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Berlin tourism industry expects recovery
Berlin could attract significantly more tourists this year than in 2021.
Upswing expected by Easter at the latest
The State Tourism Association believes it is possible to get back to a level of 75 to 80 percent compared to 2019. The pre-pandemic year saw 14 million toursist and 34.1 million overnight stays. "We have another difficult couple of weeks ahead of us," managing director Burkhard Kieker told the German Press Agency (dpa), "but I personally expect a massive upswing by Easter at the latest."
"People want to experience something, people want to go out"
Kieker expects the first visitors to come from other regions of Germany as well as some tourists from neighboring countries such as Poland, Denmark or the Netherlands. "People want to experience something. People want to go out," Kieker said. This leads to a pronounced catch-up effect after months of not traveling, he said, which already occurred last year. According to Kieker, hings went better overall than in 2020, even though Berlin was subject to an overnight travel ban until June 11, 2021. The complete data are not yet available but Kieker expects around 13.5 to 14.5 million overnight stays in 2021. That would be an increase of 10 to 20 percent compared to 2020, but about 55 percent less than in the record year of 2019.
"We are number three in Europe after London and Paris, making us one of the very big attractions in Europe," Kieker said. He believes 2019's record numbers will soon be within reach again: "I think we'll probably reach 2019 levels in private travel as early as next year."
Looking ahead, however, Kieker sees staff shortages in the industry: "There is a shortage of skilled workers in all areas of the economy at the moment, but especially in the tourism sector." Where the trained chefs, receptionists and other skilled workers have gone, the CEO does not know, but he assumes that they have switched to supposedly safer professions, e.g. in the administration sector. According to Kieker, however, Berlin is not only a city for private travel, but also one of the largest trade show locations and among the top three congress locations worldwide. Strong catch-up effects are also expected in this segment in the summer.
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Publication date: 31 January 2023
Last updated: 10 January 2022