The Germans have a word for it: Gemütlichleit. Pronounced “geh moot leh kite”, it means warmth and friendliness, good cheer and coziness. All welcome on a frosty night in Toronto as the German National Tourist Office hosted a dinner at the city’s uber-chic Bell TIFF Lightbox.
“Germany has very welcoming hospitality,” Antje Splettsoesser, Director of Marketing told the group. And that warmth is paying off in tourist visits with Canadian visits up 3.5% for most of 2015. In all, some 620,000 Canucks included Germany in their travels last year.
And for those of us who think Germany is all bustling cities and charming medieval villages, it was interesting to learn that almost of 1/2 of the country is protected landscape, 1/3 of which is forests. There are 200,000 km of walking trails and 70,000 km of biking paths: the perfect way to work off those famous pastries and coffee served with whipped cream!
The GNTO is promoting its Germany.Travel/enjoy site which helps agents and clients sort out the trips best suited to their wishes. Flat, or mountainous? Relaxing, or sporty? Sliders help customise the trip planning experience (“A bit like a dating website”) and the country’s 150 scenic routes, from cheese to wine to the much-loved white asparagus are also showcased.
Lufthansa’s new Premium Economy Class was also in the spotlight. Already sampled by 1.5 million pax, it’s proving extremely successful with its 50% more legroom, meals on china, 2 checked bag allowance and nifty amenity kit. Surcharge? $600-$900, depending on the route.
2016 is a special year for LH in Canada, as Hans DeHann, the carrier’s Director for Canada told us. “It marks the 60th anniversary of service, going back to that 1st flight between Hamburg and Montreal in April of 1956.” Even older is the airline’s crane logo: introduced in 1919, it’s the oldest airline logo in the world.