Hamburg News: Tourism - one of the highlight events: the event Blue Port is shown with Elbphilharmonie during night time.
Fischbrötchen Hafencity © Spahrbier

Hamburg-Tourism: Twice as many international visitors

Hamburg aims to double overnight stays of international guests by 2020.

Foreign tourists feel comfortable in Hamburg, as shown by the number of guests. Frank Horch, Hamburg Minister of the Economy, Transport, and Innovation highlighted the positive development of the tourism industry. “The approach taken by Hamburg’s tourism industry is very successful. Since 2005, the number of overnight stays from international visitors has doubled to 2.6 million nights. With the dynamic development, Hamburg ranks among the top cities in Europe. Nevertheless, many cities boast even higher volumes and market shares. At the same time, the competition for domestic guest has become much harder. “Foreign source markets offer for Hamburg, and tourism in Northern Germany great potentials that need be exploited further”, Horch concluded.

New survey by Hamburg Tourism

On behalf of the Hamburg Tourismus GmbH, the service and infrastructure quality in Hamburg was analysed in regard to international guests. More than 15,000 individual results from quantitative and qualitative surveys were evaluated. The Hamburg Chamber of Commerce contributed to the study its results of survey on guests from the growth markets of China, Russia and the United Arab Emirates conducted at Hamburg Airport. The aim is to better align Hamburg’s tourism agents and the city’s infrastructure to meet the needs of foreign visitors.

High recommendation rate

“Our guests from the U.S., the UAE, China, and Russia all feel comfortable in the Elbe city, and nearly all guests would recommend Hamburg as a tourist destination,” said Fritz Horst Melsheimer, president of the Hamburg Chamber of Commerce. “At the same time it may be said that cities such as Lübeck and Schwerin also promote the attraction of Hamburg”. Analysing the answer, Hamburg is perceived as a multicultural, international metropolis, comfortable, green and hospitable. For sharpening the profile of Hamburg, this is certainly good to know, as guests seem to find it difficult to name individual attractions as outstanding.”

Comprehensive survey

The results oft he extensive study on the international nature of the service and infrastructure quality in tourism acknowledge the good work of the tourism actors in Hamburg, but also show distinct fields of action. “We have ambitious goals. We want to align Hamburg to the needs of foreign visitors. Only if we succeed, we will be able to continue the growth. Once existing HHT projects and those derived from the study have been implemented with all partners, we will be able to double overnight stays by international visitors by 2020”, says Dietrich von Albedyll, CEO of Hamburg Tourismus GmbH.

Also in 2015, a new EU project with Copenhagen will start to prepare for the Fehmarn Belt crossing. In the Arab Gulf States and Russia, there are large potentials to position Hamburg as an attractive destination for health tourism. Funding for these activities is supported with HHT’s revenues from the cultural and tourist tax. Last but not least, a new digital guide, the relaunch of “”: http: // and the event database contribute to attracting international guests by providing up-to-date infos in English.

The survey: 15,000 individual results, six fields of action, and 21 projects

The international visitor survey was initiated by the Hamburg Tourismus Board. The Hamburg Chamber of Commerce complemented the study by a market-specific survey. “In general, the focus of incoming tourism is on international marketing and product development. Hardly ever the question is being asked if local actors along with private and public infrastructure are actually meeting the requirements for international guests and are well-suited to welcome foreigners”,, explains Karsten Heinsohn, project manager at dwif Consulting.

source and further details:

With the study’s quantitative and qualitative surveys, the inside view of local actors and the external view of the guests and partners were being collected and compared. Inter alia, some 9,000 online surveys of foreign guests from the U.S., the U.K., Austria, France, Spain, Denmark, Sweden, Russia, China have been conducted, and foreign online review sites evaluated. In addition, mystery tests and 50 site-checks of Hamburg institutions and companies were conducted. Also, there were expert interviews carried out and compared with the information provided by cities such as Barcelona, Copenhagen, and Vienna. At the end, all 15,000 individual results were analysed and grouped into six areas and 21 fields of actions. To implement the measures defined in the study, the involvement of service providers, retail, and cultural and recreational facilities is essential.

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