Germany has an outstanding reputation as a country, economic power and of course, travel destination. Since the country’s reunification in 1989/1990, it has recorded a robust growth in terms of the number of overnight stays by international visitors, including those from the Association of the South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) region particularly Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand.
“In 2015, more than 2.8 million trips to Europe were made from these four important high-growth markets, and more than 478,000 of these were to Germany,” says Petra Hedorfer, Chief Executive Officer of the German National Tourist Board (GNTB).
Hence, to intensify the marketing efforts in this region, a Germany National Tourism Office (GNTO) – (ASEAN) office has been inaugurated in Singapore last January 2017. It operates under the auspices of the German Chamber of Commerce in Singapore and collaborates with the South East Asia-based travel agencies, airlines and media in developing and communicating strategies and products to promote Germany as an ultimate travel destination for the growing ASEAN markets.
Trade and sightseeing are the top reasons why South East Asians visit Germany. The country remains a popular business and leisure destination with its great accessibility, world class facilities such as the Elbphilharmonie, fairy tale castles like the Neuschwanstein Castle, picturesque landscapes such as the Black Forest, and cutting-edge art culture such as in Berlin.
The board has also introduced 10 Magic Cities that are popular among travellers, including:
- Hamburg: the “Maritime City”.
- Düsseldorf: the “City of Fashion”.
- Dresden: the “City of Culture”.
- Hannover: the “City of Innovation”.
- Nürnberg: the “City of History”.
- Leipzig: the “City of Music”.
- Munich: the “City of Lifestyle”.
- Frankfurt: the “City of Art”.
- Stuttgart: the “City of Cars”.
- Cologne: the “City of Exuberance”.
In 2018, GNTB promotes a new year-long culinary campaign called #EnjoyGermanFood featuring local cuisines from each of the country’s 16 states.
“The many different regional cooking styles and specialities, including the broad range of places to eat are among the strengths of Destination Germany, and we want to highlight this in our campaign,” adds Petra Hedorfer. “By emphasising regional and seasonal produce, we are supporting Germany’s position as a sustainable travel destination and promoting tourism in rural areas.”
Chun Hoy Yuen, the Director of Marketing & Sales for Germany National Tourism Office (GNTO) – Singapore (ASEAN) also believes that the country’s effort in making Germany a barrier-free destination with improved facilities for the disabled at tourism hotspots would also boost tourist arrivals.
Due to the said efforts, GNTB has predicted that overnight stays by visitors from Asia would double, from 1.6 million to 3.2 million by 2030.