German Markets are Herr to stay

By on 17/11/2010 in Culture, News
  • Nostalgic Brits look to German neighbours for traditional festive spirit
  • Over a quarter (27%) of German markets taking place in UK cities have started since the recession began

Glühwein, Bratwursts and Stollen are replacing mulled wine, roasted chestnuts and eggnog this Christmas as nostalgic Brits looking to recapture the traditional values of the season turn to our German neighbours for inspiration. 

Traditional German Christmas markets have been a familiar sight in towns and cities across the UK for years, but new research from Visit Birmingham, which hosts the UK's largest German Christmas market, has found that over a quarter of this year's markets have only sprouted up since the recession began in 2009.

As the UK's cities continue to look at ways to entice and inspire visitors this Christmas, German markets are a proven winner. Birmingham's Frankfurt Christmas Market, which celebrates its 10th anniversary this year, is the largest authentic German market held anywhere in the world outside Germany and Austria. With over 180 stalls it attracts over three million visitors and generates nearly £90m in economic activity for the city every year. 

Mike Whitby, Leader of Birmingham City Council, said: “I'm extremely proud of the continued success of our Frankfurt Christmas Market. It's remarkable to think that our market started with just 24 stalls in 2001 and the 10th annual market will have over 180.

“Other cities have understandably tried to emulate Birmingham's success, but none have been able to reproduce the size, scale, diversity and quality of our Frankfurt Christmas Market, which continues to be the world's largest German market outside of Germany and Austria - and one of the top five in the world!”

This winter, the UK's German Christmas markets will involve 1,000 stalls across 15 cities for over 500 days, as visitors get the chance to sample the best of Germany's festive offer. Markets in Sheffield, Oxford, Peterborough and Southampton have all turned to Glühwein, Bratwursts and handcrafted gifts since the economic downturn. Meanwhile Leeds' much-loved, annual Christkindlmarkt, which was scheduled to be scrapped as part of cuts this Christmas, has been reinstated due to overwhelming demand and a public campaign to save it.   

Emma Gray, Director of Marketing Services for Visit Birmingham, which carried out the research, said: “Birmingham's Frankfurt Christmas market is a real opportunity for the city, and its many visitors, to come together and celebrate the traditional values of Christmas. However, as the economic climate continues to impact the UK's tourism industry, the market is also a real shot in the arm for Birmingham's shops, restaurants and hotels.”

The most popular of its kind, Birmingham's Frankfurt Christmas Market, celebrates its 10th anniversary this winter, with over 180 stalls. The market is open every day from the 18th November to 23rd December, between 10am and 9pm.

- Ends -

Notes to Editors

Visit Birmingham research involved investigation into each UK city's Christmas offer via their tourism website, a telephone call or using the Christmas markets' website on Enjoy England website.

For those that offered markets with a German or Germanic theme, the length of time that the market has been in its host city, the size, approximate number of visitors and economic activity were logged and compared.

15 UK cities have German / German-themed markets:

  • BATH (German features)
  • WINCHESTER (German-themed)

Birmingham's Frankfurt Market

Birmingham's Frankfurt Christmas market is the largest authentic German market held anywhere in the world outside Germany and Austria.

Birmingham's market is the largest authentic German market held anywhere in the world outside Germany and Austria. 

Staged in Victoria Square and New Street, the Frankfurt Christmas Market features traditional stalls offering handmade toys, Christmas decorations, jewellery, clothing and craft goods.  

Visitors can also enjoy the delights of German mulled wine (Glühwein), grilled sausages, pretzels, German beer, gingerbread, stollen, crepes and marzipan sweets. 

Visit Birmingham is the official tourism campaign for Birmingham.  As one of the top visitor cities in the UK, attracting over 32 million visitors a year, Birmingham is a must-visit leisure destination for all.

Rebecca Charlton
PR Manager
Direct: +44 (0) 121 202 5006
Fax: +44 (0) 121 202 5116

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