Good food can go a long way to attract tourists. Perhaps this was in the mind of German National Tourist Office (GNTO), when it came up with the idea of Culinary Germany ~ More to explore, as its core global marketing theme for 2018.

The European country is one of the most sought-after travel destinations for Indians and in 2018, Germany is expecting a growth of 5-8 per cent in visitor overnights (where a visitor stays overnight).

“Food forms an integral part of any traveller’s itinerary. Experiencing the local flavours help enhance the joy of any holiday and make for everlasting impressions,” said Romit Theophilus, GNTO India Director.

The country has a lot to offer for its tourists when it comes to gastronomy. Germany boasts of over 5,000 types of beer from 1,300 breweries, 300 types of bread, 1,500 varieties of sausage, 13 wine regions, 292 Michelin-starred restaurants and 3,000-5,000 Christmas markets. With all of this the country is sure to satiate any traveller.

“From ‘Pannfisch’, or fried fish, in the north to green sauce and ‘Bratwurst’ sausages in Central Germany, dumplings, ‘Maultaschen’ pasta pockets and ‘Eisbein’ ham hock in the South, German cuisine is as diverse as the country’s varied landscape,” shared Theophilus.

Even the survey, Quality Monitor, of the German tourism industry, speaks favourably about the country. Around four per cent of international holiday-makers visit Germany just for the variety and quality of its food and drink.

This has led to contribution of at least 3.2 million overnight stays to Germany’s inbound tourism. Around three per cent of tourists accede that dining at restaurants and cafés is one of their favourite things to do, other than sightseeing and visiting museums and exhibitions.

“Travelling food-lovers are generally quite young, well-educated family people with children; they are often city-dwellers and are very active on social media,” said Theophilus. “Almost 40 per cent of international guests like to experience typical regional cuisine while on holiday.”

When it comes to tourist footfall, Germany ranked fourth in the EU, with 83.8 million overnight international visitors visiting in 2017, an almost 3.6 per cent growth from 2016. From India, the country has witnessed 8,52,224 visitor overnights in 2017, making for a 13.8 per cent growth over 2016.

There is another reason too why Indian tourists are sought after ~ they spend lavishly on their vacations. As per the figures available, Indians spent 16 billion dollars overall on international travel and average 4,500 dollars each on long-haul trips.

Earlier also, Destination Germany, which has always used new and innovative strategies to promote itself, launched its Web Based Destination Training Module www.germanyspecialist.com in December 2017.

Besides food, the country has a lot more to offer its tourists, such as its natural beauty, heritage and architecture. For instance Neuschwanstein Castle, a 19th-century Romanesque Revival palace, and Cologne Cathedral are popular heritage tourist destinations.