Berlin, Germany Tourism Development Plan Table of Contents Research Abstract 3 Germany At-A-Glance4 Berlin Tourism Overview4 Leisure Side of Berlin5 Business Side of Berlin6 Branding the City8 Works Cited10 Research Abstract Located in the northeast, Berlin is the capital city of Germany as well as one of its sixteen states. With a population of over 3. 4 million people, Berlin is Germany’s largest city. Berlin’s economy is primarily based on the service sector.
Furthermore, it serves as a continental hub for air and rail transport and is one of the most visited tourist destinations in the European Union. Several Fortune Global 500 companies are headquartered in Berlin including Siemens, Sony Music, BMW, and Bayer Schering Pharma. As young domestic and international artists continue to settle in the city, Berlin has established itself as a center of youth and popular culture in Europe. From the highly eclectic array of architecture and buildings to the 175 museums, Berlin has positioned itself to be highly regarded as a popular tourism destination.
Berlin is among the top three convention cities in the world and is home to Europe’s biggest convention center in the form of the Internationales Congress Centrum (ICC), which highly contributes to the rapidly increasing tourism sector. The city numbers an estimated eighteen million overnight hotel stays and over 130 million daily visitors per year. Furthermore, Berlin has established a high profile reputation as a host city of international sporting events. Berlin hosted the 1936 Olympics and was the host city for the 2006 FIFA World Cup Final.
Germany’s largest city is a land of opportunities waiting to be seized in areas as wide and diverse as media and entertainment, culture, research and development, and science and industry. Tourism is perhaps the key growth sector right now, boosted by high-profile events such as the football World Cup, as mentioned before. Another driving force is information and communication technology, serving an increasingly computer-literate population. Other growth areas include software development, marketing, advertising, and law services.
In recent years, however, the German economy has weakened, in part due to foreign competition, technophobia, and high wages. Tourism in a country can be both an economic blessing and an environmental curse. But as consumer interest in ‘green’ getaways grows, the travel industry and tourism organizations are putting the spotlight on sustainability. Berlin is home to one of the largest tourism trade fairs, created by ITB Berlin. The combination of trade exhibition, public exhibition and the biggest professional convention worldwide attracts tens of thousands of visitors, exhibitors and media representatives every year.
As the host country, Berlin is actively engaging itself in the green project by working to open up natural areas to tourism without damaging sensitive ecosystems. The European Destinations of Excellence, or EDEN project, encourages countries to adopt healthy and sustainable tourism policies. In Germany, some 50 million people visit national parks each year, yet those spaces represent just a small fraction of the country’s protected areas. Berlin has learned to take its long and interesting history in the past and use it to establish itself as a sightseeing destination.
Through its unique sustainable tourism initiatives, the city has reversed its old negative connotation to become one of the most visited destinations in` the world. Germany At-A-Glance With more than 133 million visitors each year, Germany is ranked as the seventh most visited travel destination worldwide. Further, Germany is rated to be one of the safest travel destinations in the world and ranks as the third most travelled country in Europe. Germany has been named the world’s most valued nation among fifty countries in 2008 and is recognized as the most positive influence in the world in 2010.
In 2008 there were over 56 million nights spent by foreign visitors. A study conducted by the German National Tourist Board reveals culture, countryside, and cleanliness to be the contributing factors to tourism in Germany. More than thirty percent of Germans spend their holidays in their own country, illustrating that Germans love to travel within their own country. In terms of numbers of overnight stays, travel to the twelve largest cities in Germany more than doubled between 1995 and 2005, the largest increase per travel destination. In 2009, Berlin ranked first in terms of overnight stays with a recorded 17. million nights spent by tourists. Berlin Tourism Overview Located in the northeast, Berlin is the capital city of Germany as well as one of its sixteen states. With a population of over 3. 4 million people, Berlin is Germany’s largest city. First documented in the 13th century, Berlin was successively the capital of the Kingdom of Prussia, the German Empire , the Weimar Republic and the Third Reich. During the 1920s, Berlin was the third largest municipality in the world. After World War II, the city was divided by the Berlin Wall into East and West Berlin.
Following German reunification in 1990, the city regained its status as the capital of all Germany hosting 147 foreign embassies (Becker-Cantarino, 1996). Geographically embedded in the European Plains, Berlin is influenced by a temperate seasonal climate. Around one third of the city’s territory is composed of forests, parks, gardens, rivers and lakes, making it a great landscape for visitors to enjoy. After hitting a record high of eight million in 2008, the number of tourists to the German capital leveled off in 2009, due partly to the financial crisis.
However, things are looking up as Berlin’s overall visitor numbers rose by 14 percent to 1. 8 million arrivals during the first quarter of 2010. Playing on its reputation as a cheap, yet cool, destination for holidaymakers, Berlin lured 7. 9 million tourists in 2008, breaking its own record for the fifth consecutive year with a gain of 4. 2 percent from 2007 (Alterviser). Tourist numbers have soared since the early 1990s when a mere three million visited the recently reunified city. Most of these were visitors from the former East Germany, rediscovering half a city they were banned from seeing under Communist rule.
Berlin’s hotels also report roaring statistics, with the number of people overnighting in hotels rising in 2008 to 17. 7 million, a gain of 2. 8 percent from the previous year (Alterviser). The diversity and modernity of the Berlin hotel landscape is unique. From the fascinating atmosphere of a design hotel to the elegant ambiance of a five-star hotel, the hotel sector provides affordable quality for tourists and top services for convention and leisure travelers. The USA remains Berlin’s most important overseas market, boasting impressive increases of fourteen percent in U. S. otel guests, spending 96,400 overnights in the city (Alterviser). The tourism marketing organization attributes the strong numbers to Berlin’s status as a must-see destination, to the city’s great value, and to the strong exposure and publicity the city received in 2009 for the 20th anniversary of the Fall of the Wall celebrations. One main reason for the increasing tourism boom is the extremely low prices. A four-star hotel room in Berlin is significantly less than half what a similar hotel in Paris or London would cost. Most visitors come for a weekend break, with the average tourist staying 2. days. Furthermore, low-cost airlines are also fuelling Berlin’s tourism success. The city is the second biggest hub for low-cost airlines behind London. Half of all tourists arrive on low-cost flights. The number of tourists from abroad has also boomed and now represents one-third of the total, up from around one quarter when the Berlin Wall was pulled down 20 years ago (Office). Cultural activities are also high on tourists’ agenda who flock to Berlin’s 16 national museums and abundance of theatres. Others are attracted by cultural activities of a different type: the city’s pumping nightlife.
Also aiding Berlin’s burgeoning tourist trade is its reputation as a magnet for trade fairs and conferences. Berlin is the second city behind Vienna as a location for conferences worldwide, with over two million people attending a conference or trade fair in the German capital in 2008 (ITB Berlin, 2010). Leisure Side of Berlin In Berlin, inspiration is fuelled by the unfinished, the constant changes and readiness to embrace the new. Berlin Design – from architecture to fashion – sparks in international interest with exhibitions, trade shows and many events.
The creative potential capacity of the city has moved UNESCO to accept Berlin as the first German city in the global network of the creative cities “Creative Cities Network” (Becker-Cantarino, 1996). No longer divided, this city is now a thriving, modern and exciting destination, welcoming tourists and business visitors alike. Since World War II, the city has emerged from the past and undergone the biggest construction project in Europe. Much of Berlin has been rebuilt, restored or rejuvenated and there is some wonderful architecture, both old and new, standing side by side.
Berlin is home to several architecturally known buildings, including the second tallest structure in the European Union, The Fernsehturm at Alexanderplatz. The East Side Gallery is an open-air exhibition of art painted directly on the last existing portions of the Berlin Wall and is the largest remaining evidence of the city’s historical division. Another popular touristic structure is the Brandenburg Gate, which is one of the main symbols of Berlin and Germany. It is the only remaining gate of a series through which one formerly entered Berlin.
The gate is the monumental entry to Unter den Linden, the renowned boulevard historically led directly to the city palace of the Prussian monarchs. Berlin is also a trend-setting city for fashion. Fashion statements of local designers gained cult status in the international fashion scene in the last years. In addition, Berlin has set up a centre of the modern design. Thus Berlin was awarded the accolade of UNESCO “City of Design”. New creative centers arise constantly all around the city. About 350 young designer and creative persons settle down in Berlin each year and work in the fashion and design sector.
The numerous trade shows of Berlin offer an important platform for the exchange of innovative and progressive ideas. In addition to its architecture and fashion reputations, Berlin was, and still is, a film metropolis. The city has produced films of outstanding quality and continues to serve as both an inspiration and setting for films. Many timeless German classics have emerged from the city’s major studios. Berlin is becoming an important stop on the premiere circuit, with major stars showcasing their new films in the capital city.
The highlight of Berlin’s cinematic calendar is the Berlinale Film Festival in February. Launched in 1951, it has taken its place today alongside the most famous international film festivals. Each year the Berlinale welcomes major stars, filmmakers and cineastes from around the world. With some 400 films, most of which are World or European premieres, and over 240,000 tickets sold, the Berlinale is the biggest audience festival in the world (Group, 1999-2006). On the same note, Berlin is also home to more than 50 performing arts theaters. The ldest theater, the Deutsches Theater, was built in 1849 and has operated continuously since its opening. Berlin has three major opera houses: the Deutsche Oper, the Berlin State Opera, and the Komische Oper. Furthermore, there are seven symphony orchestras in Berlin. The Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra is one of the preeminent orchestras in the world. The city is full of historical information with over 175 museums. One such museum, known as Museum Island, is a large complex of five museums containing many important collections and over 6,000 year old artifacts.
There are also numerous art galleries in Berlin where tourists can view sculptures and both old and modern paintings by world-famous artists such as Van Gogh and Picasso (Group, 1999-2006). The capital is a relaxed city with an exciting atmosphere and a strong feeling of change. Tourism is fast becoming a huge business, indicating that despite the troubled past of Berlin, the city has a great future that lies ahead. To continuously portray the culture and diversity Berlin has to offer, officials are focusing efforts on more popular means of attracting visitors.
Berlin has established a high profile reputation as a host city of international sporting events. Berlin hosted the 1936 Olympics and was the host city for the 2006 FIFA World Cup Final. The IAAF World Championships in Athletics were held in the Olympiastadion in August 2009. To accommodate its adventurous tourists, Berlin has one of the most diverse and vibrant nightlife scenes in Europe. Throughout the 1990s, twenty-somethings from surrounding countries, particularly those in Eastern and Central Europe, made Berlin’s club scene the premier nightlife destination of Europe (Berlin Reports Good News , 2010).
From the highly eclectic array of architecture to the wide array of performing art venues, Berlin has positioned itself to be highly regarded as a popular tourism destination for people of all interests. Business Side of Berlin Berlin is a dynamic international city where English is widely spoken. This notion plays a major role in the millions of visitors who consistently visit the countryside for trade shows and conventions. Berlin is home to one of the largest tourism trade fairs, created by ITB Berlin. As a driving force in the travel and tourism industry, The International Tourism Exchange ITB
Berlin gives important impulses to a continuously growing market. With more than 180,000 visitors, among these 108,000 trade visitors, and over 10,000 exhibitors from 180 countries ITB Berlin is the leading B2B-Platform of all tourism industry offerings. The combination of trade exhibition, public exhibition and the biggest professional convention worldwide attracts tens of thousands of visitors, exhibitors and media representatives every year (ITB Berlin, 2010). Berlin is Germany’s biggest and most popular meeting destination.
In 2009, over 100,000 events were staged for approximately eight million participants. The German capital ranks alongside London and Paris as one of the most visited cities in Europe [ (Hard, 2009) ]. The Berlin Convention Office of Berlin Tourismus Marketing GmbH offers professional support for the organization of conventions, meetings and incentives. Established in July 2001, the organization’s main focus is to promote Berlin both as a meeting and convention location and as a modern and attractive travel destination [ (Berlin Convention Office, 2009) ].
In addition, the Berlin Convention Office makes itself available as a central and competent point of contact for conventions, conferences, and corporate and promotional events. One such event that is attracting great international interest is “The Berlin Year of Science 2010. ” Currently, five major scientific institutions of Berlin are celebrating their centenaries: the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin, the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences, the Humboldt University of Berlin, the Charite Berlin, and the Max Planck Society.
In cooperation with policy makers, scientific and cultural institutions, media and commercial partners, Berlin will present its science places, its science history, and modern science and research activities to the broader public [ (Berlin Reports Good News , 2010) ]. In spite of the economic downturn, the current statistics represent a four percent increase in events, and a one percent rise in visitors, compared to the 2008 year [ (Berlin Ranked Among the Top in Meetings Market, 2010) ].
In addition, the BCO has undergone major operational activities concerning its North American relations. The organization recently appointed a New York based marketing company, Marketing Challenges International, to market Berlin in North America as a prime meeting destination. The aim is to help strengthen the German capital’s position as a leading international convention destination. By providing American clients with extra services and a permanent local contact, Berlin officials are planning to strengthen their long-term commitment to the American association.
Since the fall of the Berlin Wall, the German capital has become a major player in the global meeting and convention industry. The city’s modern venues include six convention centers and over 160 hotels with meeting spaces, and more than 100,000 hotels beds to accommodate large international conventioneers. Exceptionally competitive hotel rates, along with highly professional support services, have made Berlin one of the best values on the continent (Marketing Challenges to Represent Berlin for Meetings, 2009).
Berlin is one of the four most important locations for association congresses in the world, according to the current statistics of the International Congress & Convention Association (ICCA) for the year 2009. With 129 events by international associations, the German capital was able to move up one place, leaving cities such as Singapore (119) trailing behind it. The destinations leading the rankings are Vienna (160), Barcelona (135), and Paris (131) (Hard, 2009).
This positive result for Berlin can mainly be put down to the great conditions that conference organizers find in the city: Europe’s most modern hotel landscape, excellent value for money, diverse conference facilities such as the ICC Berlin, and numerous extraordinary venues. The latest International Congress & Convention Association (ICCA) statistics have confirmed that association meetings in Berlin attracted more participants in 2008 than any other city in the world (Berlin Ranked Among the Top in Meetings Market, 2010). Branding the City
While Berlin is blossoming in the tourism sectors, it is consistently working behind the scenes to make the destination even better. In a world that is critical and cynical about historical commercial images, Berlin tourism officials are working to convince the world that their city is exciting and truly creative. Today, Berlin is winning the world over through its promoted images of trendiness and vibrancy. However, the road to its current status has not been smooth as important resources were, and still are, used to rebuild the city into its current glory.
Branding the city despite its tough historical past is the city’s main rebuilding strategy. The new city brand and city’s policy of making Berlin into an exciting cultural centre are closely intertwined. With the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, Berlin’s situation changed drastically not only politically, but also economically, socially and culturally. While the Western part of the city lost the financial support previously granted to it by the West German government to retain firms, East Berlin lost its special trade relations with Eastern Europe and its state-subsidies for manufacturing production.
After reunionfication, residents were dismayed as their high hopes of economic growth and expansion were short-lived. The city lost a large number of traditional industries, which led to an enormous increase in unemployment (Haussererman & Colomb, 2003). The image of Berlin quickly became that of a down-trodden city. Tourism officials decided to deploy a new plan to revamp the city economically. Instead of focusing on previous industries, Berlin moved into new sectors of service of cultural industries.
The city began a process of attempting to reclaim its roots and long-forgotten cultural role in Germany and Europe. This strategy required a new action of convincing fellow Germans, as well as world travelers, that Berlin was once again a happening city. That process is still ongoing today. The art market, music industry, publishing and journalism, film and TV, architecture, the performing arts, advertising and software developing sectors is currently generating around 20% of Berlin’s gross domestic product.
Through promoting existing cultural icons and creating new ones, Berlin officials have attempted to challenge historical perceptions of the old city. Furthermore, officials are boasting the city’s international recognitions to strengthen the message of Berlin as a true art and cultural city (Haussererman ; Colomb, 2003). In 2006, UNESCO awarded Berlin the title of “City of Design” for its major impacts in the international fashion scene (Becker-Cantarino, 1996).
Through its unique tourism initiatives, the city has made significantly headway in reversing its negative connotation to attract visitors from all backgrounds and cultures. The legendary nightlife, the attractive and unusual shopping opportunities, but also the unique history shaped by changes and upheavals, are attracting more and more guests from Germany and abroad. The mix of modern and historic architecture, the atmosphere of a creative capital and, last but not least, Europe’s most modern array of hotels, have made Berlin into one of the most sought-after city break destinations worldwide.