Tourism and conferences are strong growth drivers

September 7, 2012

Tourism and conferences are strong growth drivers

The gross sales of the Berlin tourism sector was around 10.31 billion euros in 2011, up 14.7 percent over the last recorded figures in 2009 and twice the figure for 2001. That is one of the results of the study “Business factor for Berlin: the tourism and convention industry”, which Berlin’s minister of economics, Sybille von Obernitz, and managing director of visitBerlin, Burkhard Kieker, presented at a press conference on August 27. The study examines the long-term development of tourism in Berlin since 1999. Von Obernitz: “Berlin tourism is a success story and one that is far from over. It is a strong growth driver for Berlin as a business location.”

The study shows that around 275,500 Berliners earn a living from tourism. In 2001, it was only about 66,200 people. “Tourism in Berlin is a real job creator. It provides jobs for all levels of qualification”, says von Obernitz. The economics minister also pointed out that in particular the hospitality industry, retail and services benefit from the tourism and convention industry. According to a study, the hospitality industry is the main beneficiary with 44.8 percent, followed by retail with 38.3 percent. Von Obernitz intends to further bolster the tourism and convention industry with her policy. For example, she is banking on implementation of the senate’s tourism concept, which includes strengthening culture and event tourism and expanding Berlin as an international convention and conference hub. Von Obernitz: “We are on the right track. Half a million guests in our city every day are an optimistic sign of things to come.”

“Berlin is swinging back into the normal condition of a world city, in respect to tourism, too, and the whole city and its inhabitants are benefiting enormously”, says Burkhard Kieker, visitBerlin managing director. On average, each visitor to Berlin who stays overnight spends 204.70 euros per day in the city (last recorded figure: 196.70 euros) while expenditure of conference and convention delegates with overnight stays has remained constant at a daily average of 230 euros. Each day guest leaves 35.70 euros in the city (last recorded figure for 2009: 34.50 euros). Each day, an average of 500,000 visitors are in Berlin. They spend a total of 182 million days in the city per year. “Visitors to Berlin don’t come once but again and again. Half of all visitors travel to the capital twice or more often”, says Kieker. They don’t just come to see Berlin’s sights and cultural institutions, Berlin lifestyle fascinates people all over the world. Many who come as tourists can imagine living here. Berlin magnetically attracts young, creative, and well educated high-fliers. The unique mixture of Berlin lifestyle and historical importance appeals to the visitors. The Investitionsbank Berlin (IBB) has calculated that the 30 million mark for overnight stays will be reached as soon as 2016.

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