Tourism in Hamburg on robust recovery course
Tourism in Hamburg is recovering faster and more comprehensively than in other cities, Dr. Melanie Leonhard, Senator for Economics and Michael Otremba, Managing Director of Hamburg Tourismus GmbH announced during a press conference Tuesday (February 21, 2023). The latest tourist report showed 14.7 million overnight stays by tourists or an increase of 95 per cent over 2021 - almost on a par with the pre-pandemic 15.4 million overnight stays in 2019. "This balance is a good sign for both the tourist industry and the urban society," Leonhard stressed, adding: "We are very pleased that guests find Hamburg an attractive destination and are travelling here again in large numbers - even though unrestricted travel has only been possible again since last April."
Hamburg growing as international tourist destination
"Hamburg is perceived very positively, especially in Germany, and has the reputation of being a special place of longing," said Otremba. International overnight stays have increased and are approaching 80 per cent compared to 2019 with around 3.1 million overnight stays, with most tourists coming from Denmark (372,800 overnight stays), followed by Switzerland with 305,600, Austria (263,600), the Netherlands with 212,809 and Britain with 204,000 overnight stays.
Hamburg Tourismus GmbH's relaunch campaign likely played a role ("Weil wir Hamburg sind"/"Because we are Hamburg") in the positive figures. The tourist industry has also benefitted from EUR 3.1 billion in coronavirus aid of which EUR 1.57 billion went to the hospitality sector as well as the arts, entertainment and recreation, museums and sports sectors. This benefitted tourists and residents of Hamburg alike as leisure and cultural facilities, restaurants and retailers' businesses are important to everyone.
Outlook for tourism in 2023
This year, the Congress Center Hamburg (CCH) alone is gearing up to host 40 conventions. Meanwhile, the Hamburger Kunsthalle is preparing for the 250th anniversary of Caspar David Friedrich's birth and fans of musicals can look forward to the 20th anniversary of Heiße Ecke. All these events are rendering Hamburg a tourist magnet once again. Classic events such as the Port Anniversary celebrations, the Hamburg Cruise Days and the Reeperbahn Festival are also tourist draws. Hamburg has been selected as the host city of the Citizens' Festival on German Unity Day and is among this year’s highlights. However, staff shortages, inflation and the ongoing war in Ukraine are impacting the tourist industry the extent and duration of which are difficult to calculate. Germans' unabated wish to travel make it a top consumer priority. Thus, Hamburg Tourismus GmbH expects the number of overnight visitors by domestic tourists to "grow again this year" – although perhaps to a lesser extent than in 2022.
Read the other parts in our series: