The German Research Institute (FUR) analyzed and published the data for leisure trips made by German tourists in 2015. The research revealed several changes in the list of the most popular destinations. German tourists may not have lost their desire to take a holiday last year, despite the increased security risks, but the countries and regions they favor were much closer to home. There is also a clear desire for sun and sea over colder climes as large numbers of holidaymakers aimed for the coast and the Mediterranean and left the mountains behind. Many, however, don’t even leave their home country at all. Tourism-Review.com brings the top 10 destinations visited by German tourists last year.
The announcement of the top destination for German tourists may seem a little anti-climactic, but most preferred the idea of a domestic holiday in Bavaria. The region has always been a draw for domestic visitors, with its traditional culture, great landscape and landmarks like Neuschwanstein Castle and the Octoberfest, so it makes sense that Germans would like to spend time there too. A nice change of scenery without crossing the border.
In 2015, 29% of holidaymakers decided to stay in Germany, rather than travel internationally and the beach resorts of Mecklenburg-Pomeranie received nearly as many visitors as Bavaria. Again, this area provides the best of both worlds. German tourists stay within their country, but places like the island of Rügen, the 1242 mile coastline and the Hanseatic brick-gothic towns take them far away from home.
The data show that 71% of tourists did still head abroad, and the top international destination for 2015 was Spain. More accurately, it was the islands that proved to be a big draw for some Mediterranean sun, sea and sand – rather than any mainland destination. It is believed that areas like the Balearics (Mallorca) and Canary Islands (Tenerife, Fuerteventura) will continue to see high numbers as tourists turn against Northern African options.
If Spain was the number one international destination for beach holidays, Italy was number one for countryside retreats. Rome, as always, saw its fair share of German tourists, but many traveled further into the heart of the country to enjoy the medieval cities of Tuscany, Umbria and Latium.
Turkey is one of the destinations that is perched precariously in the middle of the list. In 2015, there were plenty of German tourists enjoying the Turkish Riviera and the various beach resorts for a summer getaway. This year, experts wonder if security concerns may send Turkey out of the top 10 as travelers will choose safer sunny destinations.
German tourists showed a clear preference for summer holidays on islands and beach resorts in the 2015 data and their number traveling to the Alpine mountains has dropped to 8% (2005: 10%). These keen skiers still head to the Alps and the favored destinations lie in Austria – an easy pick considering its landscape and proximity to Germany.
Croatia is a country that has seen a surge in popularity in recent years because it provides a different take on the Mediterranean holiday. There are still great beaches and seaside resorts, but there is a different feel to areas like Dubrovnik. This rise in popularity is seen among German tourists too, hence Croatia’s spot on the 7th position.
The popularity of Greek regions depends on their location and the current situation.Some places, such as Crete and Corfu, were performing well providing German tourists with the blend of sunshine, relaxation and culture that they expect. Others, that have been hit by the refugee crisis, like the eastern Aegean Sea, however, have seen a decline.
At one point, France would have been much higher on this list, as the ideal neighbor that provides German tourists with a range of options – from southern coastal resorts to cities of culture in the north. 2015, however, saw the nation slip down the list and recent events are likely to have a negative effect on a recovery.
German tourists seem to appreciate the potential of Poland more than most European nations and despite only coming 10th in this list, the country was very popular in 2015. This may be partially due to the affordability, but many visitors are drawn in by the city of Wroclaw and the Pomeranian Bay.
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