Tourists Can’t Destroy Berlin

“How Tourists Are Destroying the Places They Love,” a recent Spiegel article title goes. Well, if they love Berlin they’re in for a way big disappointment. Everything here is already kaputt.

Tourists

Nothing like putting a refreshing, positive German spin on things, I always say. Go Spiegel! And I guarantee you: The average Spiegel employee goes on vacation three times a year.

Predatory Modern Tourism…

The travel industry has begun recognizing that its own success is increasingly undermining the foundation of its business model. “Overtourism” is the buzzword currently dominating industry conferences. Discussions are taking place about how tourist flows can be directed such that they will no longer be perceived as a threat.

“Tourist Go Home!”

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Turks Kick Off New Tourism Campaign To Lure Germans To Turkey By Calling Them Nazis

Its tourism sector taking a real battering this year for some inexplicable reason, Turkish authorities are now attempting to lure German tourists to Turkey by calling them Nazis.

Turkey

“Please come visit our beautiful country, you Nazi swine,” a representative of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said yesterday in Berlin. “You are the infidel scum of the earth worthy to be put to a horrible death by slow roasting and will enjoy to the fullest our fascinating culture, stunning beaches and helpful, friendly personnel, all at an unbeatable low price.”

At the ITB fair in Berlin, 132 Turkish companies under the auspices of the Turkish Culture and Tourism Ministry will have the chance to promote the campaign.

365/24 = 24/7/365

Or 15.20833333333333, if you prefer.

Berlin

And here you thought my math was bad. And it is. But Berlin’s tourism experts seem to be even worse at it because their new slogan just does not add up at all: 365/24. At least it doesn’t for the numerous people around town making fun of it these days.

It is supposed to imply that Berlin is a way cool place that never closes, of course, but a lot of citizens here don’t really see it that way. Lots and lots of stuff and places that never close are broken/closed/being rebuilt here all the time and it is not at all uncommon to wait around way more than 365/24 for them to open up again. And they aren’t impressed with the slogan’s lack of originality, either.

And while we’re at it (laughing at Berlin, I mean), there’s a new book out that’s got a number in its slogan, too. It’s called “111 Reasons to Hate Berlin.” Here is one of them that all Berliners love, I mean hate: Whether in the summer heat, the snow, the rain or even if it’s just an uneven hour of the day, the S-Bahn craps out along the entire line.

“Berlin ist nicht nur scheiße. Es ist noch scheißer, als es mal war. Und das muss man erst mal schaffen. Berlin gibt Scheiße eine ganz neue Definition.”

Germans So Shocked By Greek No They Decide To Go On Big Fat Greek Vacation

Stunned by the Greek no yesterday and the end of European civilization as they know it, millions and millions of German tourists have spontaneously decided to get their minds off it all by going on vacation to Greece again this year, just like the millions and millions of other Germans who did the same thing last year.

Tourists

Not that it matters anymore or anything, but tourism used to account for 18 percent of what used to be the Greek economy.

“We are still taking bookings for Greece and there is no change in the levels.”

Welcome To The Hotel Kalimera

You can checkout any time you like. But you can never leave.

Tourists

Are German tourists still welcome in crisis-battered Greece? “Definitely!” insists the travel board of Europe’s top economy, which nevertheless issued a few words of caution Thursday.

Protracted talks on Greece’s debt crisis may have driven up tensions with Europe’s paymaster Germany but visitors can still count on a warm reception, the German Travel Association (DRV) said.

But what if Greece should default on its loans, exit the eurozone and reintroduce the drachma? Fear not, the DRV said. “There would only be a limited impact on holidaymakers, particularly those on package tours. Flights, hotel stays and bus transfers are bought and covered by contracts.”

Mass Numbers Of Germans Flee Country

And then return again. Several times a year even. They call it Tourismus (tourism).

Travel

That’s right, when not moaning about capitalism and democracy itself, Germans like to spend their ample free time breaking new records in the World Travel Champions category. In 2014 they spent more than 67 billion euros traveling, for instance, five percent more than the year before. The next record for 2015 seems to be vorprogrammiert (preprogrammed), too.

Die Deutschen lassen sich ihren Urlaub so viel kosten wie nie. Mehr als 67 Milliarden Euro gaben sie im vergangenen Jahr für Urlaubsreisen von mindestens fünf Tagen aus, plus fünf Prozent zum Vorjahr.

Maul Of Berlin

It’s a gallery… It’s a shopping center…  It’s the Super-Mall (of Berlin)!

Mall of Berlin

Oh boy, another mall. I’m outta here (not).

A gigantic German department store, rebuilt in the heart of Berlin on the rubble of a shopping center seized by the Nazis, was opened on Thursday with a ceremony paying tribute to its original Jewish owners.

The near 1 billion euro ($1.3 billion) “Mall of Berlin” — an entire quarter with a glass-covered arcade, 270 shops, a hotel and flats — marks the spot where the Wertheim store was built in 1896.

I Think I’ve Been In This Guy’s Cab

This Berliner taxi driver just got three years in jail. Damn. That’s more than most murderers get here. Although he was making quite a killing, if you think about it.

Taxi

On his good days he took in 300 euros for a ten kilometer drive, milking clueless tourists he picked up at the airport. Jiminy crickets. And he managed to do this without a gun?

Fast 300 Euro für zehn Kilometer: Ein Berliner Taxifahrer stand am Flughafen abseits des offiziellen Halteplatzes für Taxis und passte ahnungslose Touristen aus aller Welt ab.

I Love You, You Big Dummy

Come to Berlin Country! Come to where the City Tax is!

City Tax

The city of Berlin loves youz tourists, honest it does. Sort of. In fact, the local yokel politicians here love youz guys so much that they feel the pressing need to show you just how much that is. And it’s a full 15 percent more than any of you out there were expecting. And that’s 15 percent more for getting absolutely nothing in return!

That’s right. Starting next month you will be permitted to pay an additional 15 percent City Tax on top of your hotel room bill here, at no extra cost to them and absolutely not free of charge for you! Now that’s what I call big City Tax hospitality!

I love you, you big dummy. You big dumb tourist. Book your flight to Berlin now!

“Es ist absolut nicht rechtssicher und wird ein bürokratisches Verwaltungsmonster sein.”

German Of The Day: Zweckentfremdungsverbot

Now that’s a German word for you. And no, not just because it has Verbot on the end of it, although that certainly helps.

SPD

Zweckentfremdung means misappropriation, and in this case the Verbot has to do with using apartments for something they were not meant to be used for; for renting. Well, actually, this particular misappropriation Verbot means renting them at a high rate to those awful and dreadful tourists who come to Berlin for a limited time instead of renting them out for much, much less to people who will be paying that much, much less for a much, much longer time. Which is, uh, better.

You guessed it, we’re back here in Berlin again and trying to rent your property for the most the free market will give you is an absolute sin in these parts and must be stopped immediately. And that’s what the Berlin SPD is now trying to do with this here new-fangled, old school Socialist-type Zweckentfremdungsverbot. And you and I both know that it will be yet another roaring success. Until it backfires and gets quietly repealed a few years down the road again, that is.

Experten setzen große Hoffnungen auf das Verbot. Denn dann sind Vermietungen an Touristen und Firmen künftig nicht mehr möglich.

PS: That picture up there kills me, too. Being willing to pay 500 euros (roughly $675) to someone who finds an apartment for you is considered a complete Skandal here so that’s why “the state” needs to jump in and take those 500 euros from somebody else to pay, so-to-speak, only it will be more like 5000 euros then, which is then OK.