Tourism in Munich: 18.6 million overnight stays – the crisis has been overcome – Munich

“Simply excellent” is emblazoned on the homepage of the presentation that Clemens Baumgärtner intends to hold, based on the city’s slogan “Simply Munich” – which sums it up quite well in two respects. On the one hand, regarding the mood of the economic advisor, who has just sat down in front of the assembled press with a broad smile. Baumgärtner’s good mood is – on the other hand – related to the figures for the current and future tourism business in Munich. Because in the midst of the “eternal swansong of Germany as a business location, where nothing happens and everything is bad,” according to the CSU man, they are actually excellent.

Munich has had its most successful year for tourism since records began in 1912. In total, the city recorded 18.6 million overnight stays – significantly more than in 2022 and slightly more than in 2019 before the Corona outbreak. “We were able to overcome the crisis during and after the pandemic,” says Baumgärtner happily, who attributes this – so much self-praise must be given – to the efforts of his Department for Labor and Economy. This is “not just an administrative authority, but a cooperation partner” for the local tourism industry.

However, Baumgärtner’s dazzling mood is not only due to the previous year’s results, but above all to the outlook for 2024. The economic consultant estimates that Munich will probably reach a new record with almost 20 million overnight stays against the backdrop of a number of major events. And all of these visitors would not only book accommodation, but would also spend a lot of money in the city – especially in shops, restaurants and service providers. Or as Baumgärtner puts it: “If we only had the people of Munich, then our city center would look completely different.”

Accordingly, Baumgärtner emphasizes that he cannot understand some of the complaints from locals about too many visitors to their city – it is the only moment this morning when his expression darkens. “We need tourists to keep Munich as attractive as it is.” That’s why he has no understanding for complaints “that there are lots of Americans jumping around at the Oktoberfest” or Arab tourists “doing a donut in a Lamborghini in front of the opera,” says Baumgärtner. “We need a little more composure. We want to be good hosts in Munich – after all, we also earn money from our guests.”

This is particularly true for tourists from the Arab Gulf states. According to a study by a payment service provider, the results of which are presented by Baumgärtner, they spend an average of 909 euros during their visit to Munich. Guests from Taiwan (533 euros) and the USA (299 euros) follow in distant second place, while the average English person leaves just 142 euros in the city. When it comes to holidaymakers from Germany, the Hessians are the most willing to spend, says Baumgärtner. “The Berliners, on the other hand, are rather curmudgeonly.”

In terms of numbers, most tourists to Munich continue to come from the USA, which accounts for almost 1.3 million overnight stays. Italy, Great Britain and Austria follow at a considerable distance. Australia made the biggest leap forward in 2023 with 191,000 overnight stays – twice as many as in the previous year. And compared to the times before the pandemic, according to Baumgärtner, the number of visitors from Eastern European countries such as Bulgaria, Turkey, the Czech Republic, Poland and Romania increased.

On the other hand, tourists from Russia lost drastically in importance – because of the war in Ukraine. But the number of overnight stays by holidaymakers from China and Japan was only half as high in 2023 as in 2019, which is why Baumgärtner admits: “Where we must and can improve is the Asian market.”

However, rather than talking about this downer, the economics officer would rather talk about the many major events this year that are intended to give tourism an additional boost. In addition to various congresses, concerts and trade fairs, the European Football Championship and the Oktoberfest, Baumgärtner focuses in particular on the ten appearances by the British pop star Adele in Munich. With 800,000 visitors expected at the exhibition center, sales of more than half a billion euros are expected for the city’s tourism industry. Added to this is the “considerable PR value,” as the singer chose Munich specifically for her concert series. “It was clearly an acquisition in which we had to assert ourselves against other cities,” says Clemens Baumgärtner, who is convinced: “With Adele we have achieved a real coup.”

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