German Tourism: Slow Development in the New States

In the past ten years, the number of overnight stays of tourists in the new federal states of Germany has increased less strongly than in the former federal territory (excluding Berlin). The number of overnight stays in hotels, guesthouses and other accommodation establishments in the new federal states increased by 18 percent to 82.6 million between 2008 and 2018, according to the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis). In the former federal territory, it rose by 29 percent in the same period to 362.5 million highlighting the uneven development of the regions.

In 2018, including Berlin, there were around 478 million overnight stays in united Germany, 29 percent more than in 2008. From 2008 to 2018, the number of overnight stays rose most strongly in the city-states of Hamburg (+88 percent), Berlin (+85 percent) and Bremen (+57 percent), according to the Statistical Office.

The lowest increases in overnight stays were in the states of Thuringia (+7 percent), Rhineland-Palatinate and Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania (+12 percent each). Measured in terms of the total number of overnight stays, the states of Bavaria, Baden-Württemberg, and North Rhine-Westphalia ranked first, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania eighth and Saxony tenth.

In terms of population, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania is the most popular tourist state. In 2018 it recorded around 19 tourist overnight stays per inhabitant, according to the statistics on German tourism. The tourism statistics also show how much the new states have gained as tourist destinations in the first 29 years after German reunification.

Since 1993, the new Länder has grown by 154 percent (from 32.6 million in 1993) in terms of overnight stays. In the former federal territory, domestic overnight stays increased by only 33 percent during this period. In the period 1993 to 2018, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, in particular, was the fastest-growing destination in terms of overnight stays behind the city states of Hamburg and Berlin, with an increase of 200 percent, according to the Federal Office.


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