Country Plans Germany;
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Germany Market Profile

In Germany, where traditional tour operator bookings outnumber travel online travel agency bookings four to one, Visit California’s dollars invested in travel trade go a long way. Despite the projected slow in travel in the short term, the potential for growth still exists in a country that promotes vacation as a priority and where workers enjoy extended time off. It doesn’t hurt that Germans perceive California as a safe, year-round long-haul destination. Data updated as of February 2020.

Market Profile

$934 Million
Preliminary Visitor Spending, 2019
$1.038 Billion*
Forecasted Visitor Spending, 2023
*Reflects pre-coronavirus forecast.
Market Share (U.S. Spend), 2018

Travel & Planning

Airlift (2019)

  • 54 weekly nonstop flights
  • 19,000 weekly nonstop seats
  • 3 entry points (Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco)


  • Average planning timeframe: 5 to 6 months
  • Average booking timeframe: 3 to 4 months
  • Over 60 tour operators package California in their offerings
  • Peak travel months: June, July, August, September

Visitor Characteristics

Sought-After Travel Experiences

  • Exploration: German travelers seek undiscovered and uncrowded destinations beyond the gateways to experience areas not known to the average consumer.
  • Culture: Germans want to familiarize themselves with different cultures and to learn from locals.
  • Sustainability: Germans increasingly seek outdoor adventure, with a focus on sustainable and responsible travel.

How to reach German Travelers

  • Traditional Media
  • Social Media
  • YouTube
  • Travel Trade

Market Conditions

Germany is the fifth largest economy in the world and is projected to grow in the coming years. The market continues to be stable with no major events negatively impacting consumer spending behavior. While it is not expected to impact market conditions, there are some unknowns tied to the “Energy Transition” as the country moves towards instituting renewable sources. Additionally, there are some fears about international trade tensions and Brexit and how that could impact the export economy.

Competitive Landscape

California is popular among Germans as they perceive it as a safe, year-round long-haul destination. Top competitors include Africa, Thailand, Florida, Seychelles, Maldives, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Canada.

California should continue to capitalize on the German perception that it offers a compatible political and eco-friendly climate.

Primary deterrents include an unstable euro and the fear of natural disasters — particularly wildfires and associated power shutoffs.


  • DIIO
  • Bureau of Economic Analysis, NTTO, Dean Runyan, Tourism Economics
  • U.S. Dept. of Commerce, National Travel and Tourism Office, “Survey of International Air Travelers”, CIC Research
  •, DIW Berlin, IWH, RWI