Figures for Q1 2018 show Berlin tourism has stabilised
BERLIN - The first quarter of 2018, from January to March, saw the number of people visiting Berlin stabilise after the turbulence of recent months. Approx. 2.9 million people visited the German capital in the first three months of the year, an increase of 6 per cent over the previous year. The number of nights stayed in the city’s hotels and other accommodations rose by 6.4 per cent to 6.7 million.
“Berlin Tourism is back on a solid growth path“,says Burkhard Kieker, CEO of visitBerlin. “Over the year, I expect three to four per cent growth, as forecast by the global tourism organization UNWTO”.
In particular, many visitors came from Germany in the first quarter of the year: 1.8 million German guests visited the capital (+7.3%) and spent 8.2% more nights in the city than in the previous year. This can be attributed to the tremendous growth in the flights to/from Berlin and the new high-speed rail line from Munich. The number of guests arriving by the latter is expected to double in the current year.
1.1 million people came from abroad in Q1, a jump of 3.9%, and spent 3 million nights in the city’s hotels. The dampening effects of Air Berlin’s insolvency are easing. The number of guests coming from high-volume countries Great Britain and Italy continues to drop (-1.3 and -5.7% respectively). Visitor numbers from Denmark (+33.7%), Switzerland (+8.1%), Spain (+5.4%), and the Netherlands (+4.6%) showed growth. By contrast, the number of passengers from the USA remained virtually unchanged, growing just 0.9% over Q1 the previous year. This continues to reflect the loss of Air Berlin’s flights to/from the United States.
Many visitors coming to Berlin for trade fairs and conventions A quarter of all overnight stays in Berlin hotels are by visitors to conferences, trade fairs, and conventions. Berlin’s continued popularity as a destination for meetings also contributed to the good quarterly result. For example, the 2018 German Cancer Congress held at City Cube Berlin 21–24 February brought 11,200 participants to the city. Some 90,000 trade visitors came for Green Week and approx. 10,000 trade visitors came for the ITB international travel & tourism show.