend their summer vacation in holiday flats, houses or centres (NACE 55.2) and on campsites (NACE 55.3). The pie charts show the share of the various types of accommodation in the total number of overnight stays. Since the turnover per overnight stay in types of accommodation with self-catering is generally lower and these holidaymakers less often eat out in restaurants, the turnover prospects of the entire hospitality sector for these guest groups and thus the economic benefit for the federal states are to be rated much lower than those for hotel guests.

The prospects for the hospitality industry are therefore particularly positive in regions with an above-average tourism intensity coupled with a high proportion of overnight stays accounted for by the hotel sector. The city states of Berlin (approx. 9,000 stays p. 1000 i. and 84% stays in hotels) and Hamburg (approx. 8,000 stays p. 1000 i. and 90% stays in hotels) occupy the top places in this respect. In addition to the high number of business travellers, the major cities also benefit from the booming city and cultural tourism that has been going on for years, as well as the growing popularity for foreign tourists. This also applies to Munich, the third-largest city in Germany. Here, the tourism intensity was even higher than in Berlin and Hamburg with 11,600 stays p. 1000 i. So was the share of hotel stays with 95% of all overnight stays in lodgings. Not only the state capital, but the whole of Bavaria has a very high tourism intensity with 7,550 overnight stays p. 1000 i. in total and 7,000 excluding Munich. This is the third highest rate after MV and SH in a territorial state (Flächenland). In addition to Munich, popular holiday areas in Bavaria like the Alpine and lake regions, the Allgäu and the Bavarian Forest contribute to this positive ranking. The hotel sector also accounts for an above-average share of the Bavarian hospitality market. With 70% of all overnight stays, it is on a par with Hessen as high as in no other territorial state.

Other figures can be found here.

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