Visitor Statistics from Germany
The United States continues to be a preferred tourism destination for German travelers. Travel and tourism is the second-largest export industry in the United States and the largest service sector export. Every 69 international visits to the U.S. will create one U.S. job, according to the National Travel and Tourism Office’s I-94 Visitor Arrivals Monitor/CIC Research Inc., DHS/CBP I-94 COR Record, Statistics Canada, INEGI.
Most German visitors to the United States book their travel through German tour operators and/or travel agencies, thus availing themselves of German consumer travel laws safeguarding their vacation investment. German visitors plan and book early. However, the length of time between booking and travel has shortened considerably since the pandemic. The focus for bookings is strongly on the summer months.
In March 2022 alone, there were 87,609 arrivals from Germany, an increase of 1764% compared to March 2021, making Germany the 4th largest overseas market, after Canada, Mexico and the UK and ahead of Brazil. Based on preliminary statistics for April 2022, Germany ranks 3rd in Europe (after the UK and France) with 134,973 arrivals, an increase of 2228.7% compared to April 2021. In 2019, there were 2,063,767 arrivals from Germany.
Year to date, January – April 2022, there were 313,821 visitors from Germany to the United States. That is an increase over the same period in 2021 of 1409.5% but a decrease of 45.7% over the first four months of 2019.
The National Travel and Tourism Office estimates that spending by international travelers to the United States in March 2022 reached USD 10.1 billion, an increase of 90% compared to March 2021. In 2021, Germany ranked 11th in terms of total U.S. travel and tourism-related exports.
Germans are the number one travelers in the world per capita, and well-known for visiting second and third tier destinations within the United States, not just the major gateways and attractions. Germany will remain a significant source market.
Leisure travel, business travel, fly-drive and individual packages are the leading sub-sectors for the Travel and Tourism industry. Germany also has an active MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences, and events) industry; however, visas can be a limiting factor for U.S. travel.
Germany’s 2,300 travel agencies have seen an uptick as sales continued to grow in April 2022.
Outlook for Recovery of Travel
There are currently 48 weekly non-stop flight routes from Germany to the United States, many daily. Before the pandemic, there were more than 50 non-stop connections in Summer 2019. Industry sources expect that it will take up to two years for the recovery of the sector.
In 2021, the share of travel expenditure fell from 4.6% in 2019 to 1.8% of total private consumption in Germany.
One in five Germans plans fewer vacations due to price increases, however around 80% are still keen on taking vacations in general. For 65%, safety and flexibility are top priorities when traveling.
Training via webinars is still popular at present, with German travel industry partners as well as “armchair travel activities” for consumers, yet both are gradually returning to their original form of in-person sales calls and agent training sessions. The Visit USA Committee Germany e.V. plans to continue its successful series of training opportunities for members to present to German travel industry partners. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for details on how to sign up.
Germany hosts the world’s largest travel show, ITB, making Germany a premier marketplace for U.S. tourism companies to reach their global partners and buyers. There are also a number of regional consumer travel shows such as CMT Stuttgart, f.re.e in Munich and oohh! The LeisureWorlds of Hamburg, and a specialized MICE show, the IMEX in Frankfurt.
Policy Objectives and Challenges
Policies in the German and European markets for travel to the United States such as flight access, visa waiver, ESTA, immigration issues, and drivers’ license issues could potentially cause challenges. Environmental concerns and the need for responsible tourism are trending. The Commercial Service will continue to follow the latest policy developments and discussions in Germany, led by trade organizations such as DRV (German Travel Agents and Tour Operator 52 Association) and VUSA (Visit USA Committee Germany e.V.), and monitor travel related media coverage and report on these to the National Travel and Tourism Office (NTTO).
- Oohh! The LeisureWorlds – holiday and leisure, Hamburg, February 8-12, 2023
- CMT – tourism and leisure, Stuttgart, January 14-22, 2023
- f.re.e – leisure and travel, Munich, February 22-26, 2023
- ITB – travel, Berlin, March 7-9, 2023
- IMEX – meetings and events industry, Frankfurt, May 23-25, 2023
Entry and visa regulations information: