Tourism in Hamburg rose 5 per cent or by 6.5 million overnight stays (325,000 additional overnight stays) in the first half of 2017 over the same period last year, according to the Northern Statistical Office. The figures reflect Hamburg’s increasing popularity as a destination for both business travellers and leisure seekers. The Elbphilharmonie is proving an important driving force and the new concert hall has attracted people from all over the world in just a few months.
Economic power and quality of life
The ongoing developments in tourism mean the sector now plays an important role in Hamburg, according to Frank Horch, Senator for Economics, who noted: “The professional host role of the Hamburg tourist sector is impressive. Successful tourism benefits Hamburg in many ways. It creates jobs for low-skilled career starters right up to university graduates. And it also secures several cultural and leisure offers for residents of Hamburg, which would not have been possible otherwise.” Joint efforts will be undertaken to ensure growth benefits everyone and that it raises Hamburg’s economic clout and quality of life.
Elbphilharmonie – city of contrasts
Commenting on “Hamburg’s exciting development process”, Michael Otremba, Managing Director of Hamburg Tourismus GmbH, said: “The strong demand is based on a positive willingness to invest in Hamburg. These aspirations are visible across the city and can be experienced by guests.” The official opening of the Elbphilharmonie in January proved key to communication and a reason to travel to the city. “The successful opening campaign drew enormous attention and achieved a positive perception. Hamburg has been noticed all over the world as a city of exciting contrasts with high-quality stays on offer,” he added.
Strong growth from Britain and U.S.
Overnight stays by foreign guests accounted for a 9 per cent rise in the first half of 2017. Asked about her impressions of Hamburg, Dami Akin from London, said: “I perceive Hamburg as very diverse. You meet people from all kinds of cultures here. The city combines a wonderful mix of modern and classical elements.” Michael Sudheer from California enthused about HafenCity: “My first impressions of Hamburg are as a pulsating new metropolis with wonderful architecture.”
Originating countries of tourists
By June, most visitors to Hamburg had arrived from Switzerland and accounted for 165,800 overnight stays – a rise of 12.4 per cent over the same period in 2016. Visitors from Britain accounted for a higher increase of 16.1 per cent. Tourist accommodation establishments had a total of 165,300 overnight stays in the first half of 2017 – from Denmark (161,000 overnight stays +3.4 per cent), Austria (132,000, +14.3 per cent) and the U.S. (109,300, +14.1 per cent).
A slight drop in overnight stays by tourists from the Netherlands and the Spain was also noted. The downward tourist demand from Russia, which is noticeable all over Europe, has been stopped in Hamburg for the moment. Overnight stays by this visitor group rose to 18.8 per cent in the first half of 2017.
HafenCity – rough and beautiful
Hamburg will continue its efforts to promote the city in the remainder of 2017. Marketing companies are highlighting the city’s contrasts in cross-media campaigns such as “Hamburg like a local”, “Stadtküste” and “Holy Hamburg”.
The “Hamburg on Tour” event organised by the Hamburg Convention Bureau GmbH will stop over in London in October and showcase the city as a music and festival region. Several events for investors, the tourist and congress sector as well as delegations of business people and academics will promote the Hanse city as well.