Dresden's popularity among tourists is sinking, with a significant drop in the number of overnight guests. The tourism industry holds the extremist right-wing Pegida movement responsible.
Tourism in Dresden has fallen for the first time in six years. Last year, the number of overnight stays fell by 3% to 4.3 million.
Bettina Bunge, Managing Director of Dresden Marketing GmbH, spoke on Tuesday of a "Pegida effect" and a damaged reputation of Saxony's capital caused by the group's xenophonic slogans. This was also backed up by market research. "During this period, people consciously decided against a visit to Dresden or cancelled their trips - both business and private - which we know from operators and industry representatives", says Bunge. Guests from the domestic market in particular are demonstrating reluctance. In 2015, the number of overnight German tourists dropped by 5.1% to 3.4 million.
Dresden managed to claw back some points from foreign visitors though, whose overnight stays in the city rose by 6.1% to around 879,000. The biggest foreign markets include the US, Switzerland and Austria. By contrast, numbers of Russian overnighters plummeted by 28% due to the collapse of the ruble. Bunge conceded that 2015 was a tough year for everyone. The important thing now is to represent Dresden as a cosmopolitan city.
at / nr (dpa)