Hamburg more popular than ever - city a real tourist magnet
The City of Hamburg had around 7.6 million overnight stays in the first half of 2023 or 19.1 per cent more than in the same period in 2022, according to Statistics North. The figures are 407,000 higher than in the pre-pandemic record year of 2019 which corresponds to an increase of almost 6 per cent. Around 77,000 jobs and an annual turnover of EUR 9.6 billion including EUR 363 million in tax revenue show the importance of tourism as an economic factor for Hamburg, according to Dr Melanie Leonhard, Senator for Economics, during a press conference Monday (August 21, 2023). Thus, Hamburg remains one of Germany's most popular tourist destinations.
Strong demand across Germany
"Hamburg's tourist sector has achieved something that only very few European cities have managed on this scale. The number of guests and overnight stays reached a new, all-time high in the first half of this year," said Michael Otremba, Managing Director of Hamburg Tourism (HHT). This was due mainly to strong domestic demand. The six million overnight stays were nearly 10 per cent higher than in the record year 2019. Hamburg also hosted many tourists from neighbouring European countries especially Switzerland (153,400 overnight stays), Denmark (143,600), Austria (134,800) and Britiain (132,100), as well as from the United States (108,100) and other overseas countries. International overnight stays rose over the previous year, but did not surpass the level of 2019 (-7.6 per cent).
Growth in tourist numbers a distinction for Hamburg
Tourists spend around EUR 9.6 billion a year in Hamburg, according to the Tourism Satellite Account (TSA), a research project by the German Institute for Leisure Research at the West Coast University of Applied Sciences. Thus, their expenditure accounts for about EUR 5.5 billion of the city's economic output. Around 77,000 employees in the tourism industry account for 6 per cent of the workforce in Hamburg. Around 16,800 jobs in suppliers and service providers are directly or indirectly linked to tourism bringing the total tax revenue to around EUR 363 million even though the framework conditions have been anything but easy for quite some time, Leonhard said. "The pandemic, the economic situation of households, rising prices, staff shortages - to name just a few of the challenges. Given this backdrop, the growth in tourist numbers is enormous praise for Hamburg and the greatest possible appreciation for the work done by all those involved."
Investment in tourism infrastructure
The present challenges are leading to soaring costs of transport and accommodation, said the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO). Tourists would like to see more good value for money and travel in their home countries. The ongoing staff shortages are also throwing a spanner in the industry's works. Yet, Otremba remained confident, adding: "Investments in tourism infrastructure, e.g., in the Überseequartier, creative hotel projects and leisure activities will keep Hamburg in the spotlight and develop its great drawing power." All kinds cultural events backed by HHT such as the Hamburg Cruise Days (September 8-10), the new Open Mouth - Hamburg Food Festival (September 14-18) and the Citizens' Festival on German Unity Day (October 2-3 October) are expected to result in sustained high visitor frequency. The attractiveness of the city is conveyed by HHT's campaign "Because we are Hamburg".