As dollar drops, U.S. visits to Germany rise

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WIESBADEN, Germany -- More Americans are opting to visit Germany despite an ever-weaker U.S. dollar, said officials at the 34th annual Germany Travel Mart (GTM) show May 2.

The momentum established last year, when a near-record 1.9 Americans accounted for 4.3 million overnight stays in Germany (representing 14.3% and 15.1% increases, respectively, over 2003) carried over into winter this year, with 500,000 overnights recorded in January and February alone.

That was a 7.2% jump compared with the first two months of 2004.

The results cement the U.S.s place as Germanys most-important overseas source market and second overall after the Netherlands.

Were constantly trying harder to get more Americans to travel to Germany, said Petra Hedorfer, chief executive of the German National Tourist Office.

Fittingly, the U.S. trade was out in force at GTM, which spanned April 20 to May 3 in Wiesbaden, Mainz and Frankfurt, accounting for almost 10% of all 630 buyers.

That made the U.S. group, at 61 participants, the largest foreign delegation in attendance, before China and the U.K.

And this years GTM was more of a local affair than ever, with German buyers accounting for 8% all such attendees, up from 5% in 2004.

Next year, GTM will again be hosted jointly, by Cologne, Dusseldorf and Bonn.

To contact reporter Kenneth Kiesnoski, send e-mail to [email protected].

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