Hamburg’s tourism sector is booming and offers opportunities for hotel investment

Hamburg to present itself as a real estate location at MIPIM Cannes

About two months ago, the opening of the Elbphilharmonie Hamburg – the spectacular concert hall in the heart of the port that also includes a Westin hotel – brought Hamburg to the front pages of the world's leading media. Hamburg, the port city in Northern Germany, thus became one of the world's must-see tourist destinations of the year. Booming tourism, a pent-up demand in the convention and congress market, ongoing economic momentum and major investments in research and development make Hamburg one of the most attractive European locations for hotel investment.



Hamburg’s booming tourism sector

Hamburg’s tourism sector has been booming for several years and has turned the city into the most successful tourist hotspot in Germany. Over the past 10 years, the number of overnight stays in Hamburg has more than doubled, and record numbers have been achieved every year for the past 15 years. A total of 6.6 million guests generated 13.3 million overnight stays in Hamburg in 2016, which corresponds to an increase of 5.5 percent compared with the same period of the previous year.

In the course of 2016, some of Hamburg’s top ten foreign target markets recorded strong growth in the area of overnight stays. The majority of international overnight guests came from Denmark (396,000, an increase of 7.8 percent compared with the previous year). Switzerland came second, with 340,000 overnight stays, an increase of 10 percent. Despite a weak British pound caused by Brexit, demand from the UK showed a positive development with a growth rate of 8.5 percent. Intercontinental markets such as the United States (+6 percent) and China (+30.7 percent) showed encouraging momentum and will help position Hamburg as a top ten European tourist destination.

In 2016, the hotel occupancy rate in Hamburg amounted to 79.6 percent on average (+1.4 percent). Hamburg thus commands a leading position and is ahead of both Berlin (77.1 percent) and Munich (75.9 percent). Compared with the same period of the previous year, the average room rate rose by 5.2 percent to EUR 115, and the revenue per room (RevPAR) in Hamburg was EUR 92 (+ 6.7 percent).

In addition to leisure tourism, Hamburg’s conference sector is also experiencing rapid growth. In July, the city’s hotels will be hosting more than 15,000 guests during the the upcoming G20 summit – the meeting of the world’s major advanced and emerging economies. With the Hamburg Messe exhibition grounds in the city centre and the Elbphilharmonie concert hall, Hamburg provides ideal locations for this high-profile meeting of international leaders. What is more, Hamburg has been showing solid growth in the trade fair sector for many years.

One of Europe’s most attractive locations for hotel investment

The tourism boom of recent years has made Hamburg one of Europe’s most attractive hotel locations, with great market potential for additional congress and conference hotels. Dr Rolf Strittmatter, CEO of the HWF Hamburg Business Development Corporation, commented: “January saw the opening of one of the world’s most spectacular concert halls: the Elbhilharmomie Hamburg, which towers above a historic port warehouse. The fusion of the old warehouse structure with the superimposed modern glass construction symbolises Hamburg’s future potential. It increases Hamburg’s attractiveness for visitors and is a strong driver of demand in the hotel industry.”

At the MIPIM in Cannes, the world's premier trade event for location marketing, the focus of the Hamburg presentation will thus be on hotel investment. According to the brokerage firm Colliers International, Hamburg and Munich show the best hotel key figures in all of Germany. Steady growth and ongoing demand reflect the positive development of Hamburg’s hotel market. Last year, four new hotels with around 520 rooms were opened in Hamburg. In 2017, a total of 14 new hotels with a capacity of some 2,300 rooms are expected to be added to Hamburg’s hotel landscape.

These include e.g. the Holiday Inn Hamburg in the City Nord, the modern boutique hotel Sir Nikolai in the old town and the elegant luxury hotel The Fontenay on the Alster Lake.

In light of Hamburg’s growing attractiveness as a tourist destination, the positive development of the congress market, sustainable economic growth and a demand-driven increase in hotel capacity, Hamburg offers excellent opportunities for investment in the coming years – especially in the high-end segment of the 4 and 5 star hotel categories. At the same time, Hamburg has a proven track record in the area of international congresses, conferences and the MICE segment as such. Due to the city’s excellent economic performance and great potential as an economic hub, demand in the business segment is also very high.

Hamburg – a city on the rise at MIPIM

In addition to the international attention gathered by the opening of the Elbphilharmonie, Hamburg’s potential in the tourism sector and its continuing economic momentum, the city is also advancing its position on the global market as a successful research and development location. Thus, for instance, an unparalleled science project has just been launched in Hamburg and its neighbouring federal state of Schleswig-Holstein, inviting scientists from around the world to submit proposals for experiments at the European XFEL X-ray laser facility. The new project, which involves academics from eleven different countries, provides a basis for new findings, for exploring disease processes and for energy research. Additional research institutes are currently being founded or expanded in Hamburg, especially those belonging to the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. Hamburg’s hotel industry will also benefit from these developments.

Hamburg is also setting new trends in urban development. While Europe's largest urban development project, the HafenCity Hamburg district, is approaching completion, several new development projects are currently underway – among them the Mitte Altona, the Hamburger Deckel and the HamburgOst projects, which will change the face of the city and further enhance the quality of urban living.

In the Riviera Hall at the MIPIM in Cannes, the world's largest real estate exhibition, Hamburg will be presenting these projects as well as hotel investment opportunities from 14 to 17 March.


Media Service:



Hamburg Marketing GmbH

HWF Hamburg Business Development Corporation

Media Relations

Guido Neumann

Wexstraße 7

D-20355 Hamburg

Tel: +49 40 300 51 580

Fax: +49 40 300 51 220

Mobil: +49 160 97 29 83 02




Go back