Berlin has become Europe’s third most popular tourist city following London and Paris, according to new figures.
The popular German capital is home to a number of trendy bars, galleries and hugely famous landmarks such as the Brandenburg Gate and Checkpoint Charlie. The thriving city attracts tourists from all over the world and is quickly gaining a status as a world-class city.
“Berlin is regaining the status of a world city. We are becoming a mass tour destination. The average Berliner is honoured by the tourists,” said Burkhardt Kieker, director of VisitBerlin, the city's main tourist service agency.
“Paris and London have had hundreds of years to get used to their many visitors. We've only had 20 so far,” he said, referring to the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1991. Berlin is currently enjoying a tourism boom with nine new hotels set to open by 2013. Tourism has generated massive gross revenue of 10.3 billion euros (£8.29 billion) in the last year alone.
This is the equivalent to nearly 10% of the city’s budget, according to a study by Berlin government. This is more than the real estate and the consumer goods production contributions, which are two other growing aspects of Berlin’s expanding economy. Despite this, not all the residents are pleased with the flourish of tourists to the city. A backlash of anti-tourism signs has been placed in certain areas of the city.
Frustrated locals claim that tourists are responsible for a rise in noise pollution with one sigh reading ‘noisy tourists go home’. This is, however, a minor reflection of the city’s opinion on tourists. Berlin is a popular party destination for 20-something backpackers, who enjoy the city’s renowned nightlife. Those heading overseas might wish to pack travel insurance, which will give you financial protection should require medical attention or be the victim of crime.
Date Created: 19/09/2012