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Berlin hotels try to woo tourists, wean them away from private vacation apartments

Currently, hotels owners in Berlin are waging a different kind of battle. Tourists, who earlier looked out for cheap hotels stay, are now increasingly choosing to stay in unregulated, privately rented vacation apartments.

A recent estimate by local hotel industry and the city government said that an estimated 5 million visitors to Berlin, while straying from the traditional hotel market, opted to stay in unregulated, privately rented vacation apartments instead of registered hotels.

According to the local industry, the popularity of budget apartment rentals had prompted the tourists go for them instead of the attractive hotel deals. The result is that a clamp on hotel room rates is already there because of the popularity of budget apartment rentals, even though overall hotel stays have grown and hotel construction activities continuing.

In the past decade, the hotel industry in Berlin has surged. A total of 769 hotels were registered in 2011, an increase of 38 percent from a decade ago. Presently, 45 hotels are under construction. Even, occupancy in Berlin’s hotels increased 4 percent in the first half of 2012 as compared to the same period in 2011, despite a lingering euro crisis. According to Berlin city government data, hotels in the city reported 22.3 million stays in 2011, up 7 percent y-o-y.