May 18, 2021

German cities ready to welcome GCC visitors in 2021

categories : tourism

The German National Tourist Board (GNTB) is participating at Arabian Travel Market (ATM) this week, to raise awareness of what Germany, and in particular Berlin, has to offer to GCC visitors.

The German capital Berlin is also looking forward to welcoming visitors from across the GCC to discover a reinvented city that has something new to discover on every corner, space for free spirits and a fascinating mix of heritage and innovation.

Despite a difficult 12-months, this year has realised many landmark projects in the city, such as the opening of the reconstructed city palace, the prestigious Humboldt Forum, and the reopening of Berlin’s leading art addresses, the Neue Nationalgalerie at the Kulturforum, underlining the intriguing nature of this ever-changing city.

The U5 metro line also has a new section connecting Berlin's many cultural attractions, and the new international Berlin airport (BER) is also now open, a positive signal for improved global connections at a difficult time for the tourism and congress industry.

Under the Berlin Health Excellence Initiative, launched by visitBerlin in early 2020, the city will also open its doors to medical tourists from the Middle East who visit Berlin in search of ‘Made in Berlin’ medical expertise and cutting-edge medical services that the city is renowned for.

With a recent YouGov survey revealing that nearly half of UAE and Saudi Arabia residents are planning to make an international trip in 2021, the GNTB is eager to increase the GCC’s share of the 89.9 million overnight stays by foreign visitors it welcomed in 2019.

Speaking at the press conference at Arabian Travel Market in Dubai, Yamina Sofo, Director Sales & Marketing, German National Tourist Office Gulf Countries (GNTO), said: “With the success of the national vaccination programmes in the GCC countries, particularly in the UAE where more than 11.5 million doses have been administered so far (over 70 per cent of the UAE population have received vaccines and 40% are fully vaccinated), we remain optimistic that the pre-crisis level of incoming travel from the UAE to Germany can be regained by end of 2022.'

“It gives us immense pleasure to be here, at ATM, to showcase our unique German culture to not only GCC travellers but outbound tourists across the Middle East. We hope to encourage demand for city and nature holidays coupled with sustainable tourism, which draws attention to the many different ways of discovering Destination Germany with its wide range of traditions and attractions,” Sofo added.

Germany is extremely popular with GCC visitors, it recorded 1.6 million overnight stays from the Gulf region in 2019 and has a goal of reaching 3.6 million overnight stays by 2030. Germany has a diverse tourism offering, which is centred around its unique culture, craftmanship, nature and culinary experiences. German character is encapsulated in many cities, depicting half-timbered architecture one moment to contemporary street art the next, which complements its rich and varied traditions and customs, which in many cases were introduced centuries ago.

There is nothing that speaks louder about its culture than Germany’s exceptional food and drink that is regional yet still cosmopolitan. Sustainability is often admired by Gulf visitors to Germany as well as the natural beauty of the countryside can be found on the doorstep of many German cities, offering fresh air, open spaces and spectacular views.

Commenting on Berlin’s readiness for the return of inbound tourism, Burkhard Kieker, CEO, visitBerlin, said: “Like no other city, Berlin is poised for yet another new start in 2021 – off into the future – when we emerge from the Covid-19 pandemic. Whatever the changes to our city, Berlin always retains an irresistible fascination and a multitude of possibilities – from big-city thrills to unwinding, from adventures to relaxation, and from inspiring culinary adventures to traditional food and drink.'

“As a vibrant cosmopolitan city, you can explore living history, internationally renowned museums, unique galleries, UNESCO sites and major historical buildings. Still, there is also space for waterside activities and beautiful countryside to discover around the city,” added Ralf Ostendorf, Director Market Management and Market & Media Relations Manager Asia, Australia, Middle East, visitBerlin.

ATM 2021 in-person event continues on May 18 and 19 at DWTC. It plays an integral role in Arabian Travel Week, which features exhibitions, conferences, breakfast briefings, awards, product launches and networking events. A virtual version of ATM will run a week later to complement and reach a wider audience than ever before.

To visit Germany at ATM 2021, go to stand EU2350.

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