While last year, there were 6.15 lakh overnight visitors from India, a 5.4 percent growth over the previous year, this year it was expecting 10-12 percent growth over last year, Romit Theophilus, Director sales and Marketing, the German National Tourist office, India, told reporters.

‘We have ambitious goal for India. Last year there was a big economic crisis in India, dollar shot up and made trips expensive. This year we are expecting a 10-12 percent growth than last year and by 2020 we are trying to hit 1.5 million overnight visitors from India,’ he said.

As part of its multi city roadshows, the German National Tourist Office (GNTO) organized Destination Germany India Pool roadshow here last night, which received a good response from the travel trade, he said.

This year, the board was investing 180,000 Euros in India for promoting Germany as a destination.

There was 5.4 percent growth (with 615,617 overnights from India) despite the devaluation of the Rupee and the economic scenario.

‘We are optimistic for 2014 and expect the growth rate to be back in double digits,’ he said.

From January-May this year, Germany witnessed 256,453 visitor overnights from India.

Maritime Hotels and Cologne Tourism are part of the roadshow, which is to be held in few other Indian cities as well.

Presently, 50 percent of visitors from India come to Germany for business, 25 percent leisure and 25 percent MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, Exhibitions).

Munich, Cologne, Frankfurt and Berlin are among the cities people visit, Gregor Gosciniak, Head of Marketing, Cologne Tourist board, said. Cologne, the 2000-year-old city, is famous for its cathedral, chocolates and perfumes.

Pointing out that Germany was not an expensive destination, LeRoy Sheppard, Director of Sales, Maritim Hotels said there are 3 star hotels charging Rs 10,000 for three nights and Rs 1.40 lakh for seven nights, he said. There are 1,600 Indian restaurants all over Germany.

The most important source market for Germany's inbound tourism industry is the Netherlands. Switzerland now follows in second place, ahead of the US, which is the largest overseas market.

In Asia, major growth markets such as China, India and Gulf countries offer huge potential for Destination Germany, they said.


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