With about twelve million day and overnight guests in December, the year’s last months will be one of the months with the highest visitor figures. According to the Hamburg Tourism Board (HHT), this success is rooted in the numerous events staged by the initiative “Christmas in Hamburg”. The shopping offers and the Christmas markets are magnets pulling the crowds. By the end of the year, more than six million visitors will have enjoyed the inner city’s 15 markets. The Hotel and catering industry reported positive business developments. In retail, sales are expected to exceed last year’s.
Country of Christmas Markets
Germany is the country of the Christmas markets. Around 270 million visitors from home and abroad will have enjoyed them by the end of this year – significantly more than in any other country in the world. In Hamburg, they have transformed a previously low season into one with the highest visitor figures of the year. “With some twelve million day and overnight guests and further six million visitors to Hamburg’s Christmas, a turnover about 660 million euro will have been generated for Hamburg”, says Andreas Rieckhof, State Secretary of the Ministry of the Economy, Transport, and Innovation Company and Chairman of the Hamburg Tourismus Board.
Christmas Shopping Gained Importance
The economic importance of the pre-Christmas period for retail, restaurants, and the hospitality industry as well as the carnies gas increased significantly in past years. This development is reflected by the number of overnight days in December, which grew from 2001’s 322,000 to 850,000 overnight stays in December 2013. “The many initiatives of retailers and the Christmas markets in the heart of the city provide a unique atmosphere. This is also reflected in guest numbers: Overall, the mood among the hotel and restaurant owners is very good, with us expecting a further increase to 870,000 overnight stays in the current year”, says Dietrich von Albedyll, CEO of HHT.
Retail and Christmas Markets Attract Visitors
“The retailers are very content with this year’s holiday shopping season, with good sales at last year’s level”, says city manager Brigitte Engler. “Among other things, this is due to all the wonderful things happening in the inner city, where the district of arcades provide wonderful shopping experience at any weather and shines in new Christmas lights this year. With Kaiser-Galerie, is also features a new icon of high-class shopping. Further crowd-pullers are the Christmas markets and the Christmas Parade in Moenckebergstraße that attract visitors from all over the world in the Hanseatic city.”
Boom of Danish Visitors Continues
Especially the Danes love to travel to Hamburg, and not only for shopping. In the first ten months of the year, their overnight figures increased by 25 per cent. and the Christmas season is marked by Scandinavian guests. “The Danes boom continues. No other German city is as popular with the Danes as Hamburg”, says Bernd Hassler, General Manager Northeast Europe of the German National Tourist Board
Cruise Passengers Love Hamburg
Also for cruise guests, Christmas in Hamburg is an attraction. “In December alone, we count five port calls by cruise ship with 5,500 passengers. These are Christmas short trips, for guests wanting to visit the Christmas markets in the heart of the city”, states Nadine Palatz, executive director of the association Hamburg Cruise Center.
Outlook: Twelve Million Overnight Stays in 2014, Growth By Five Per Cent in 2015
The tourism industry continues to grow. By 2014, some twelve million overnight stays are expected. For the coming year, the Hamburg Tourismus Board forecast a five per cent growth of overnight stays. “Hamburg’s dynamic cultural landscape provides us with many opportunities to promote Hamburg’s assets as a tourist destination. In addition a new cruise terminal and ten hotels are about to open in 2015”, says Dietrich von Albedyll, CEO of HHT.
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