The historic Bayerischer Hof Hotel in Munich is to spend over EURO12 million ($11 million) on a renovation project aimed at attracting more GCC visitors.

The multi award-winning hotel, which marks its 178th anniversary this year, has been conducting roadshows in the UAE, in conjunction with officials from Munich Airport, meeting with UAE government officials and preferred travel trade partners.

Innegrit Volkhardt, owner and General Manager, said: “As we approach a new era in Munich’s reputation as an outstanding destination for international luxury leisure and business travelers, we look forward to working with our GCC trade partners to share the exciting developments we are undertaking here at Bayerischer Hof.”

According to the German National Tourism Board, the Middle East is the fastest growing inbound market for Germany in the world. It is forecast to grow by more than 200% by 2030, increasing visitor numbers to 3.6 million annually.

“The UAE alone generates as much as 5% of our total room bookings and with projections for a steep increase in the number of luxury leisure and business travelers arriving in Germany from the GCC, the hotel is now preparing to capitalize further still on our popularity,” added Volkhardt.

Already a favourite with celebrities, heads of state, business leaders and luxury tourists, the renovation and modernisation project includes the construction of the ‘Vervoordt Wing’, designed by Belgian art dealer Axel Vervoordt, and the addition of a state-of-the-art penthouse suite, which will occupy the whole of the additional eighth floor, encompassing its very own spa.

“In addition to our 340 rooms, including 65 suites, with the GCC guest in mind, we also offer Arabic-speaking guest relations, a prayer room, the Royal Palais Suite and an Arabic chef. We will create a natural balance that blends style and luxury with history and heritage, something we know from experience that GCC visitors admire,” Volkhardt said.

Since 1993, the number of overnight foreign visitors to Germany has increased by 45 million and in 2015, of the 78.1 million visitors to the country, 19.1 million arrived from outside of Europe. The volume of total overnight stays between 2006 and 2015 increased 229%, with a growth of 17.7% specifically between 2014 and 2015. It is forecast 3.6 million overnight stays could be recorded annually by visitors from the GCC by 2030.  

Munich is the preferred German destination for travelers from the GCC, with over 591,000 overnight stays recorded in 2015 and an average length of stay of 12 days.

Although a top global destination for business travelers, Germany’s inbound GCC tourism market is dominated by young travelers and leisure guests. According to statistics from the German National Tourist Office, 47% of GCC visitors to Germany are aged 15 to 34 and 50% aged 35 to 54 with 69% of Gulf arrivals in 2014 leisure travelers and 24% visiting on business, spending an average of EURO367 ($394) per day.

Corinna Born, Director International Media Relations, Munich Airport, which celebrates its 25th anniversary on May 17 this year, revealed Dubai is the airport’s busiest intercontinental route with over 740,000 passengers flying between the two cities in 2016. She said: “Our new summer timetable offers 250,000 flights to 238 destinations in 68 countries, while Munich Airport welcomes 78 weekly flights from major Middle East cities, with Emirates alone flying three times a day between Dubai and Munich.

“The involvement of Germany’s most opulent and unique hotels, such as Bayerischer Hof, provides a further attraction for Middle East visitors and we are delighted to be working together to raise the profile of the hotel to our partners in the GCC,” she added.