The tourism industry in Potsdam has overcome the Corona crisis. The influx of guests is approaching the level seen before the pandemic. This is shown by a current evaluation of the State Statistical Office for the months January to September 2022. According to the report, exactly 364,554 guests have stayed in the accommodation establishments in the state capital. This was 77.5 percent more than in the previous year. The number of overnight stays also increased by 53.5 percent to 929,663. The average length of stay was therefore around 2.6 days. Thus, by the end of September, the industry was already above the result for the whole of 2011 - at the time this was celebrated as a record.
The upward trend follows a deep crisis: in 2021, fewer than 300,000 guests were counted for the entire year for the first time since 2003. This mark was already cracked in the summer. For months the previous year, hotels could only open for business or official overnight stays. Tourist overnight stays were prohibited. For the industry, which had previously been spoiled by success, 2021 was the second disastrous year in a row. In the years before the pandemic, the industry had rushed from record to record.
A comparison with the last year before the pandemic shows where the industry stands. In that year, 436,492 guests were recorded in Potsdam's accommodation establishments between January and September. The number of overnight stays was 1,031,385, and the average length of stay was 2.4 days. In the statistics, the industry is therefore still about ten percent below the pre-crisis level. However, the warm October and the now longer length of stay may still have helped to narrow the gap.
The industry continues to focus on growth anyway. As reported, a new building for the Hilton hotel group is to be constructed in the media city on an area between Großbeerenstrasse, Ahornstrasse and Wetzlarer Strasse opposite the Metropolishalle. The 163-room hotel is to be marketed under the Hampton by Hilton brand and open in mid-2024.
In Speicherstadt, a new three-star property with 190 rooms is to open soon under the niu label. "As the perfect starting point for your Potsdam exploration tour, the niu Amity is located just a few kilometers from the Havel River, the city center and the main train station," the hotel, built right next to the main train station and the Havel River in the city center, is advertised on its own website. Rooms can be reserved there from January 9 for prices between 60 and 80 euros. The last hotel to open in the street Am Kanal was the Holiday Inn Express & Suites with 198 rooms.
Around 20,000 jobs in Potsdam are directly or indirectly linked to the industry - in addition to employees in the hotel and restaurant business, these include staff at suppliers or in the palaces, gardens and museums. However, the shortage of skilled workers is becoming a problem for the industry. Some businesses have therefore restricted opening hours in the catering trade, for example.
Potsdam is not an outlier with the current figures. The industry recovered throughout the state. 10.8 million overnight stays were recorded throughout the state of Brandenburg. That was 42.2 percent more than in the same period last year, according to the State Statistics Office. Especially in youth hostels, the number of overnight stays had more than doubled from January to September. The average bed occupancy rate over the course of the year was 41.1 percent.
Image by Stela Di