Northern Europe

Germans go for Nordic combinations

Scandinavia remains a top holiday region for Germans, although there are mixed trends for overall international visitor numbers, the fvw Destination Ranking 2020 showed.
Iceland, Estonia and Latvia are the top three growth champions over the last five years.
Iceland, Estonia and Latvia are the top three growth champions over the last five years.

Most German tourists in the region are drawn by the typical Nordic combination of nature, relaxation and cultural attractions, according to experts.

Sweden profited from hot temperatures last year and generated a 10.7% rise in German overnight stays. This was the highest growth rate for the country for many years and follows solid increases since 2015. International figures were flat in contrast.

It was a similar picture for Finland in 2019, with a 10.5% increase in German visitors contrasting with a moderate 2% rise in total international volumes. Norway also performed well on the German market with a 7% rise in overnight stays, which was slightly ahead of overall international growth.

Denmark remains the biggest destination in the region with nearly 17 million overnight stays by German visitors last year. This was a healthy 7% rise on 2018 and maintained good growth in recent years. All other source markets combined add up to only 11 million nights.

Elsewhere, the three Baltic states consolidated their recent high increases out of Germany, led by Estonia with a 13% rise in overnight stays.

One exception to the positive regional trend is Iceland, which welcomed fewer tourists again last year. German visitor numbers dropped by 5% following on from a 10% fall in 2018. The overall decline in international tourists was even higher with a 14% drop to under two million arrivals. High prices are seen as the main driving factor behind this trend.

Meanwhile, the UK remained on a downward path on the German market for the fourth year in a row, the Destination Ranking showed. German visitor numbers tumbled by 4% to 3.1 million in 2019, which is an overall 18% decline over the last five years. Ireland also saw a slight fall in German visitors last year but the country has shown strong overall growth since 2014 with about 37% more arrivals.