Romit Theophilus, Director, India German National Tourist Office

Germany appeals strongly to Indian travellers: Senior executive

Country has natural beauty, innovative eco-tourism practices, and rich cultural heritage: Romit Theophilus

Namrata Kohli | New Delhi

Germany last year recorded a 209 per cent increase in overnight stay by Indian travellers compared to 2021, according to data from the nation’s tourist board. “Germany appeals strongly to Indians interested in culture and history,” said Romit Theophilus, director of India German National Tourist Office, in an interview with Namrata Kohli.

Edited excerpts from the interview in Delhi.

What are you doing to make Germany a more attractive tourist destination?

Indian overnights to Germany more than tripled in 2022. Of all European destinations of trips abroad for Indians, the UK ranks as the most preferred holiday destination followed by Germany, Turkey, France. From January-December 2022 there were 160,263 arrivals from India and 623,363 overnight stays (camping included). The overnight stays until April 2023 were 246,739. This is data courtesy the World Travel Monitor 2022, IPK International 2023. Germany is a must-visit destination that offers 51 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, coupled with a focus on nature and sustainability. GNTO aims to attract Indian travellers interested in exploring the country’s natural beauty, picturesque villages, and innovative eco-tourism practices.

You have marketed Germany as a place for nature and culture enthusiasts. What’s the purpose of such campaigns?

To further increase visitor numbers, the GNTO is offering a comprehensive tourism package with three different campaign themes for 2023. The campaign (called) ’51 UNESCO World Heritage Sites – Historic. Modern. Germany’ is aimed to promote Germany as the number one cultural destination in Europe. Germany offers guests from all over the world not only unique and authentic experiences in combination with a city and nature stay, but also sustainable travel experiences. Many offers in the context of our world heritage sites are accessible in a climate-friendly way by public transport. The campaign is designed to ensure that guests find the offerings so attractive that they plan a longer stay – which also supports a lower CO2 footprint. Campaign provides travellers with unique, authentic experiences in cities and countryside with the aim of extending the length of stay.

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In addition to the UNESCO campaign, the GNTO is promoting two campaigns with a strong “green focus” that have already had a successful impact in 2022. Potential international travellers can discover Germany’s national landscapes and sustainable holiday experiences in rural regions. One third of Germany consists of protected natural landscapes. 16 national parks, 16 biosphere reserves and more than 100 nature parks vividly demonstrate how to protect the beauty of nature and preserve biodiversity for the future.

Germany is promoted as a destination for visitors with disabilities. Please share details.

Germany is the go-to destination for anyone with restricted mobility, hearing impairments, visual impairments, learning disabilities, allergies and intolerances. The GNTO offers barrier-free travel and visitors with disabilities can enjoy a carefree vacation in Germany, because many regions of the country already take their needs into account. Thanks to the persistent commitment of politicians and accommodation providers, accessibility has been improved in recent years.

How are things changed after the pandemic?

We have already reached 65 percent of the level of 2019, leaving room for continuous growth as Indians return to travelling. There is huge demand among Indians for international travel. In 2022, Indians spent a total of 623,363 nights in Germany (2021: 201,194). The record level of 2019 with 961,656 has not yet been reached. Germany is an attractive destination with exceptional offers. Our goal in the medium term is to reach the number of overnight stays we had before the Covid-19 pandemic. We have achieved a remarkable increase this year compared to 2021. We know that Germany appeals strongly to Indians interested in culture and history, city breaks and culinary experiences.

How have expectations of travellers changed?

The shift in values of international travellers clearly shows how much travel behaviour has changed since the outbreak of the Corona pandemic and has now consolidated toward more sustainability. The shift toward sustainable travel is accelerating and well received by Indians.

Indians are increasingly looking for sustainable travel, according to the Sustainable Travel Report 2022 from The study says that 97 percent expressed a desire to travel sustainably in the next 12 months.

Sustainability is a key focus of Germany’s tourism industry, and we’re confident that the country’s natural beauty, innovative eco-tourism practices, and rich cultural heritage will resonate with Indian travellers seeking responsible travel options.

Source: Business Standard

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