Germany to open for overseas travellers

In a recent interview with Yamina Sofo – Director of – German National Tourism Office (GNTO) in Dubai for GCC countries shared with us that they are hopeful about summer as most tourism establishments opens for guests in Germany.  At the press conference it was revealed that Berlin would be one of the first destinations to open for fully vaccinated travellers with those recommended by the EU whereas other travellers may have to undergo PCR tests, however, more details are to be shared very soon.

Sofo reiterated, “we are very hopeful for the summer, so already by next week, a lot of the tourism establishments are reopening for guests from Germany itself, the neighboring countries, and then hopefully summer and maybe already in June for overseas customers. So it’s going to be in phases. But by the time our valued GCC guests can travel to Germany, Germany is well up and running and the safety standards are very high and in place. The GCC countries are the third most important overseas market for Germany incoming tourism so they’re very high and extremely important for our tourism industry profits, and they’re highly appreciated and welcomed. So over time in 2019, we had 1.6 million guests overnight, guests from the GCC countries. Last year the number was lower unfortunately, but we had to reach 300,000. So this shows really the eagerness of GCC travellers to come to Germany even in the most difficult situations, and we appreciate that a lot. So we are very hopeful because we know the industry, we know the guests here – they have their suitcases packed. They are ready to go, and so we anticipate a very short recovery time and we’re very hopeful by the end of 2022 that we reach pre-covid figures again because GCC travelers, it’s in their blood, they love to travel and especially to Europe – Germany is one of their favorite destinations and hopefully we will welcome them back very soon.”

Sofo further explained, “just a couple of days ago, the German government decided to welcome back guests into Germany as soon as they opened the borders, and with a negative PCR test, or if they are fully vaccinated with a European Union approved vaccine. Then they don’t have to go into quarantine anymore. So the quarantine is cancelled under these circumstances, which is fantastic news, especially for our region and a lot of clients already vaccinated or traveling anyway with a negative PCR test, so that already covers it and that’s done and out of the way. Our country is so diverse, it’s one of the most densely wooded countries in Europe, so we have thousands of lakes, mountains, sea sides, even the big cities like –  Imagine Berlin, one third of Berlin is green with parks and open spaces. So even if you’re in a city, you always find open places, greenery, just half an hour out of the city. You are in the most beautiful countryside you can imagine, and Germany is well known for wellness and of course, medical as well, that’s something we think will rebound as well. And so therefore, cities like Berlin, Munich, Cologne, Hamburg are ready to welcome any guest and these wellness and health travel issues. And I think this is what people will combine now. They will combine their vacation with some small check ups and everybody wants to feel good now. So Germany is the best place to feel good again. Family tourism is something we aimed for, and I have to say, I think it would reduce a little bit. But the great news from the UAE is that they were also starting to vaccinate children upto 12 years. So this is very positive news. So as soon as the children also get vaccinated, especially from that age onwards, I think the families have to decide as well to travel, especially to countries which are safe and well known for their safety and regulations. And Germany is one of them.”