Düsseldorf/Bonn The tourism industry in NRW has been recording growth in the number of guests and employees for years. A new study confirms this. But only one fifth of the visitors come from abroad.
Tourism is becoming increasingly important for NRW's economy. In 2013, hotels, restaurants and even retailers serving visitors from within Germany and abroad generated a turnover of 41.1 billion euros, in 2018 it was 46.5 billion euros. The jobs of 424,000 people in NRW were linked to the travel industry in 2013; last year it was 476,000, an increase of more than 50,000 jobs. Five percent of the jobs in NRW are related to the travel business, in 2013 it was only 4.7 percent.
These figures from a new study were presented on Monday by Andreas Pinkwart (FDP), NRW Minister of Economic Affairs, together with Heike Doll-König, Managing Director of the marketing organization Tourism NRW. "Tourism is a success story in NRW", said Pinkwart. He suggested introducing a visitor ticket to make it easier to get to know NRW by train and bus. Doll-König called for the travel industry to become more digital in order to attract younger visitors from abroad. It must also be possible to deliver content for language assistants such as Siri or Alexa, because they will be the "tip givers and tour guides of the future". She would welcome it if NRW applied to host the 2032 Olympics.
In 2018, after ten years of tourism growth with 24 million guests, NRW was only second only to Bavaria (39.2 million). However, because many visitors to trade fairs, carnivals and the Christmas market only stay for a short time, the almost 52 million overnight stays are lagging behind the almost 100 million overnight stays in Bavaria and almost 55 million in Baden-Württemberg.
But only around 20 percent of the guests come from abroad, primarily to the major trade fairs in Düsseldorf, Cologne and Essen or to Cologne since it is a world-famous city. In 2018, Cologne registered 6.3 million overnight stays, one third of them were visitors from abroad. Five million overnight stays were recorded in Düsseldorf, 40 per cent of them were from abroad. Bonn recorded 1.6 million overnight stays, of which around one fifth came from abroad.
A total of just under 52 million overnight stays were recorded in NRW in 2018, of which 10.8 million were paid for by guests from abroad. By far the most important group are the Dutch, who booked 2.6 million hotel overnight stays. The British, the second largest visitor group, registered 774,000 overnight stays.
In August, Tourismus & Congress GmbH Region Bonn/Rhein-Sieg/Ahrweiler (T&C) and the City of Bonn published the figures for the first half of the year: Compared to the same period last year, 4.8 percent more guests, i.e. 1,455,371, stayed overnight in Bonn and the Rhein-Sieg district. In Bonn, the increase even amounted to 7.1 per cent. "Business tourism is the main pillar," explains Stephan Wimmers, managing director of the Bonn/Rhein-Sieg Chamber of Industry and Commerce (IHK). He emphasizes that the tourism industry in the region is doing well, "but would like a little more events at the weekend", so that the hotels remain full at the end of the working week. He is convinced that the city will "attract many more guests to Bonn" with the program of the Beethoven Year 2020.
(Orig. text: Reinhard Kowalewsky and Marie Schneider; Translation: ck)