Posts Tagged ‘germany’
Bloomberg’s Dalia Fahmy looks at how Berlin is coming to specaliaze in tourism, for the sake of the city’s economy.
Berlin is spending billions of euros to renovate old museums, build new ones and snatch celebrity talent in a bid to upgrade the city’s cultural lineup and satisfy visitors flooding the German capital.
“Berlin lives from tourism, and tourists come here largely for culture,” said Hermann Parzinger, president of the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation, which manages most of the city’s museums. “Today, London is more dynamic but Berlin has more potential.”
Projects under way include a complete renovation of one of the city’s three opera houses and a new museum of modern art. The former royal palace is being rebuilt and will house exhibits run by Neil MacGregor, the current British Museum director and media host lured away by the city this year.
There’s a lot at stake because in the absence of major industries — Berlin lost Deutsche Bank AG and Siemens AG after World War II — tourism is one of the city’s biggest businesses. The German capital attracted 12 million visitors in 2014 who spent 10 billion euros ($11.3 billion), contributing a full 8 percent of economic activity, according to Berlin government data. The city says those coming for the museums, performances of the Berlin Philharmonic conducted by Simon Rattle and other cultural activities spend more than any group.
“Cultural tourism is an important economic factor for our city,” said Tim Renner, Berlin’s cultural affairs secretary. “That’s why we’re exerting a big effort to make the cultural offerings even more attractive for international visitors.”