Germany, a Top Destination for Southeast Asian Travellers

Germany, Europe, German Tourism Board, data, ASEAN

Wiesbaden Kurhaus took stage for the opening of the Gernan Travel Mart 2019 in Wiesbaden

The recently hosted German Travel Mart in Wiesbaden confirmed the popularity of Germany for travellers from Southeast Asia. The four largest ASEAN inbound markets for Germany -Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand- represented all together in 2018 close to 380,000 arrivals. The 400,000 arrivals are likely to be reached in 2019. 

Germany has turned over the last 15 years into one of Europe’s most popular destinations and this trend is also confirmed for Southeast Asia. According to data released¬†by the German Tourism Board (DZT) during the recently hosted German Travel Mart in the city of Wiesbaden, unbound travel from Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand to Germany grew by 70% from 2014 to 2018. This translated last year by a total of 377,000 trips to Germany compared to 222,000 in 2014. This was a superior growth than total arrivals from these four markets into Europe.

From 2014 to 2018, the four ASEAN markets grew by 60.5%, jumping from 1.43 million to 2,37 million trips. If the Philippines and Vietnam were to be included, another 200,000 to 250,000 travellers could be added. Data from the Philippines put at 100,000 total direct arrivals from Filipinos into Europe in 2017 while some analysts talk about over 100,000 Vietnamese travellers to Europe. So far both markets are not covered by the DZT but they could be at some point being part of the DZT Marketing and Sales Agency based in Singapore looking after ASEAN countries.

Back to the data related to the four ASEAN countries, the market share of Germany represented 16% of all European trips in 2018 compared to 15.5% in 2014. According to Petra Hedorfer, Head of the DZT, Germany has turned into the most popular destination in Europe for Southeast Asians, passing in front of the UK, France and Italy, the three other most popular travel destinations for those markets.

Surprisingly, Indonesia forms the largest number of travellers into Europe and Germany. Total Indonesian trips to Europe topped last year 704,000 with Germany recording 111,000 trips, however up by only 1%. One of the fastest growing market is Thailand which generated 96,000 trips last year, up by 3.2% over 2017. Thailand travellers are particularly keen to visit Bavaria, a favourite -especially as H.M King Rama X is spending parts of his time around Munich, rising the interest for the destination by his subjects. Both Malaysia and Singapore represent some 85,000 trips each. According to DZT Marketing and Sales Agency for Southeast Asia, Thailand and Singapore will be the focus of specific marketing actions in 2019.

Germany is putting the strength of its promotion this year on the architectural movement of the Bauhaus -which celebrates its 100th anniversary, the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall and German Summer Cities .

While the two first marketing campaign are targeting tiny niche markets in Southeast Asia -particularly for people fond of history and architecture, the latter is probably the most attractive for a majority of Southeast Asian holiday makers. A catchy song and a special dedicated website are part of the German Summer Cities campaign.

In 2020, the DZT will promote Nature, Beethoven and the Passion Games of Oberammergau in Bavaria as the centre of Germany annual marketing campaigns.