With Germany’s Australian markets defying the downturn in other parts of Europe, the German National Tourist Office (GNTO) has laid out plans to target yet more travellers over the next three years through food, music and culture.

The number of Aussies visiting Germany has more than doubled over the past decade and in 2016 broke the 100,000 barrier for the first time, a 4% increase on the previous year, according to Tourism Research Australia.

Against this growth, the GNTO has outlined marketing plans based on a series of annual themes that kicked off this year with a celebration of Martin Luther and the 500th anniversary of the Reformation.

Next year, Germany will focus on ‘Culinary Germany’ targetting young adults, families and city dwellers with the message that the country is worth a visit for its food and drink alone.

Over the year the organisation will highlight some of Germany’s key food regions and trails, including the Allgu Cheese Route, the Old Salt Road, the Baden Asparagus Route and the Beer and Castle Route. Germany will also hold international food truck events around the country to celebrate the diversity of food on offer.

After 2018, the GNTO will hold an array of events in 2019 to mark the 200th anniversary of the birth of writer and poet Theodor Fontane, and to celebrate 100 years of the Bauhaus, the influential German art school that combined crafts with fine arts between 1919 and 1933.

Further ahead, 2020 will bring celebrations for the 250th anniversary of the birth of composer Ludwig van Beethoven, revolving around Bonn where a new concert hall is being built to honour the city’s most famous son.

In the same year, the once-a-decade Passion Play season depicting the story of Christ is expected to attract up to 500,000 people to the town of Oberammergau in Bavaria. The five-hour play has been staged every decade since 1634.

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