‘Tourism has become an economic powerhouse in the Metropolis Ruhr’

EUR 5.5 billion in turnover, 115,000 employees, more than eight million overnight stays every year: the region’s tourism industry is booming, reports Axel Biermann, Managing Director of Ruhr Tourismus GmbH.

The past decade has seen the number of overnight stays in the Metropolis Ruhr rise by 42 per cent to a total over eight million – a development which is significantly higher than the state and national averages, emphasises Axel Biermann from Ruhr Tourismus GmbH. Due to the increasing demand, there is also currently a significant hotel boom with many new buildings being constructed in the region.

In total, the tourism industry in the Metropolis Ruhr now generates a gross turnover of more than EUR 5.5 billion per year and employs 115,000 people.

A factor that has contributed to this success is the Metropolis Ruhr’s unique industrial culture, perhaps the best-known example being the Zollverein Coal Mine Industrial Complex UNESCO World Heritage Site in Essen. And the impressive brownfield site at the Landschaftspark Duisburg-Nord landscape park also brings in over one million visitors every year.



The high quality of life, cultural diversity and the numerous leisure facilities that have arisen as a result of tourism all speak in favour of the Metropolis Ruhr, especially in times of strong economic competition for skilled workers and managers.

Axel Biermann, Managing Director of Ruhr Tourismus GmbH

Tourism as a location factor in the competition for skilled workers

The attractions that pull in tourists also, of course, increase the range of recreational and leisure activities available to the local population. This brings the additional effect that, due to the improved quality of life resulting from the improved recreational value, the City of Cities becomes a more attractive place to live and work.

In the Metropolis Ruhr, culture lies around every corner. The region is the most concentrated cultural landscape in all of Europe, with over 1,000 industrial monuments, 200 museums, 250 festivals, 120 theatres and three musical venues. Every year, spectacular cultural festivals such as the Ruhrtriennale and the Ruhrfestspiele attract visitors from all over Germany and beyond, while the City of Cities is shaped by the national and international artists and guest stars from the worlds of film and theatre that can be found at the RuhrKunst museums and RuhrBühnen theatre network.



Over 1,200 kilometres of cycle lanes

With its 53 city centres, the Metropolis Ruhr has everything a visitor could wish for – from the historic old town with its idyllic half-timbered houses to the ultra-modern shopping centre. And much of it can be reached on foot, by bus or by train. The almost 101-kilometre-long Radschnellweg Ruhr cycle route – or RS1 for short – which is intended to connect the centres with each other, will offer a genuine alternative to cars. Plus, the RuhrtalRadweg cycle path is much loved as Germany’s second-favourite bike route. With over 1,200 kilometres of cycle lanes, the region’s entire offering to cycling tourists comes together under the radrevier.ruhr brand. Axel Bierrmann is naturally very excited by this: he loves to ride his bike at the Haniel colliery slagheap, where he enjoys a panoramic view from a height of nearly 160 metres.

  • 8Mio.
    overnight stays per year
  • 5,5 billion €
    annual turnover
  • 115000