Berlin witnesses faster growth in visitor arrivals ahead of the 30th anniversary of the fall of the wall

26 February, 2019

Berlin has strengthened its position as one Europe's top leading travel destinations with initial statistics showing that approximately 13.5 million people visited the city last year - an increase of 4.1% over 2017. The number of overnight stays rose by 5.5% to 32.9 million.

Berlin, Germany's capital city, is especially popular with international tourists with 5.4 million visitors from abroad (+5.9%) in 2018 spending 15.1 million nights in the city (+7.9%). Overnight stays by visitors from within Europe are the main driver of growth. After showing signs of slowing in 2017, this figure rose by 9.3% last year.

Despite the impending Brexit, most international visitors came from the UK, which accounted for 1.7 million overnight stays (+1.6%). This was followed by the USA at 1.3 million nights (+5%) and Spain at 1.03 million (+18.3%). According to arrival data.

On average, international guests spend 2.8 days in the city, a slight increase over the previous year (2.7 days). Visitors from within Germany continue to account for the largest share of the total overnight stays. In 2018, this figure rose to 54.1%, an increase of 3.6%.

"In 2018, as a top tourist destination, Berlin has again generated figures showing solid growth, securing the livelihoods of 235,000 people in the city," says Ramona Pop, senator for economics, energy and public enterprises.

To ensure Berlin's travel experience remains viable in future its Tourism Plan 2018 + has introduced a number of measures important for visitors and local residents. The spectrum here ranges from working with the boroughs on local tourism to liveable designs for neighbourhoods through clean parks and noise-protection in clubs.

After slower growth in 2017, last year's increase in overnight stays shows Berlin has lost none of its attraction. And 2019, with the 30th anniversary of the Fall of the Wall, Berlin will be organising a global event which alone is expected to attract over one million visitors to the city.

The growth in arribvals has been partly driven by an expanding congress sector. The city is famous for its annual ITB tourism conference, but there is much, much more on offer each year. Last year, the city hosted the CAPA - Centre for Aviation World Aviation Summit

In 2018, Berlin's meetings and conventions industry hosted around 143,390 events attended by approximately 12 million participants. For the first time, the meetings and conventions sector generated over eight million nights in Berlin hotels. Events in this sector showed an increase of 2.3% over 2017, with a 2% rise both in the numbers of participants and overnight stays.

In total in 2018, the Berlin meetings and conventions sector generated total sales of EUR2.63 billion (up from EUR2.51 billion in 2017). With Berlin's event industry providing a total of 44,100 full time jobs in statistical terms, this sector is an important economic factor for Berlin. For the last five years, in a comparison of international congress cities Berlin has been ranked among the top 5 destinations behind Barcelona, Paris and Vienna.

It is now looking to boost the experience of guests with its new Hotel Charter, which is designed to further strengthen Berlin's position in the international meetings and conventions sector. This initiative aims to attract new large international congresses to the city. It provides exclusive services for organisers of congresses with over 1500 participants and lasting at least two days.

Already, the Hotel Charter has attracted 96 participating hotels with a total of over 51,000 beds - around 40% of Berlin's total volume. The Hotel Charter represents a commitment to the entire city, according to its partners. It has been launched by the visitBerlin Berlin Convention Office together with the visitBerlin Partner Hotels Association and the Senate Department for Economics, Energy and Public Enterprises.