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A British Commentary on the German Passion for Travel (April 5, 1984)

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On the whole, Germans do not stint themselves when abroad. The average holidaymaker spent 18.2 days abroad, cashing DM 71.80 a day. Most money, statistically speaking, is spent by German visitors to Scandinavia, who tend to be young, single and female. Those going to Yugoslavia, by contrast, are mostly young and male; those to Denmark families or groups: and those to Austria older, regular visitors.

For those who stay at home. Bavaria is the biggest draw. But the rest of Germany, a country much under-rated both by its own citizens and foreigners, is equally striking and worth visiting. Those foreigners who do – far fewer than the number of Germans going abroad – are mainly the Dutch, constituting 21 per cent of Germany's visitors.

Russian nobility no longer go to Baden-Baden, and perhaps today's equivalent, where the smart and the chic gather to see each other and be seen, is the long, thin island of Sylt, off the Danish coast. It is only on the beaches here that Germany still has an intellectual centre, where you will find the stars of screen and stage in a state of mental and physical undress, while the bulk of their compatriots are revealing all flesh to the sun 1.000 mile farther south.

Source: Michael Binyon, "Wanderlust Spirit of 26m Germans," London Times, April 5, 1984.

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