Hamburg is proving a real tourist magnet with its maritime flair, the port, Alster Lake, big, spectacular events, a wide range of museums, cultural events, fashionable creative district and many other attractions. Tourism is thus a huge catalyst for the city’s economy, according to Hamburg Tourismus GmbH. Some 3 million guests booked accommodation in Hamburg during the first half of 2016, said Statistikamt Nord (Northern Statistical Office). This accounted for nearly 6.2 million overnight stays – an increase of 5.7 per cent over the same period last year.
Hamburg Tourismus GmbH says the sector earns annual turnover of around EUR 11.6 billion and some 212,000 people live from tourism. Most tourists or approx. 2.4 million in the first half of 2016 came from Germany, but foreign tourists are also churning up the local economy. European markets are the strongest sectors and one non-European nation also made it onto the list of the Top 6.
Top 1: Hamburg – a stone’s throw from Denmark
Denmark’s close proximity to Hamburg makes it an important partner and tourist market. People can hop on a train in Copenhagen and be in Hamburg within just a few hours. Danes stay briefly in the Hanseatic city as reflected by 156,000 overnight stays making Denmark the most important source market of tourism in Hamburg. However, the latest statistics show that Danes come frequently to Hamburg, but stay briefly. In the first six months of 2016, there were nearly 85,000 arrivals from Denmark, which resulted in a mere 1.8 days in Hamburg. The ranking hinges mainly on overnight stays. Denmark is thus the undisputed leader in international terms. And the trend is positive as the latest figures represent a 3.8 per cent increase in overnight stays over 2015.
Top 2: Piece of Switzerland on Jungfernstieg
To Swiss natives, the harbour quay and fish bread rolls may seem like a welcome diversion from mountain air and strong cheese as Switzerland is the second most important source market of tourism in Hamburg. The Swiss accounted for 148,000 overnight stays between January and June 2016. Around 61,000 arrivals from Switzerland were recorded in the Hanseatic city with an average stay of 2.4 days. Their zest for travelling led to an 8.9 per cent increase in overnight stays over the previous year and an additional 9.4 per cent arrivals, the statistics showed. And Swiss nationals are likely to have discovered something on Jungfernstieg to remind them of their native land where the Swiss chocolatier Läderach opened a shop this year.
Top 3: British lifestyle in Hamburg
Britain is the third most important source market in terms of overnight stays in the first half of 2016. Hamburg’s Anglophile flair comes as no surprise and is likely to appeal to Britons. Some 142,000 overnight stays and nearly 66,000 arrivals or an average travel stay of 2.2 days mean Britain is a key factor in Hamburg’s tourism. Also the number of overnight stays in the first half of 2016 accounted for an increase of 7.5 per cent over the previous year. And hopes are high that this trend will continue despite the looming Brexit. Around 90 weekly flights to Hamburg are operated from airports in London alone, according to Hamburg Airport’s current flight schedule.
Top 4: Worth a long trip for Austrians
Hanseatic flair enjoys great popularity in Alpine regions, as Austria is the fourth most important source market of tourism in Hamburg. Austrian guests are an important catalyst for the Hanseatic tourist sector and account for 47,000 arrivals and approximately 115,000 overnight stays. For Austrians, Hamburg is worth a particularly long trip. Tourists spend an average 2.5 days in Hamburg and Austria leads the European foreign markets. Despite a slight 1.9 per cent decrease in overnight stays over the previous year, Austria remains in that position.
Top 5: Stopover on tour of Europe
The United States is a non-European source market in the ranking of top source markets of tourism in Hamburg. Tourists from the U.S. accounted for around 96,000 overnight stays and 38,000 arrivals, according to the Statistikamt Nord. Hamburg is probably an attractive stopover and enjoying increasing popularity on a tour of Europe for many American guests. Overnight stays accounted for an 8.1 per cent increase over the previous year resulting in an average stay of 2.5 days up from 2.4.
Top 6: More bridges than Amsterdam
Hamburg is famous for its bridges and has more than Amsterdam giving the Dutch yet another good reason to visit the city. At the moment, Hamburg is enjoying increasing popularity in the Netherlands like no other source market. Figures for January to June 2016 grew 15.6 per cent over the same period in 2015. The Dutch accounted for 82,000 overnight stays and 42,000 arrivals in Hamburg between January and June 2016. Similar to the Danes, the Dutch opted for short stays of 1.9 days.
The Statistikamt Nord bases the ranking figures for 2016 on travel accommodation in Hamburg with ten and more beds.