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Tourism 2016: Nuremberg tops last year's overnight stays record

With 3.219 million overnight stays in 2016, a 6.8 percent increase over last year, Nuremberg has once again achieved a new record result. The numer of arrivals - with 1.761 million guests and an increase of 4.4 percent - has also reached a new all-time high.

The Nuremberg Convention and Tourist Office (CTZ) is pleased with the continuing positive growth in tourism, which was sustained again in 2016. Overnight stays by guests from both Germany and abroad have increased at an almost equal pace. As in the past, Germany remains the most important market for Nuremberg, with 2.174 million overnight stays (+ 6.9 percent) and a market share of 67.5. percent. Despite tension surrounding the geo-political situation and security concerns, overnight stays from visitors outside Germany have continued to rise. For the very first time, there were more than 1 million overnight stays from guests from abroad, an increase of 6.5 percent. This is due in part to the face that 2016 was a strong trade-fair year and that the Albrecht Dürer Airport Nuremberg has added new direct flights to foreign destinations. Yvonne Coulin, Director of the Nuremberg Convention and Tourist Office, notes: "In view of the security concerns which have been raised in the minds of travelers by the many attacks in Europe, large cities are faced with a tourism challenge. That is why I am very pleased with the positive development in overnight stays in Nuremberg by guests from other countries. Nevertheless, it remains to be seen to what extent the negative influence of the political and security situation will affect the number of overnight stays in the future." Compared with other large German cities, where average overnight stay growth was calculated at 1.7 percent (as of November 2016), Nuremberg has seen an above-average positive development.

The strongest month during the course of the year was again July with 298,587 overnight stays. This confirms once more that the classic summer slump, which was always a topic of concern in the past, no longer exists. December brought an overnight stays record; with 295,410 overnight stays and an increase of 7.8 percent it was the strongest December since statistics have been compiled.

It is also remarkable that despite an increase of more than 1,000 hotel beds in comparison to the year before (as of December 2016), the occupancy rate has risen to 48.9 percent (2015: 47.3 percent).

More that one million overnight stays by guests from abroad

In 2016, Nuremberg experienced positive development in almost all relevant markets outside Germany. The largest increase was from the Netherlands, with 63,270 overnight stays and a growth of 17.6 percent. Italy (82,768 / +16 percent), China (48,878 / +14.8 percent), Spain (45,942 / +13.5 percent) and Great Britain (77,191 / +10.6 percent) also saw double-digit growth. The positive development from Italy and Great Britain was unexpected. Due to the economic situation in Italy and the consequences of Brexit in Great Britain, one had not reckoned with growth during the course of the year. Tourism Manager/CEO Yvonne Coulin is pleased with this unexpected positive development: “In both markets, there was considerable growth – above all in the fourth quarter of 2016 – which allows us to draw conclusions about the positive effects of the new direct flights from the Albrecht Dürer Airport Nuremberg – including links to Rome, Milan and Manchester.”

Despite a decline of 2.1 percent, the USA was the strongest foreign market for Nuremberg with 106,171 overnight stays. After positive development at the beginning of the year, overnight stays from guests from the USA fell heavily beginning in June. In August, there was a double-digit minus of 20.2 percent – a situation never seen before and most likely a result of the terror attacks in Nice, Würzburg and Ansbach and the shooting rampage in Munich, all of which took place in July. In December, the series of negative statistics ended with an increase of 12.2 percent.

Russia has continued in the negative trend which began in 2015. With 25,651 overnight stays and a minus of 9.7 percent, it is now no longer among the Top 10 of foreign markets. Both Poland (28,703 / +4.6 percent) and Romania (26,121 / +0.6 percent) now have more overnight stays than Russia. The numbers from Switzerland have stagnated at 56,287 overnight stays, a difference of -0.2 percent in comparison to last year. Among the Top 10 markets are also Austria (71,802 / +6.6 percent) and France (40,811 / +8.6 percent), both of which have seen a single-digit improvement.

Nuremberg’s Culinary Scene is Focus of Marketing Activities

In 2016, from a tourism point of view, the spotlight was on Nuremberg specialties and culinary delights. Based on market research results in which tourists showed a comparatively high interest in the typical food and drink of the city, the CTZ developed – together with representatives of the gastronomy sector – an extensive, cross-media marketing campaign surrounding the topic of cuisine. The goal of the campaign and the year’s theme was to depict the culinary variety of Nuremberg and to establish the subject of cuisine as a long-term marketing emphasis. The Nuremberg chefs, bakers, caterers and bar and restaurant owners who helped design the campaign from the beginning gave it its public face in the form of testimonials, transporting their culinary recommendations, recipes and life stories via all the marketing channels of the CTZ.

A new landing page ( tourismus.nuernberg.de/en/food-drink) was created, which bundled content surrounding the topic of food and drink in Nuremberg. Placards in the most important source markets within Germany advertised a culinary trip to Nuremberg with the slogan “Genießer finden Stadt” – “A City for Connoisseurs”. The image brochure “I Like the Taste of Nuremberg” served as an idea generator and was intended to create interest in Nuremberg’s culinary variety. At a cooking event in London in June 2016, British travel agents and journalists were familiarized with specialties from Nuremberg’s cuisine by preparing them together. In cooperation with the Nuremberg Blog “High Foodality”, food bloggers with a large audience were invited to a “Supper Club” in Nuremberg in September 2016. Together, they explored the wide spectrum of the city’s unique culinary features. With these and other actions, the CTZ has succeeded in positioning Nuremberg as a culinary city break travel destination. As part of the German Tourism Days in November 2016, the campaign was awarded third place in the German Tourism Prize competition.

Outlook 2017 – The Tourism World Visits Nuremberg

From May 6 to 9, 2017, Nuremberg – together with Bavarian Tourism Marketing GmbH – will host the Germany Travel Mart (GTM). This is the German National Tourism Board’s most important event and is a top-class forum in which German providers can meet in workshops with decision-making purchasing agents from the international travel industry. There will also be an interesting press program for selected international journalists. In addition, the incoming event will feature accompanying activities in which the host city Nuremberg will present itself as an appealing city break travel destination to its international guests.

Because of the positive feedback received by the culinary theme in 2016 and the extensive culinary offerings available in Nuremberg, the topic will continue to be in focus in 2017. The priority this year will be in the online sector.

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