For fifty years selected guests from abroad have been invited to visit Germany under the auspices of the Federal Government's Visitors Programme. The visitors are high-ranking actors in the fields of journalism, culture, politics, society and academia who, through their functions, influence Germany's image abroad. During a specially designed thematic travel programme they have the chance to interact with German partners and deepen their knowledge about Germany. In this way, the Visitors Programme is one of the most effective instruments of our Public Diplomacy.
The Federal Foreign Office is celebrating 50 years of the Visitors Programme by taking the opportunity to illuminate its history and reflect on its future development. All parties involved in the organization of the Visitors Programme – the Federal Foreign Office, partners, ambassadors and former participants – will come together for a colloquium. The aim of the colloquium is to determine the course the Visitors Programme should take in the near future considering the changed international landscape and the new political challenges that have arisen.
The Visitors Programme has so far hosted over fifty thousand participants. Annually around one thousand invitations are extended. The 2008 federal budget allocated 3.3 million euro for the programme.