Hamburg News: Tourism - one of the highlight events: the event Blue Port is shown with Elbphilharmonie during night time.
M. Westhagemann, M. Otremba, N. Aust - HHT-Bilanz-PK © Karolin Köcher

5.1 per cent growth in Hamburg's tourism industry

Overnight stays rise by 700,000 over 2017

In 2018, overnight stays in Hamburg rose 700,000 over 2017, the Hamburg Tourismus GmbH announced Friday (February 22, 2019) at its annual press conference in the Elbphilharmonie. And the tourism industry is expecting growth of 3 to 5 per cent in 2019. The figures for 2018 indicated an increase of 5.1 per cent in overnight stays, according to the Statistikamt Nord. The industry’s 88,690 employees, EUR 4.4 billion in gross added value and around EUR 300 million in tax revenue reflect its clout in Hamburg.

Key industry

“The Hamburg tourism industry remains on the road to success. With 14.5 million overnight stays in 2018, the tourism industry has once again made an enormous contribution to strengthening the local economy. It is and remains a key industry for attracting not only guests but also companies and young people to Hamburg,” said Michael Westhagemann, Senator for Economics.

Most guests from Denmark

The most important foreign tourism markets for Hamburg remained virtually unchanged in 2018. In terms of overnight stays, visitors from Denmark (392,600, up 1.8 per cent on the same period in 2017) led the way followed by the Swiss with an increase of 1.8 per cent and 372,500 overnight stays. The top five markets include Britain with moderate growth of 1.0 per cent to 344,800 overnight stays, Austria (273,100, – 2.8 per cent) and the United States with 247,100 overnight stays (+ 4.6 per cent).

“Hamburg is holding its own amid intense competition, which is not a matter of course due to the many influencing factors in city tourism. The 395,000 additional arrivals from Germany and abroad over the previous year mark a considerable achievement on the part of the industry,” said Michael Otremba, Managing Director of Hamburg Tourismus GmbH.

Addressing challenges

However, Prof. Norbert Aust, Chairman of the Executive Board of the Tourismusverband Hamburg e.V., warned that despite satisfaction with the figures, challenges must be tackled jointly. He noted: “Topics such as securing skilled workers, Hamburg’s approval of tourism or the city’s expandable international flight connections can slow the growth dynamic.”

New study

Hamburg Tourismus GmbH and the Hamburg Convention Bureau also presented a recalculation of the economic factor tourism based on the Tourism Satellite Account (TSA) during the press conference. The total tourist consumption in Hamburg amounted to EUR 8 billion euros, the study found. Tourism consumption contributes directly and indirectly EUR 4.4 billion to economic output (gross added value) or 4.5 per cent of Hamburg’s total economic output. A total of 88,690 people work in the sector – 7.4 per cent of Hamburg’s total workforce while EUR 300 million in tax revenue remains in Hamburg, HHT said.


Tourism in Hamburg is expected to grow 3 to 5 per cent this year. This year’s highlights include the huge Rotarian International Convention in June. Around 30,000 delegates from all over the globe have already registered for the congress which some have likened to a Champions League event.

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