Hamburg has some 100 consulates putting in on a par with the world’s leading cities. The Hanseatic city has a long cosmopolitan tradition making it a true “Gate to the World”. In the eleventh century, Hamburg did a flourishing trade with other countries and Austria sent its first consular in 1570. France followed in 1579, the Netherlands in 1625 and Spain in 1626. On May 16, 2017, visitors can embark on a cultural and gourmet discovery tour of 30 consulates in Hamburg during the sixth, annual “Long Night of Consulates”.
Exotic, far-away places like Tuvalu, Saint Kitts and Nevis as well as Zambia are represented by honorary consulates who deal with passport, visa or resident permit issues and offer legal aid, if required. The programme in May is likely to be colourful with all kinds of mouth-watering delights on offer. The event was initiated in 2012 by Wolfgang Schmidt, State Councillor, to give consulates a chance to present their native countries.
Port of Hamburg counts among world’s most powerful
The port has always played a key role in Hamburg’s international trade and now counts among the most efficient and powerful worldwide. The latest figures show around 9,000 arriving ships annually, 300 berths along the 43-kilometre quay wall, four container terminals and around 50 handling facilities specialising in RoRo, general cargo and goods as well as nearly 7,300 logistics companies. Around 138.2 million tons of cargo including some 8.9 million standard containers (TEU) passed through Germany’s biggest maritime port in 2016. Hamburg is now Europe’s third biggest container port and ranks 17th worldwide.
14 new destinations in 2017 summer schedule
Hamburg Airport Helmut Schimdt is Germany’s oldest and continues to grow with over 16.22 million passengers in 2016 – an increase of 3.9 per cent over 2015. Around 60 airlines fly to 130 destinations from Hamburg Airport. A total of 14 new destinations have been added to the airport’s summer schedule this year.
World’s third largest centre of civil aviation
Hamburg is also the world’s third largest centre of civil aviation. Over 40,000 highly-skilled professionals work at Hamburg Aviation and promote the commercial and economic environment in the Hamburg Metropolitan Region. Aviation giants such as Airbus and Lufthansa Technik, over 300 SMEs and several technological and scientific institutions pool their expertise in the location. In 2016, Hamburg’s Center of Applied Aeronautical Research (ZAL) began operating and functions as an interface between academic and research institutions, the aviation sector and the city.
Hamburg among top ten tourist destinations
Hamburg is also proving a real tourist magnet among both German and foreign guests and is among Europe’s top ten destinations. Last year, the city had 13.3 million overnights stays by domestic visitors, Danes, Swiss, Britons, Austrians and tourists from the United States. In January, the magnificent Elbphilharmonie became the city’s latest landmark when it opened and sending Hamburg’s renown soaring. Shoppers can shop to their heart’s delight in Hamburg and visit a musical after their spree in the world’s third largest venue for musicals after New York and London. Other highlights include the celebrated Hamburg Ballet John Neumeier, the refurbished Hamburger Kunsthalle and one of Germany’s most important museums, the Reeperbahn Festival, which attracts growing numbers of visitors every year and the Miniatur Wunderland. Travellers across the globe voted the model railway Germany’s most popular attraction last year.
“Theater der Welt” returning to Hamburg
Hamburg is to host the 15th “Theater der Welt” from May 25 to June 11, 2017 marking the return of the International Theatre Institute’s festival (ITI) to the place of its genesis. After a guest performance in 1989, Hamburg will now host the theatre festival for the third time. The “Theater der Welt 2017” will present 45 productions including 27 premieres and first performances under the theme “Global meets Local”. It will bring international artists in drama, dance, literature and visual arts, film and music from every continent together with local artists and include productions by Thalia und Kampnagel.
Cosmopolitan people of Hamburg
Yet not only the sights contribute to Hamburg’s success as a tourist magnet. “The people above all are successful ambassadors for Hamburg. They represent the mood and the atmosphere in our city,” said Ulrike von Albedyll, Manager of the German Hotel and Catering Federation (DEHOGA) in the state of Hamburg. A city may be interesting in terms of architecture. But if visitors do not meet nice, friendly people, they will not have any special experience. Exactly these kinds of people make Hamburg stand out, stressed von Albedyll, adding, “When I go to hotels and restaurants, I meet great, cosmopolitan, service-orientated people who greet their guests with a smile on their faces and demonstrate good manners.”