Tourism in Germany

Tourism in Germany

Germany recorded a total of twelve million tourists in 2020, ranking 20th in the world in absolute terms.

The fact that larger countries regularly perform better in a comparison of the absolute number of guests is obvious. By putting the tourist numbers in relation to the population of Germany, the result is much more comparable picture: With 0.15 tourists per resident, Germany ranked 103rd in the world. In Western Europe, it ranked 9th.

In 2019, Germany generated around 58.37 billion US dollars in the tourism sector alone. This corresponds to 1.4 percent of its the gross domestic product and approximately 27 percent of all international tourism receipts in Western Europe.

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Back to overview: Germany

Most popular destinations in Germany

No less than three cities in Germany are among the top 100 most popular destinations worldwide. In 2021, Berlin reached the 6th place. This value was determined by Euromonitor by analyzing and weighting the attractiveness of the cities across six different areas. Unlike in previous years, there is no longer a ranking based on the number of tourists, mainly due to a lack of travel data.

Frankfurt am Main#18

Tourism in GermanyOn average, each of the tourists arriving in 2019 spent about 1,401 US dollars. Conversely, the inhabitants of Germany spend only around 966 dollars a year when they themselves spend vacations abroad.

Development of the tourism sector in Germany from 1995 to 2020

The following chart shows the number of tourist arrivals registered in Germany each year. Anyone who spends at least one night in the country but does not live there for more than 12 months is considered a tourist. Insofar as the survey included the purpose of the trip, business trips and other non-tourism travel purposes have already been excluded. The number of people passing through within the same day, and e.g., crew members of ships or flights are also not considered tourists in most countries. If the same person travels in and out more than once within the same year, each visit counts again.

Data in the chart are given in millions of tourists. The red line represents the average of all 9 countries in Western Europe.

Tourists per year in Germany

Revenues from tourism

In 1995, tourism revenues amounted to 24.05 billion USD, or about 0.93 percent of the gross national product. This corresponded to about 14.85 million tourists at that time and roughly 1,620 USD per person. Within 24 years, the country's dependence on tourism has increased noticeably. Before the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, sales were $58.37 billion billion, 1.5 percent of gross national product. Thus, each visitor spent an average of $1,475 on their vacation in Germany.

Full figures for 2020, the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, are not currently available. However, national and international travel has been restricted worldwide, and some countries have even been closed off from the outside world altogether. Dramatic revenue losses are expected, with some countries experiencing losses of up to more than 80%.

Tourism receipts in Germany per year

All data for Germany in detail

YearNumber of touristsReceipts% of GNPReceipts per tourist
202012.45 m
201939.56 m58.37 bn $1.5 %1,475 $
201838.88 m59.45 bn $1.5 %1,529 $
201737.45 m55.75 bn $1.5 %1,489 $
201635.56 m52.23 bn $1.5 %1,469 $
201534.97 m50.67 bn $1.5 %1,449 $
201433.00 m58.72 bn $1.5 %1,779 $
201331.55 m55.49 bn $1.5 %1,759 $
201230.41 m51.63 bn $1.5 %1,698 $
201128.37 m53.47 bn $1.4 %1,884 $
201026.88 m49.12 bn $1.4 %1,828 $
200924.22 m47.50 bn $1.4 %1,961 $
200824.88 m53.40 bn $1.4 %2,146 $
200724.42 m49.32 bn $1.4 %2,020 $
200623.57 m45.56 bn $1.5 %1,933 $
200521.50 m40.52 bn $1.4 %1,885 $
200420.14 m36.42 bn $1.3 %1,808 $
200318.40 m30.13 bn $1.2 %1,638 $
200217.97 m26.72 bn $1.3 %1,487 $
200117.86 m24.18 bn $1.2 %1,354 $
200018.98 m24.94 bn $1.3 %1,314 $
199917.12 m25.33 bn $1.2 %1,480 $
199816.51 m25.81 bn $1.2 %1,563 $
199715.84 m24.50 bn $1.1 %1,547 $
199615.21 m23.98 bn $0.96 %1,577 $
199514.85 m24.05 bn $0.93 %1,620 $

Our data on tourist numbers, revenues and expenditures are based on information from the World Tourism Organization. However, to ensure international comparability, the data for some years or countries were manually researched and corrected if they obviously included visitors without overnight stays. In these cases, the data were taken from the official communications of the respective national tourism authorities.

The World Tourism Organization additionally points out that in some countries, the number of tourists is only counted at airports, while in others they are also counted at border crossings or even hotels. A comprehensive and reliable indication is therefore hardly possible in any country.

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