Friday, December 8, 2023

WTTC predicts German tourism rebound to 95pc of pre-pandemic levels

The World Travel & Tourism Council’s (WTTC) 2023 Economic Impact Research (EIR) today reveals Germany’s Travel & Tourism sector is recovering at pace to recover to within 95 per cent of pre-pandemic levels.

The sector is set to contribute €355bn to the national economy this year, getting to within 95 per cent of the 2019 highpoint, and representing 9.3 per cent of the economy. WTTC is also forecasting that the sector will create more than 168,000 jobs this year, recovering most of the jobs lost due to the COVID 19 pandemic to reach 5.6 million.

A look back on last year

Last year, the Travel & Tourism sector’s GDP contribution grew by 43.4 per cent to reach more than €338bn, representing 8.8 per cent of the economy, edging closer to the 2019 high of €374bn.

Last year the sector also created 550,000 more jobs from the previous year to reach 5.4 million jobs nationally – one in eight jobs across Germany.

The sector has now recovered over 50 per cent of the 1 million jobs lost during the pandemic.

Last year also saw the return of international travelers heading to Germany with spending from overseas visitors growing 61 per cent to reach almost €31bn.

Domestic visitor spend is within touching distance of the pre-pandemic level of €307.8bn and is currently €304.4bn, a year-on-year increase of 49 per cent.

Julia Simpson, WTTC President & CEO, said: “The Travel & Tourism sector in Germany is making a strong recovery. It will contribute €355bn to the German economy this year and employ one in eight jobs across the country.

“Germany is forecast to remain the fifth most popular tourism destination in Europe over the next decade, demonstrating its enduring appeal.”

What does the next decade look like?

The global tourism body is forecasting that the sector will grow its GDP contribution to more than €440bn by 2033, 10.3 per cent of the overall economy and will employ almost 6.1 million people across the country, with one in seven Germans working in the sector.


In 2022, the European Travel & Tourism sector contributed €1.9tn to the regional economy, just 7 per cent below the 2019 peak. WTTC forecasts the region’s GDP contribution from the sector will reach more than €2tn in 2023 – within touching distance of the 2019 highpoint.

The sector employed almost 35 million people across the region in 2022, an increase of 2.9 million from the previous year but still 3.2 million behind pre-pandemic levels. WTTC forecasts the sector will fully recover the jobs lost during the pandemic by the end of 2024.

Barrier-free entry

Germany has ramped up the available amenities for travelers in need of special care and attention, the German National Tourist Board (GNTB) has announced.

This follows increased investment in its ‘Tourism For All’ campaign, it said.

Germany has already made significant investment, consulting with experts to ensure its leisure and tourism facilities are fully inclusive to all visitors, irrespective of physical or educational challenges. Now, visitors with reduced mobility can find a whole range of new options at their disposal. From accessible accommodation to outstanding leisure options, a whole variety of places offer step-free, convenient access, as well as plentiful space.

Yamina Sofo, Director at the German National Tourist Office (GNTO), emphasized the country’s dedication to accessibility. “By working closely with policymakers, accommodation providers, and site managers, Germany has implemented various changes, such as building ramps at historical sites, providing braille and audio descriptive text, and creating special parking and aided bathrooms,” she said.

“These revisions have made a vast range of activities accessible to visitors who previously may not have felt able or at least comfortable.”

The ‘Tourism For All’ initiative caters to seven types of visitors, including those with reduced mobility, wheelchair users, impaired hearing, visual impairments, blindness, and learning difficulties. The website offers further information for guests with allergies and allows them to search for activities based on their interests or the areas they plan to visit.

Travelers seeking barrier-free experiences now have several options across Germany, all of which are accessibility certified.

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