Travel Profile (total)

  Yr/Yr % Chg
Visitor Spending (2016p) $779 million -
California Market Share (2015) 21.2% -
Visitors to California (2016p) 423,000 -
2017 Visitation Forecast (% change vs. 2016p) 419,000 -1.0%
2021 Visitation Forecast (% change vs. 2016p) 461,000 +9.0%
2021 Spending Forecast $860 million -

(updated May 2017)
U.S. Department of Commerce; Tourism Economics 

Leisure Travel Profile (78% of total)  

Vacation/Holiday 91% 135
Hotel/Motel 74% 101
Average Length of Stay - Nights 11.8 93
Average Spend Per Trip $1,468 74
Average Destinations Visited Per Trip 4.2 135
Average Party Size 1.8 105
Travel with Children 12.6% 94

Sources: U.S. Department of Commerce; CIC Research, Inc.



Market Conditions

Germany GDP Quarterly Growth Rate

GDP growth rate is expected to grow by 1.7 percent in 2016, driven by strong private consumption and higher state spending. However, Britain’s decision to leave the European Union is likely to put brakes on German foreign trade until the middle of 2017. Britain is Germany’s third-most important export market, and Brexit is expected to cost the German economy 0.3 percentage points of overall growth in 2017. Additionally, a lower number of working days in 2017 will reduce the overall growth rate further. Germany will remain Europe’s powerhouse with a robust labor market and low unemployment numbers that will keep on soaring private domestic demand. In the long term, the GDP quarterly growth rate is projected to trend around 1.64 percent in 2020.

In the second half of 2017, Germany’s conservative Chancellor Angela Merkel will seek a fourth term in power despite losing support over her refugee policy. Merkel is widely seen as a stabilizing force in Europe amid uncertainty after Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, and as a bastion of western liberal values after the election of Donald Trump as president of the United States..

  Check current exchange rates on

Over the last 12 months, the exchange rate was even more stable than the preceding 12 months with a low of 1.03603 and a high of 1.15272

Sources: DIW - German Institute for Economic Research, RWI - Rheinisch-Westf. Institute for Economic Research, Deutsche Bundesbank – Federal Central Bank Germany



Competitive Landscape


Market Barriers

  • Culinary: South Africa
  • Entertainment: Thailand
  • Family: Florida
  • Outdoor/Adventure: Australia/New Zealand, South Africa, Thailand, Canada


  • Current strength of the U.S. dollar
  • Uncertainty about how the new U.S. government/ presidency might affect tourism, including travel to the United States from Germany
  • Impact of political instability and security issues on travel conditioned by geo-political context




Risk Factors

The 2017 elections are the biggest item to watch closely as Chancellor Merkel’s re-election is anything but certain. Germany is seen to be the backbone of the European Union and with election results in the United Kingdom and United States it will be interesting to see how Germans react to Merkel’s economic and immigration policies during her tenure.






  • 62 weekly nonstop flights
  • 21,858 weekly nonstop seats
  • Planning cycle: up to 6 months
  • Booking cycle: Nov.–March
  • 65 tour operators package California in the Germanspeaking market but 10 main tour operators control 80 percent of long-haul travel (significant consolidation has transpired within the large operators with DerTour recent acquistion of Kuoni in Germany being of particular interest)
  • Ratio of traditional tour operator to online travel agency bookings remain four to one (80 percent to 20 percent online travel agencies)



Other Market Insights

  • Market:
    • Travel agents are still key force in the market
      • The majority of bookings in Germany are still made via classic travel agencies
  • Audience:
    • Planning ahead is believed to be important
      • German consumers like to plan ahead and book their vacations well in advance
    • Sense of discovery is desired
      • In general, Germans prefer to travel “off the beaten path” by exploring what other travelers have not seen
  • Product Experience:
    • Safety and security sought
      • Safe and secure travel destinations and political stability are important factors in destination choice
    • Extended vacation encourages different travel experiences
      • Germans have 25 to 30 days of paid vacation per year, which leaves them with enough time to combine different travel experiences during one single trip



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