In 2016, there have been at least 5 terrorist attacks in Germany, which is very unusual for that country. How does this affect travelers to Germany?
Human minds don't deal well with the statistics of low-probability events. Take a six-sided die and record a hundred throws. The chance that the first two results are both "6" is 1:36. The chance that there is another "6" after you throw a "6" anywhere in the sequence is just 1:6.
Consider the recent cases:
- On July 24th, a Syrian refugee exploded a bomb in Ansbach. The terrorist killed himself, 15 people were injured, no fatalities.
- On July 22th, a dual national shot nine other people and then himself in Munich. All indications suggest an amok case similar to Columbine.
- On July 18th, a possibly Afghan refugee attacked train passengers with a knife and an ax near Würzburg. The terrorist was shot by police.
In 2015 there were 565 cases of murder or manslaughter in Germany, plus about 1500 murder or manslaughter attempts. This rate of about 0.7 murder cases per 100.000 inhabitants is normal for Western industrialized nations. By comparison, the United States has about 4 murder cases per 100.000 inhabitants.
This week was way above average for Germany and for Bavaria. Considering the low number of events, it is too early to call this the start of a trend.
Regarding German reaction to the Munich case, conservatives are suggesting to allow the domestic use of the military. Munich had mobilized some 2.300 police, including SWAT teams from other states, the Federal police, and Austrian police. At the same time, they say that the police performance was good. This is unlikely to affect tourists.
Liberals were talking about tougher weapons laws, but that seems to have slowed down when it became clear that the gun was illegal. It had beed "deactivated" for use as a theater prop and later reactivated. There is talk that European laws need to be harmonized in this regard -- if the weapon had been "deactivated" in Germany, it would have been harder to repair. Again this won't affect tourists.
Currently there are no travel restrictions I have heard of.
Politicians are still undecided about what measures to take. For example the mayor of Munich announced that he thinks that more bag controls should be in order and that he considers a ban of backpacks on the Oktoberfest which starts in two months. So as a tourist you should expect that your luggage might get checked more frequently than usual and you should avoid carrying larger bags or backpacks when you visit places with many people.
When there is a political reaction, I would expect that it will rather target immigration policy in general and asylum policy in particular because these are currently in the focus of public attention. Tourism and business travel are unlikely to be affected. But that's just my personal estimation.
Note that statistically speaking, you were still far more likely to die in a traffic accident than from a terrorist attack when you were in Germany in the past weeks.
I am the founder of the website CitySafe which aims to assess the crime and safety levels of large cities and countries worldwide (it’s still work-in-progress, but so far I have done c. 40 cities and countries).
For my answer, I am referring to the page about safety in Germany (including a crime map). (FYI, Citysafe’s rating algorithm has assessed a safety level of 85% (100% being the safest) to Germany, and 78% to Berlin.
While it's true that Germany has recently been targeted by terrorist attacks which resulted in few casualties, they are very rare and do no target tourists. The police presence has been greatly increased in large cities to deter further attacks.
Germany is a very safe country. Crimes rates are very low compared to southern European countries, and law is strictly enforced. It is ranked 14th on the ranking of world’s safest countries.
One thing you should definitely take care of is not to leave bags, suitcases or luggage unattended, especially not at airports and train stations. Not only because it possibly will get stolen but because security authorities are very sensitive to bomb alarms. I saw it twice in the last year that abandoned suitcases caused police action. In one case the area got evacuated and one suitcase was blown up with a jet of water. This happens occasionally in Germany(and most likely everywhere else) and it might get expensive when they find your shorts with your name embroidered afterwards.
There is a detailed and very useful travel advice for several countries by the German Auswärtiges Amt (Ministry of Foreign Affairs). They are up to date and very sensitive towards security. They also provide medical and general advice for travelers in many languages.