A total of 6.8 million guests accounted for 13.8 million overnight stays or growth of 3.7 per cent in Hamburg last year, according to Statistikamt Nord (Northern Statistical Office). Room occupancy in Hamburg’s hotels averaged 80.3 per cent in 2017 and steady growth has been forecast for 2018, Hamburg Tourismus GmbH announced Wednesday (February 21, 2018). This comes amid continued growth in tourism continued across European cities in 2017 and the enormous rise in Hamburg’s perception prompted by the opening of the Elbphilharmonie.
491,000 overnight stays in 2017
Andreas Rieckhof, State Councillor in the Ministry for Economics, Transport and Innovation, noted: “Hamburg’s tourist industry has again managed to solidify it’s strong position in the dynamic, competitive environment between cities. And more: growth of 491,000 in 2017 is important to strengthen local retail, the hotel and catering industry as well as cultural and leisure centres and for creating new employment opportunities in Hamburg.” Michael Otremba, Manager of Hamburg Tourismus GmbH (HHT), noted: “The opening of the Elbphilharmonie has changed the perception of Hamburg. Visitor numbers and the global media response with more than 60,000 publications have far exceeded our expectations.”
Attitude among Hamburg’s citizens important
Commenting on marketing companies’ changing tasks, Otremba pointed out: “The authenticity of a travel destination hinges among others on a positive attitude among citizens towards their guests. That has become an important success factor. Only those who feel welcome will be positive envoys for our city and will enjoy coming back to Hamburg.” Based on this development, HHT is now setting up a department dedicated to developing high-quality tourism in Hamburg. The department will strive to balance residents’ needs with those of guests. It will also seize tourism to promote the quality of life and to retain the great approval of tourism.
Elbphilharmonie reinforcing global recognition
Dynamic foreign markets have become noticeable impulses for growth. Overnight stays by guests from abroad grew 5.1 per cent to 3.44 million presently and now account for 24.9 per cent. This growth is due to the great media attention and Hamburg is now recommended as a top tourist destination. The designation as a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site has also enhanced Hamburg’s image considerably.
Higher room occupancy, prices and income
Last year, room occupancy in Hamburg averaged 80.3 per cent (+ 0.9 per cent over 2016). Hamburg now leads German cities ahead of Berlin (76.7 per cent) and Munich (75.6 per cent). In 2017, the average room price increased 6.8 per cent to EUR 117.79 over 2016 while revenue per available room (revPAR) in Hamburg came to EUR 94.63 (+ 7.8 per cent) (Source: STR Global, 2018). A total of 14 new hotels (incl. The Fontenay) with around 2,700 rooms are due to open in Hamburg this year.
In 2018, marketing companies will launch three campaigns to promote Hamburg as an attractive travel destination under the themes “Genuss und Szene (Pleasure and Scenes)”, “Stadtküste/Stadt am Wasser (Urban Coast/Waterside City”) and “Hamburg ist live/Musikstadt” (Hamburg is live/Music City). As part of the live “Hamburg on Tour” series, the Hamburg Convention Bureau (HCB) will stop over in London this summer for the second year in a row. Otremba expressed optimism about tourism in 2018 and expects steady growth in overnight stays.