Delicious Deutschland: Germany offers plateful of dishes for Indians
New Delhi, Apr 17 (PTI) Germany wants to make dishes with tongue-twisting names such as 'Bratwurst' and 'Maultaschen' familiar to Indians, and its tourism office here is set to launch a host of online events as part of a global campaign to promote itself as a culinary destination.
At a press conference held here, a top official of the German National Tourist Office (GNTO) in India said the campaign will focus on various segments of travellers, such as the "youth and DINKs (double income no kids)", which are quite active on social media.
"Our tourism theme for this year is 'Culinary Germany: More to Explore' and a number of special food-and-drinks-themed guided tours have been designed for tourists, ranging from wine to cheese and beer to asparagus," Romit Theophilus, the GNTO's India Director, said.
Some of themes for tours are -- Algau Cheese Route, Old Salt Road, Baden Asparagus Route, Lower Saxony Milk Route and Saxony Wine Route.
German cuisine is as diverse as its scenery, from 'Pannfisch' fried fish in the north to green sauce and 'Bratwurst' sausages in central Germany to dumplings, 'Maultaschen' pasta pockets and 'Eisbein' ham hock in the south, Theophilus said, adding that there is something for everyone.
"And, we want to make these dishes with tongue-twisting names familiar to Indians. And, so the online events will help connect us with people," Theophilus said.
"Germany continues to be one of the most sought after travel destinations for Indians travelling aboard," the GNTO, the official representative of the German National Tourism Board (GNTB), said.
"The country witnessed 8,52,224 visitor overnights in 2017, making for a 13.8 per cent growth over 2016. Owing to this steady growth, the GNTO India forecasts a 5-8 per cent growth in visitor overnights for the year 2018," it said.
Visitor overnight is defined as one overnight stay by a traveller and if he or she stays for multiple days, then all those days are combined to arrive at the cumulative overnights, Theophilus said.
"Our Facebook campaign will start soon, whereby we will reach out to travellers through promotionals and other online events. Also, there will be an influencer blogger hangout, and Indian and German chefs mash-up events to popularise German dishes. Our plate is full," he said.
The Facebook page of the GNTO India now boasts of over one million followers, and "we want to be more aggressive in digital marketing than television campaigns", Theophilus said.
Asked if there has been a spike in tourist influx from India to Germany post-Brexit in 2016, the official said, "No such increase has been found".
About popularity of Indian cuisine in Germany, Theophilus said, "It is quite popular and there are nearly 2,000 restaurants across the country which offer Indian cuisine, with over a 100 of them in Berlin."
He said, the travellers from India mostly belonged to the age group of 25-45. "Also, the number of solo travellers and female business travellers were growing."
Besides food and natural beauty, heritage and architecture is a major draw for travellers, he said.
Bavaria, known for its Neuschwanstein Castle, a 19th-century Romanesque Revival palace, iconic landmarks in Cologne such as the Cologne Catherdral, Dresden, for its buildings bearing ornate facade, and architecture of the city of Berlin, are popular from heritage point of view.
"Next year, we are celebrating 100 years of Bauhaus. And, that along with value for money would be theme in 2019. And, in 2020, the theme would be (composer and pianist Ludwig van) Beethoven," he said.
Founded in Weimar in 1919 by architect Walter Gropius, Bauhaus was a German art school operational from 1919 to 1933 that combined crafts and the fine arts, and was famous for the approach to design that it publicised and taught. PTI KND ASK ASK
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