German National Tourist Office (GNTO) boosts appetite for travel to Germany

GNTO hosts food-tasting event with its partners Emirates Airline, München Tourismus and Steigenberger Hotels in Dubai

 In line with its annual theme ‘Culinary Germany’, the German National Tourist Office (GNTO), together with its partners Emirates Airline, München Tourismus and Steigenberger Hotel Business Bay, hosted a culinary press briefing at the Steigenberger Brothaus Bakery – Bistro in Dubai, to bring some of German cuisine’s delicious flavors to Dubai and inspire the guests to visit Germany.

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The event which forms part of the organisation’s culinary #EnjoyGermanFood campaign, was attended by members of the local UAE press alongside social media influencers, who savored a taste of both traditional and innovative German dishes and learnt how to prepare German delicacies with Florian Falthauser, Munich’s prominent chef from Steigenberger Hotels.

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Food tourism is frequently referred to as one of the most significant trends in travel. The recent survey conducted by the GNTO showed 7% of foreign holidaymakers choose to visit Germany because of the wide variety and high quality of dining, food and beverages  on offer; in fact visiting restaurants and cafés was listed as the second most popular holiday activity after sightseeing.

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The latest inbound tourism figures from the Gulf region reflect that Germany is increasingly becoming a popular holiday destination for Gulf nationals. From January to June 2018 overnight stays from the region increased by 4.4% compared to the same period in 2017.

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On the sidelines of the event, Sigrid de Mazieres, Director for the Gulf countries at the German National Tourist Office (GNTO), an affiliate of the German National Tourist Board (GNTB), commented: “Food and drink are often the highlight – if not the main reason for holidays and short breaks. Germany as a year-round travel destination offers a wide range of travel occasions to taste and experience the German food scene. No matter, whether travellers head to our vibrant cities to dine at a fine Michelin-starred restaurant or plan to visit seasonal food events like the upcoming festive Christmas markets, there is truly something for everyone.”

Germany is a leading European travel hub, well-connected with daily flights with a duration of only about 6 hours, making the year-round travel destination a perfect spot for short breaks, too. Emirates Airline, who has helped to enhance German connectivity for more than 30 years, used the event to promote its great network to the German cities of Munich, Hamburg, Frankfurt and Düsseldorf. Emirates’ top representatives attending the event spoke of the world-leading airline’s most recent developments on routes connecting the UAE and the GCC region with German destinations.

Shaz Peshimam, Emirates Senior Manager for Dubai and the Northern Emirates, said: “We hope that today’s event is an eye-opening experience to the wonderful culinary adventures on offer, not only in Germany, but also during the journey on Emirates.

Germany is a very important market for us, and we place a strong focus on the authenticity of the food we serve onboard to our four gateways in Germany including Frankfurt, Munich, Düsseldorf and Hamburg. Emirates also prides itself as a global airline with seasonal menus created for celebrations like Oktoberfest, coming up in a few days. During Oktoberfest, we will be offering an enhanced range of German delicacies across selected flights, so customers across all classes can kick off the Oktoberfest celebrations on board with a specially created menu.”

Southern Germany, and particularly Munich has traditionally been the hot spot for most GCC travellers. To gain insight into Bavaria’s special food traditions, participants in the event were invited to take part in decorating Gingerbread hearts, typical for Munich, and to learn to prepare the Bavarian cheese delicacy, Obatzda as well as pretzels.

“Munich provides an inspiration for leading chefs, with the Bavarian capital topping the gourmet charts year after year”, said Robert Leckel – Manager Trade and Media Relations Middle East, Russia and Eastern Europe from the Munich Tourist Board. He revealed that, “a total of eight Munich restaurants have scored top marks in the 2018 edition of the Gault-Millau gourmet guide. The state capital is also home to one of Germany’s eleven three-star Michelin chefs, four two-star venues and six other Munich restaurants have been awarded one Michelin star.”

Stephen Meredith, General Manager of Steigenberger Hotel Business Bay, where the event was held, said: “We are extremely honored to have been chosen to partner with the German National Tourism Office, Emirates Airline and Munich Tourism for this special event presenting the best of ‘Culinary Germany’ to the Middle East.”

Additionally, Meredith announced an exciting line-up of events and gatherings that bring a taste of ‘Culinary Germany’ to the local residents of the UAE. “With one of the world’s largest and well know festivals about to take place in Germany”, he said, “we are proud to continue bringing this tradition to Dubai with our own Oktoberfest, starting in just few days at our Brothaus Biergarten terrace.

Until the end of October we will wave the German flag, serving well-known German favourites, and celebrating our rich culinary heritage. We look forward to welcoming guests to the cheerful ambience of our biergarten for some frosty hops, and hearty Bavarian fare.”

The event concluded with a well-received raffle draw, where lucky winners were given Emirates’ flight tickets and Steigenberger hotel vouchers for Dubai and Munich.

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