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Excellent Grades For Hamburg's Port Anniversary

Visitor survey highlights positive image and economic impact of the world's largest port festival

“Truly hanseatic”, “cosmopolitan”, “a rich tradition” and “entertaining” – these are the top four labels attributed by visitors to Hamburg’s port anniversary. They were retrieved by a representative survey conducted by the independent market research institute Gelszus Messe-Marktforschung during the 2014 anniversary celebrations. The survey results support the positive image of the world’s largest port festival and its importance as a major economic factor in the Hanseatic city.

The World’s Largest Maritime Festival

Hamburg’s port anniversary is a maritime festival packed with superlatives. Once a year, Hamburg is the port of call for a unique number and diversity of vessels, from large sail-boats and cruise liners to traditional boats, marine and emergency ships, to modern sports boats. At the open ship events, more than 70,000 visitors of all ages explore the ships hands-on up close. From early morning to late evening hours, a colourful programme on land and water is entertaining the entire family with cultural, musical, culinary, and maritime highlights”, states Frank Horch, Minister of Economy, Transport and Innovation. “This successful mix of harbour atmosphere, entertainment and attraction makes the success of Hamburg port anniversary, and grants top marks for the events. Despite last year’s foul weather, 96 per cent of visitors rated the event last as very good or good.

Good Results Despite Bad Weather

In fact, the survey’s results on Hamburg’s port anniversary 2014 must be considered in the context of three days of pouring rain, storms, and cold temperatures. In 2011, the year of the previousvisitor survey was conducted, it had been consistently sunny and warm. Still, 2014’s estimated 800,000 visitors an average of 5.8 hours at the HAFENGEBURTSTAG HAMBURG. Almost half of the visitors (49 percent) came for two or three days to enjoy the port festival. While 42 per cent of visitors are Hamburg locals or from neighbouring Lower Saxony (12 per cent) and Schleswig Holstein (8 per cent), visitors also came from further afield, i.e. North Rhine-Westphalia (12 per cent) and foreign countries (5 per cent). 69 per cent of non-locals spent at least one night in Hamburg, on average 2.5 nights. Average expenditure went up from 2011’s 48 euro per capita to 52 euro.

Visitor Survey Compelemented By Media Response Analysis

In addition to the visitor survey, a media content analysis was carried out in 2014 to see how media portrayed the event, and how their impact shaped its brand. In 2014, A total of 5,000 posts and articles were published on the port anniversary within a year by national and international media. Distribution included print, online, TV, and radio. In addition, 85 per cent of visitors are expected to share their positive impressions of the port anniversary in their social spheres. The survey was commissioned by the Hamburg Ministry of Economy, Transport, and Innovation in co-operation with Hamburg Messe und Congress GmbH, Hamburg Tourism Board, Hamburg Convention Bureau, and the Hamburg Tourism Association.

More than on million visitors are expected to celebrate the 826th port anniversary 8-10 May in Hamburg. Also in 2015, AIDA Cruises will be the main sponsor.

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