German Tourism Headed for Fifth Consecutive Record Year


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Global Travel News Industry

November 2014

BERLIN, Germany – Foreign visitors continue their love-affair with Germany, as the German tourism industry looks headed for a fifth consecutive record year. But critics warn that new industry taxes could reverse the trend.

Nearly 43 million visitors checked into one of the nation’s accommodation establishments in September – a four-percent uptick in overnight stays compared with the same month last year, according to new numbers released by the Federal Statistical Office on Tuesday.

International tourists accounted for 7.2 million, or 17 percent, of the gains, while domestic travelers continued to make up the lion’s share at 35.2 million.

The hike comes on the heels of sizzling summer figures, bringing total overnight stays from January to September to 331.1 million – a three-percent increase compared with the same period last year.

Industry concerns

Despite the glowing numbers, the mood was tense at a meeting between German Chancellor Angela Merkel and more than 1,000 members of Germany’s Hotel and Restaurant Association (DEHOGA) on Tuesday.

DEHOGA President Ernst Fischer lashed out at next year’s rollout of a nation-wide minimum wage, as well as a push to introduce a bed tax.

“The bed tax means German hotels and private travellers from all over the world would have to help cash-strapped regional governments with their budgets,” Fischer said.

Merkel rejected calls for a cut in sales tax, but sought to allay industry concerns that the 8.50-euro ($10.50) minimum wage could hurt the hospitality sector. She said that her government would monitor the rollout closely, promising that “it must not be a job killer.”

 

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