International tourism policy


Every year, more than 1.2 billion people worldwide are travelling abroad as tourists – forty times as many as in 1950.

Palm trees on a beach.
Palm trees on a beach.© colourbox
Tourism is considered to be a significant factor for the global economy and for global economic growth. Each year, more than one billion people travel abroad as tourists – and their number continues to grow. Forty times as many people now travel abroad for tourism than in 1950. The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) estimates that the number of global tourist arrivals will probably jump to 1.8 billion by the year 2030.

Encouraging tourists to come to Germany

Employing around three million people and accounting for almost 280 billion euros of consumption and 4.4 per cent of the nation’s GDP, the tourist industry is an important business sector with aboveaverage growth.

Almost 80 million foreign tourists spent the night in Germany in 2015. The largest numbers of tourists come from the Netherlands, Switzerland, the USA, the UK, Italy and Austria. Besides the USA, the largest nonEuropean sources of visitors to Germany are Russia, the People’s Republic of China and the Gulf countries. Every year some 50 million German citizens travel abroad. Germany is not only one of the world’s leading countries in terms of traveller numbers, but is also home to some of the largest tourism enterprises.

The German Government’s tourism policy

Enjoying summer time in Germany: beach chairs at the Baltic Sea.
Enjoying summer time in Germany: beach chairs at the Baltic Sea.© colourbox

The German Government’s tourism policy seeks to create conditions conducive to the development of the German tourism sector. Part of the job of our missions abroad in promoting foreign trade and investment is to support German tourism companies abroad. At the same time, the German Government provides financial support to the German National Tourist Board (GNTB), which oversees tourism marketing abroad on behalf of the Federal Government from its 30 offices around the world. The German embassies and consulatesgeneral work closely with the GNTB to promote Germany as a tourist destination. In addition, the Federal Foreign Office and its missions abroad provide assistance to German tourists abroad, for instance through comprehensive, uptodate travel and safety advice or consular assistance.

The Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology is the lead ministry for the German Government’s tourism policy. Germany is a member of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), a specialised agency of the United Nations. Germany has been a member of the UNWTO Executive Council since September 2009 and was reelected for another fouryear term in 2013.

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