Snobbery or sound business sense? Berlin tourism officials are pondering a new strategy aimed at attracting a higher-quality type of visitor to the German capital. Rather than people who go on pub crawls, the city should start appealing to visitors who seek out the city’s many museums!

Economics Minister Ramona Pop of the Greens party, while presenting the “2018+” concept, says the city should aim more for “quality tourism” with a new marketing strategy, as well as a new city navigation system and new tourist routes.

The new concept is also aiming to get local Berlin residents to be more accepting of the masses of visitors. In many Berlin neighbourhoods, the locals are getting fed up with drunken revellers making noise and urinating in the streets.

Economic factors figure in with these plans. Most recently, the growth in overnight stays in Berlin has slowed down, and according to preliminary data, 2017 may have even seen a stagnation for the first time since 2003.

Beyond that, tourism industry managers have noticed that visitors attending congresses or cultural attractions stay in town longer – and leave more money in the city – than other types of travellers.

In 2016, Berlin hotels and inns booked more than 31 million overnight stays. With annual revenues of around 11.5 billion euros (RM5.46 trillion), tourism is one of the most important economic pillars in the German capital, with city business officials saying that 235,000 jobs are linked to travel sector. – dpa