Hamburg News: Tourism - one of the highlight events: the event Blue Port is shown with Elbphilharmonie during night time.
Liebespaar auf der Hamburger Alster © HMG/Mediaserver, R.Hegeler

Tourism: over 13 million overnight stays expected in 2016

Hamburg Tourism says results are positive and announced 14th consecutive record. Visitors key to economy.

Hamburg has become one of the most popular city destinations in Europe and had over 6.3 million guests in 2015 with 12.6 million overnight stays (+ 5.3 per cent). The room occupancy rate averaged 78.3 per cent, said Hamburg Tourismus GmbH (HHT) Friday. Overnight stays are expected to increase from 3 to 5 per cent in 2016.

Cautious growth

Andreas Rieckhof, State Councillor in the Ministry of Economy, Transport and Innovation, said: “The tourist economy is among the most important growth areas in our city. We wish to shape it actively and in keeping with the interests of Hamburg’s residents.” He added: “The 631,000 additional overnight stays in 2015 mean increased revenue of EUR 133 million, for instance, in hotels and catering, retail and cultural institutions. This figure shows that growth in Hamburg is continuous and cautious at the same time.”

Commenting on the importance of tourism for the business location, Dr. Rolf Strittmatter, Acting Managing Director of Hamburg Tourismus GmbH, said: “The positive tourism development is key to successfully marketing our location. The perception as a popular city destination for travellers always helps open doors for new corporate ventures and investment decisions.”

Survey of acceptance among population

The HHT conducted a third survey (first and second in 2012 and 2014) of the population’s acceptance of tourism. The key message was that acceptance is high and remains at a constant level. Some 82 per cent of Hamburg’s residents see mainly positive effects. Thorsten Tschirner, Sales and Marketing Manager at Hamburg Tourismus GmbH, said: “The high acceptance is an excellent starting point and at the same time the prerequisite for further development of tourism.”

Particularly high foreign visitor numbers

The room occupancy rate in Hamburg averaged 78.3 per cent. Hamburg followed Munich (78.5 per cent) and was ahead of Berlin (76.4 per cent). More and more visitors from abroad are arriving. This figure increased 5.9 per cent and now lies at 3.1 million overnight stays. The share of overnight stays by visitors from abroad increased to 24.5 per cent.

Hamburg had the most overnight stays by visitors from Denmark (367,000 – an increase of 12.5 per cent over the previous year), followed by Switzerland with growth of 8.9 per cent and 309,250 overnight stays. The top five markets include Britain with 278,000, Austria with 257,000 and USA with 195,000 overnight stays.

Ongoing positive investment in tourism

Rieckhof expressed optimism about 2016, saying: “We expect growth of 3 to 5 per cent in overnight stays and are aiming for 13 million.” Several milestones in the development of tourism are likely as seven new hotels with a capacity of an additional 2,200 beds are due to open this year. They include, for instance, Hotel Fontenay on the Alster, and the Westin Sheraton in the Elbphilharmonie. The Hamburger Kunsthalle is celebrating its reopening in April. The commissioning of the AIDAprima in May is another important step in cruise ship tourism making Hamburg a year-round destination for cruise ship guests.

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