The German National Tourism Board (GNTB) recently invited top representatives of the travel industry from the U.S. to its annual Advisory Board Workshop. In panels and individual talks, they exchanged viewpoints with about 80 representatives of Germany tourism, discussing supply and demand from an American point of view. Phocuswright and Tripadvisor gave presentations on current trends and market developments.
Petra Hedorfer, chair of the board of the GNTB, explains, "The U.S. is, by far, the most important overseas source market for German incoming tourism. In 2017, the number of overnight stays from the U.S. rose by 8.8 percent year-over-year to 6.2 million. In the first seven months of this year, this dynamic development continues with a plus of 5.3 percent.”
With the concept of the Advisory Board Workshop, Hedorfer says the GNTB offers German market participants a platform to obtain first-hand, up-to-date information on market-specific opportunities and trends in the travel trade industry in the U.S.
Dr. Heike Döll-König, managing director of Tourismus NRW, adds that the North Rhine-Westphalia has recorded continuous growth in recent years. “We see the Advisory Board Meeting as an excellent opportunity for our state to win more guests from the United States for NRW in the future," she says.
The supporting program informs the U.S. travel managers about the cultural and touristic offers of the Rhine metropolises Düsseldorf and Cologne. Ole Friedrich, managing director of Düsseldorf Tourismus, states, "We take the opportunity to present our many different facets to U.S./American experts—with modern architecture and contemporary art, but also exclusive shopping possibilities and the typical way of life of the ‘Rhineland.’”
Stephanie Kleine Klausing, procurator of KölnTourismus, adds, "Amongst other attractions, we offer a program, including a visit to the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Cologne Cathedral, the Chocolate Museum and a ‘Time Travel’ through historic Cologne in a virtual reality. During an evening cruise on the Rhine, our guests gain a distinctively contrasting perspective of the city, before resuming the workshop on the next day.”
The cooperation partners of the GNTO, Tourismus NRW, KölnTourismus and Düsseldorf Tourismus, were the hosts of this years’ event.
The GNTB has its headquarters in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. It develops and communicates strategies and products to promote Germany's image as a tourist destination and to encourage tourists to visit the country. It has 32 agencies around the world to support its activities.