Market conditions - German travel market:
• Germany is the world’s second largest outbound travel market (only recently overtaken by China), with a spend of more than €82 billion each year.
• Holiday-taking is almost considered a right due to the combination of enviable annual leave allowances (up to 30 days) and high average incomes.
• Unsurprisingly, Germany itself continues to be the number one holiday destination with over 30% of all Germans choosing to holiday at home.
• In addition, more than half of the population takes at least one holiday outside Germany each year.
• The five largest outbound destinations for Germans are Spain, Italy, Turkey and Austria. Please note that German holidaymakers react quickly to any political uncertainty by switching to destinations perceived to be less volatile.
• With such generous annual holiday allowances, German employers encourage holidaymakers to be planful. Vacation decision making is generally completed very early in the year with January, February and March the key booking time for holidays.
• Reflecting their high propensity to holiday abroad, Germans travel throughout the year, but the main holiday season is still May to August (May - September to Ireland).
• Around 120 tour operators offer holidays to Ireland and the traditional tour operator model is still robust in Germany.
• There are still around 12,000 travel agencies across the country.
German travel to Ireland:
• Tourism Ireland’s targets the Culturally Curious German visitors are generally pre- or post-family and live in or close to cities with direct access to the island of Ireland.
• Germany is the island of Ireland’s most important, non-English speaking market in terms of visitors, holidaymakers and revenue.
• Package bookings are still important and represent a quarter of all bookings in terms of bed-nights this represents approximately one third of business.
• There is a high rate of repeat holidaymakers with 32% of German visitors on a repeat visit. There is a large cohort of German holidaymakers who have made multiple visits to Ireland.
• With an average length of stay of 9 nights, German holidaymakers stay longer than many other visitors.
• Dublin, the South-West and Western regions are the most popular areas visited by German holidaymakers.
• Four fifths of all German holidaymakers include Dublin in their trip.
• Hotels (34%), guesthouses and B&Bs (25%) are the most popular type of accommodation used by holidaymakers from Germany. Hostels and holiday homes are also favoured by our German visitors.
• 16% of holidaymakers travel to Ireland by sea; 84% arrive by air. Direct access from nine airports across Germany sees 30,000 one-way seats to the island of Ireland available this summer.
• 72% booked some element of the trip online. Air/sea tickets (70%) and accommodation (51%) are the most popular products booked online.
• Over half (54%) of holidaymakers from Germany are over 35 years of age.
• Hiking/cross country walking is a popular (54%) activity among German holidaymakers.
• 93% visited sites of historical interest in 2017:
• Visited National Parks/Forests (39%).
• Churches/Cathedrals (61%).
• Historic Houses/Castles (76%).
• Monuments (42%).
• Heritage/Interpretative Centres (59%).
• Museums/Art Galleries (50%).
The German tourist:
• Our visitors from Germany are very well prepared and book long in advance with fewer last-minute bookings.
• Typically, they buy several guidebooks including Lonely Planet, Baedeker, Michael Müller, ADAC and Marco Polo.
• In line with the longer average stay German visitors tend to tour extensively around the island.
• Very keen to discover the ‘real’ Ireland, and places enormous value on authenticity and an authentic experience.
• Doesn’t have any desire to experience ‘built’ attractions and strongly prefers areas which have not been over-developed.
• The coast is a powerful motivator and Ireland is perceived to have a great coast experience, combined with unspoilt natural scenery.
• The German visitor enjoys walking around and exploring the sites they chose to visit.
• The phrase “Planned Spontaneity” best describes the orientation of the German visitor – they want to discover their very own Ireland but in a planned way with safeguards.
• Individual German travellers like to practice their English while visitors on coach tours are less likely to want that level of interaction.
Recent performance and our campaigns:
• Germany is the third largest inbound tourism market to the island of Ireland, with an estimated 820,000 visitors arriving in 2018, spending €420m while here.
• German holidaymakers account for around 10% of all holidaymakers to the island of Ireland and is the largest source market from continental Europe.
• The German visitor to Ireland has proved both resilient in times of tourism downturns and the numbers have grown very strongly in recent years, up from 480,000 in 2013 to 820,000 last year.
• Tourism Ireland worked closely with our trade & industry partners in Germany and in Ireland to complete a market review during 2017. The review identified opportunities for continued and sustained growth and the first year of its implementation in 2018 saw visitor numbers up by 20%.
• Our new ‘Fill your heart with Ireland’ main theme brand campaign was launched with a new TV ad running in January & February. The main television campaign is supported by digital and social media, including Facebook, twitter, Instagram and email marketing.
• To increase the number of visitors who come to Ireland in off-peak periods, we will have a second brand campaign burst at the end of summer, again on TV & digital, to encourage autumn breaks. Around 16m potential holidaymakers will see this campaign.
• We ran a major WAW brand awareness campaign in April/May featuring addressable TV, outdoor, online videos, paid content seeding and a co-operative program with a major online travel agent.
• St. Patrick’s Day saw a record number of 27 greenings across Germany.
• We have completed a wide range of co-operative marketing campaigns in the first half of the year with (amongst others) Dertour, Irish Ferries, Berge & Meer, TUI Wolters, Lidl, Aer Lingus, Ryanair, Expedia and Irish airports and regional partners. These cooperative marketing campaigns will recommence in the Autumn.
• Germany’s largest consumer holiday fair, CMT Stuttgart attracts over 260,000 visitors and the Tourism Ireland stand allowed us to showcase 14 Irish suppliers including Northern Ireland. At Germany’s largest trade fair, ITB Berlin, Tourism Ireland presented more than 30 Irish suppliers to key international buyers and operators.
• In addition to our paid advertising activity and our presence at shows and fairs, Tourism Ireland sends 120 to 150 journalists (print, online, broadcast and social media) to the island of Ireland every year. The publicity arising from these visits generates coverage across all media with an equivalent advertising value of around €60m annually: media visiting Ireland this year include titles such as the national daily newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Sueddeutsche Zeitung and numerous TV teams of national programs as well as food and other special interest magazines off and online. Along with the more traditional and successful themes, the European City of Culture Galway 2020 is proving popular with visiting German journalists this year.
There are lots of opportunities for you to engage with the German market in 2019 – just get in contact with us, we’re here to help.
Click here to view our complete market profile for Germany.