Germany wants Chinese tourists

What are Germans famous for?

For most Chinese, Germany means beer, sausages and soccer.

But German tourism office and operators want to expand that knowledge and attract more Chinese tourists by providing them an excellent service and nice products.


“China is important to Germany with its growing wealth and eagerness to travel,” says Constanze Hilgers, director of destination management with the German National Tourist Board, a national marketing organization promoting Germany as a destination globally.


Some statistics in 2012

sausage germany

Asia ranks in the top 2 after Europe, with a market share of 11% in the Germany tourism industry.
Overnight stays by Chinese in Germany were about 1.6 million followed by Japanese with 1.3 million.
The most visited German regions by Chinese travelers were Berlin, Baden-Wuerttemberg, Hesse and North Rhine-Westphalia.

What can Chinese discover in Germany?

In summer, besides historical heritage, tourists can join family package tours in summer to visit scenic spots, museums and theme parks.
In the winter, tourists can enjoy Christmas markets.
“Chinese are leading the statistics in shopping,” Hilgers said.
Indeed, with a share of 32% of tax-free goods, Chinese constitute the main buyers.
This is why some German companies like Outletcity Metzingen Holy AG, hired Chinese speaking employees to help Chinese customers.


German investments in China


As online platforms in China have an incredible potential for growth, the German National Tourist Board is also investing in online travel agencies.




It has also developed an app called “Youth Hotspots” to help young tourists to get the 1500 WiFi locations for free.
But that is not all. This app will moreover give tips to travelers to get discounts in restaurants, bars, events…and can work offline.

What is the strategy of Germany ?

Use guanxi


Li Zhaohui, director of GNTB’s Beijing office, says it’s important to work with travel agencies and airlines.
With more than 3,000 travel agency contacts in China, it has developed close relationships with some important travel agencies in gateway cities, such as Beijing, Guangzhou and Shanghai.
Then, Germans have to come to China to tell more to Chinese guides who in this will be able to learn more about Germany.

Not only promote Germany in big cities

According to Zhang, people from small cities are also very interesting to travel abroad


Peter Siemering, general manager of Bremer Touristik-Zentrale, the tourism marketing and service organization for Bremen, says his company is promoting its fairy tale-theme tour, which is perfect for parents and children, as the city is known for the fairy tales of the Brothers Grimm such as Sleeping Beauty and The Pied Piper of Hamelin.

China-European Union: crisis of June 2013


Nevertheless, these attempts to make Germany look like a wonderful country may suffer from the political instability between Europe and China.
Europe wants to protect its products and its companies whereas China wants as an answer to increase the price of imported products from Germany like BMW or Mercedes cars and France with its wines.
However, the 27 countries in Europe do not all agree about the reaction toward China.
France is more involved in this crisis than Germany.

Fortunately, this crisis may find an end as discussions are happening between representatives of Europe and China.




The Chinese market seems promising as Germany is expecting 2.2 million overnight stays from China in 2020.


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