Germany touches down in T.O.: Cdn arrivals up, Christmas markets set to return

More Canadians headed to Germany in July, bringing the number of arrivals to 70 per cent of what it was 2019, says Anja Brokjans, director Canada for the German National Tourist Office (GNTO), which is represented by VoX International in Canada. 

That bodes well for regions and cities in Germany, which welcomed media to a luncheon at One King West Hotel & Residence in Toronto on Monday (Oct. 24), where tourism partners shared their latest campaigns and storytelling ideas.  

Germany saw 225,000 overnight stays from Canada in the first seven months of this year, Brokjans told PAX.

Canadian travellers are also staying longer in Germany, going from an average of eight nights in 2019 to 9.8 nights last year, she said.

“We are very happy and very confident,” she said. “The pent-up demand is there and Canadians are going to travel to Germany.”

Berlin, Germany. (Florian Wehde/Unsplash)

Yesterday, partners from Germany met with journalists over lunch. 

There were presentations from Bayreuth Marketing & Tourism, (Bayreuth has the Richard Wagner Museum, in the composer’s former home, Villa Wahnfried); visitBerlin (which has a new app, called Going Local Berlin, which offers travel tips); Lindau Tourism (an old town situated on Lake Constance); Munich Tourism (known for its Oktoberfest and Christmas markets, which open Nov. 21); Rothenburg Tourism (a charming town in northern Bavaria two hours south of Frankfurt) and Saxony Tourism (famous for its Dresden Castle, which, for almost 400 years, was the residence of the electors and kings of Saxony).

Later on, the visit transitioned into a reception for travel advisors where airlines, such as Air Canada, Condor and Lufthansa, river cruise companies, like AmaWaterways, and tour operators, such as Collette, Connaissance, and TTC Tour Brands, also engaged.

Focus on sustainability

Sustainability is a major focus in Germany as responsible travel increasingly becomes a guiding principle for local partners.

Earlier this month, the GNTO revealed more than 3,000 certified accommodation providers and eateries have made sustainability a predominant aspect of their business.

To help travellers make sustainable travel decisions, the GNTO has released a map featuring more than 1,500 accommodation providers who meet sustainability requirements. The map can be viewed here.

Under the label “Green Pearls,” travellers can find “handpicked” eco-friendly resorts and restaurants using farm-to-table ingredients only.

Certified accommodations include, for instance, Biohotels, which use 100 per cent organic food and beverages.

Lots to see & do

According to the European Travel Commission, Germany ranks number four on the European destination wish list for Canadians in 2022.

There’s currently 54 direct flights from to Frankfurt and Munich offered by Air Canada and Lufthansa from Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto and Montreal.

Condor also offers year-round twice-a-week service from Toronto to Frankfurt.

Germany has more than 50 UNESCO World Heritage Sites – there’s one to discover in every region.

“If you are interested in architecture and history, and most Canadians are, there’s a lot to see,” Brokjans said.

From sea to mountains, Germany is a natural paradise, full of assets, including:

  • 53,000 hiking trails (201,168 kilometres)
  • 250 long-distance cycling routes
  • 16 national Parks, 103 nature parks
  • 2,400 km coastlines (the North and Baltic Sea) with 50 islands

According to the World Travel Monitor 2020 from IPK International, 71 per cent of Canadians travel to Germany for leisure purposes.

The most popular states for Canadian travellers are Bavaria (27 per cent of overnight stays); Berlin (17.7 per cent of overnight stays) and North Rhine-Westphalia (14.2 per cent of overnight stays).

Germany, notably, is looking forward to reopening its annual Christmas markets – which typically run from the end of November to Christmas Day – after three years of pandemic-related disruptions.

“Almost every city, town and village has at least one Christmas market,” Brokjans said.

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