Luxembourg's Tourism Industry

A blend of Latin and Germanic cultures, Luxembourg is a land-locked country and one of Europe's smallest nations. The country has become one of Europe's leading financial centres and one of the world's wealthiest nations. For visitors, Luxembourg offers a diverse natural landscape and stunning historic sites.

About Luxembourg

The world's last Grand Duchy, Luxembourg is a constitutional monarchy and parliamentary democracy ruled by a Grand Duke. The small country is bordered by Belgium, France and Germany. It covers an area of 2,586 square kilometres (999 square miles) and has a population of approximately 511,800, according to the Luxembourg National Tourist. A member of the European Union, the official currency is the Euro. Luxembourgish, French, German and English are widely spoken throughout the country.

Influenced by Romance and Germanic cultures, Luxembourg has borrowed traditions and customs from various traditions to create a unique character. Luxembourg's capital and largest city shares the country's name. Luxembourg Airport links the country to most European capitals, while the national carrier Luxair serves cities around the world. The country is also connected to Paris with high-speed TGV rail service, in addition to excellent rail and motorway connections to communities in Belgium, France and Germany.

Overview of Luxembourg's Tourism Industry

With good road, rail and air connections with the rest of Europe, Luxembourg is a popular destination for weekend trips from other European markets. Most visitors to the Grand Duchy arrive from neighbouring Belgium and Germany, as well as the Netherlands. Luxembourg is also popular with tourists from France, the United Kingdom and the United States. For visitors staying in hotels, 21 percent arrived from Belgium, 14 percent from France and Germany, and 8 percent from the Netherlands. Travellers who camp in Luxembourg arrived from the Netherlands in large numbers, representing approximately 70 percent of all non-resident campers in 2012. In 2012, 528,173 tourists travelled to Luxembourg City alone, according to the Luxembourg National Tourist Board.

The tourism sector is an important segment of the country's economy, one that is often under-estimated in Luxembourg according to the Ministry of the Middle Classes and Tourism. In 2012, the World Travel and Tourism Council estimated that the direct and indirect impact of the sector on the Gross Domestic Product of Luxembourg was 5.7 percent. A total of 7.6 percent of all employment in the country was indirectly or directly attributed to tourism, which represented 17,500 jobs.

Major Attractions and Destinations

Founded in 963, the historic city of Luxembourg is the main destination for most visitors to the country. Home to over 150 different nationalities, Luxembourg City offers visitors a wealth of cultural attractions. The city is home to museums, theatres and concert halls, with a contrasting mix of medieval fortresses and modern architecture amidst striking natural beauty. The city's highlights include the Grand-Ducal Palace, the Musée d'Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean, and the city's old quarters and fortifications, including the underground Casemates Bock.

The region of the Moselle Valley is a popular wine district. In addition to visiting wine cellars and sampling sparkling wines, travellers can also explore the rural region with hiking trails through medieval towns and famous wineries. Many hikes are themed around wine routes. The Moselle Valley is the source of Luxembourg most famous wines, including wife varieties of Riesling, Auxerrois and Pinot Gris. The region is a popular spot for water sports, including swimming and water skiing on the River Moselle. Cruises along the lush valley are also a favourite for visitors. Moselle is also home to Schengen, which gives its name to one of Europe's most important treaties. A museum in the town is dedicated to the Schengen Treaty, which was signed in 1985.

Outdoor enthusiasts enjoy visiting the mountainous district of Oesling in the Ardennes. The Ardennes offers breathtaking natural landscapes, including majestic castles, hiking and cycling trails through unspoilt wilderness, and world-class natural parks. The country's largest parks include the Naturpark Our and the Naturpark Öewersauer. The rocky cliffs found in the Mullerthal are also a favourite destination for outdoor recreation. The Mullerthal region is promoted as 'Luxembourg's Little Switzerland'. With wooden highlands and rocky formations, the region's hilly landscape is a striking example of this small country's diverse natural beauty. Camping is particularly popular in the Ardennes and the Mullerthal.