In our final blog about European visitor markets and what may attract them to Dorset, we look at Germany.  It is interesting that visitors from Germany view Britain as educational and full of interesting things to see and experience, rather than a place to relax!  But then again this can work well in Dorset, where cultural and historical experiences are everywhere.

Visitors from Germany like our rural coast and castles

Of the three nationalities that this series of blogs has considered, Germans are the most likely to visit – and recommend – England’s coast, particularly visitors over 55.  The rural coast is the most important to them rather than traditional seaside towns. While coastal scenery is an important draw, visiting castles and stately homes, which are abundant in Dorset, is a close second.

Visitors from Germany View of Lulworth Castle from outside

Lulworth Castle

Museums and music are strongly associated with Britain in the German mind, as are certain authors – Rosamunde Pilcher for example.  An authoress less known in Britain, Pilcher is a household name in Germany because for dramas based on her stories have been a firm fixture in the TV schedules for the last twenty years.  Most of these novels are based in Cornwall, but Dorset is a useful interim stop for German visitors on the Pilcher trail.

Dorset tourism employees would therefore do well to have a basic knowledge of her work!

Read more about this German fascination in an article by Lena Jakat, writer for The Guardian here.

Food and drink choices

Germans are slightly dismissive of British food and drink, and therefore unlikely to visit local markets or seek out local food experiences. German vegetarians however are often impressed by the range of choices on offer in Britain.

The majority will plan their visits down to the last detail, with only the younger market segments, which represent just 23% of the total, prepared to be spontaneous.  They all however welcome local recommendations. And unlike the French, few German visitors expect their hosts to speak German.

Over two thirds of German visitors would stay in a B&B or hotel, it is character more than anything that attracts them.

The average spend by the Germans on a break of 4 to 5 days is £446 – by far the biggest spend when compared the French or the Dutch.

The ideal holiday

A German ideal British holiday could therefore be an attractive B&B with character, probably booked through an intermediary. Retail agencies are big in Germany, although these are increasingly facing competition from internet travel portals.

Educational and informative trips, especially when recommended by locals, are always popular, and remember that Dorset’s rural coastline is a definite attraction for this group.

Visitors from Germany and the view of Chesil Beach from Abbotsbury

View over Chesil Beach

Read more how Dorset’s cultural organisations might tap into French and Dutch visitor markets – what they like, what they expect, and what attracts them.

To learn more about the cultural delights of Dorset, coastal and otherwise, visit Dorset Ambassador, a free online training tool at And look out for the launch of England’s Coast Ambassador, which will detail the needs of international visitors and what they would like to see and do in your region.

To learn more about the National Coastal Tourism Association’s England Coast project and how you could benefit, visit


Illustration by Arts University Bournemouth Graduate – Bethany Lord