Picture this: Over 5,000 beers from 1,300 breweries, 300 types of bread, 1,500 types of sausage, 13 wine regions, 292 Michelin-starred restaurants, 3,000 to 5,000 Christmas markets -- and 2,000 Indian restaurants. No wonder Germany attracted 852,224 Indian visitor overnights in 2017, a 13.8 per cent growth over 2016 and forecasts a 5-8 per cent growth in 2018.
"Like India, Germany is equally diverse. Every 100 kilometres there's a new cuisine. In keeping with this, we've chosen "Culinary Germany-More to explore" as our core global marketing theme this year," Romit Theophilus, the India Director of the German National Tourist Office (GNTO), told reporters here at its annual news conference.
"Food forms an integral part of any travellers itinerary. Experiencing the local flavours helps enhance the flavour of any holiday and makes for everlasting impressions," he added.
"Germany is sure to satiate any travellers appetite. From 'Pannfisch' fried fish in the north to green sauce and ‘Bratwurst' sausages in Central Germany to dumplings, ‘Maultaschen' pasta pockets and ‘Eisbein' ham hock in the South -- German cuisine is as diverse as the country's varied landscape," Theophilus said.
Speaking specifically about Indian tourists, he said the GNTO's Vision 2030 anticipated 2 million visitor nights by 2030.
In this context, Theophilus noted that the German National Tourist Office, India, now boasts of over 1 million followers on its Facebook platform.
"We had envisioned that our Facebook page would be the hub for interactions and discussions on all things related to travel to Germany and we are happy to see the popularity of the page amongst Facebook enthusiasts. With engagement rates of 16 per cent on an average, the page has become the regular haunt for travellers looking at exploring new experiences," he said.