More Arab travelers visit Germany in ’06

DUBAI — Germany is the second foreign country of choice by travellers from the Gulf states, prompting the German National Tourist Board (GNTB) to participate in the ongoing Arabian Travel Market (ATM) conference to promote the country as a travel destination for Arabs.

By A Staff Reporter

Published: Sat 5 May 2007, 8:22 AM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 10:56 PM

In a Press conference , GNTB said 202,369 Gulf tourists visited Germany last year, a nine per cent increase from 185,497 Arab travellers in 1996.

It added that UK and Ireland led Germany, Turkey and France in the list of countries visited by Arab tourists in 2006. In Germany, the most favourite city of destination for Arabs was Munich, followed by Frankfurt, Berlin and Dusseldorf.

In a statement, Germany's Ministry for the Economy, Transport and Development vigorously promoted Hesse, a state in central Germany, as a good travel destination for tourists from Dubai and the whole UAE, and the entire Middle East.

"Hesse is a preferred travel destination for Arabian guests," said Secretary of State Klaus-Peter Guttler. "Eighteen per cent of all overnight stays made by Arabian tourists in Germany take place in Hesse. This year, this number is expected to rise."

Guttler said the 2006 participation of Saudi Arabia's national football team in the FIFA World Cup had raised awareness among Arab travellers. "The players from Arabia set up their training camp in Bad Nauheim," he added. "This has strengthened the traditional ties which the spa town has with the Arab world."

Having more than 30 resorts offering spa and therapeutic treatment, Hesse is better known as the "Mecca for wellness guests", Guttler said.

Heike Murad, GCC manager of GNTB, said Hesse also offers travellers one of the best medical services in the world. She added that Hesse has a network of hospitals and clinics offering specialised services in the different areas of medicine.

She said these medical facilities are equipped with treatment, rehabilitation, and spas and wellness units.

Officials said Germany is the biggest economy in Europe with excellent transport and communications systems, hosting at least three million cultural events every year. The country has many museums showcasing noted geological finds, and is also known for its castles and palaces, as it was once divided into many kingdoms.

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