copy the linklink copied!Germany

copy the linklink copied!Tourism in the economy

Tourism in Germany continues to grow. The Tourism Satellite Account shows the sector directly generated over EUR 105 billion in the German economy, or 3.9% of total GVA in 2015. Indirect effects are estimated to account for an additional EUR 76.1 billion. Over 2.9 million are directly employed in the sector, equivalent to 6.8% of total employment. Travel exports represented 12.5% of total service exports in 2018.

In 2018, 87.0 million international visitors stayed overnight in Germany, an increase of 4.5% from 2017. In total, 185.1 million tourist arrivals were recorded in 2018 (3.8% more than in 2017), of which 22% were international. The three main source markets for Germany in 2018 were the Netherlands (12% of international overnight stays), Switzerland (8.5%) and the United States (7.7%). In 2018, there were 419.6 million overnight stays recorded in accommodation facilities with ten beds or more, an increase of 4% on the previous year. International tourism receipts accounted for 3% of total exports in 2015. Visitor spending exceeded EUR 287 billion, with EUR 224.6 billion (78%) of tourism revenue attributed to domestic tourism, whereas visitors from abroad spent EUR 39.6 billion (14%).

Domestic tourism has by far the largest share of overnight stays (332.6 million or 82%), with a growth of 3.9% in comparison to 2017.

copy the linklink copied!Tourism governance and funding

The Federal Government is primarily responsible for establishing an appropriate policy environment for tourism. The Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy has lead responsibility for tourism policy, and is supported by the Advisory Council on Tourism Issues which brings together the interests of government, tourism industry, academia and others. The Commissioner for Tourism is responsible for co-ordinating tourism policy within the Federal Government and with the German Parliament, in particular with the Parliamentary Tourism Committee.

The 16 Federal States (Länder) are responsible for developing, shaping and promoting tourism policy. The Länder ministries are charged with designing, implementing and funding policies to promote tourism development. Each Federal State has a destination management organisation that represents the interests of regional and local/municipal organisations. Local tourism offices co-ordinate the work of small, local enterprises, promote product design and undertake relevant marketing activities.

The Federal-Länder Committee on Tourism meets twice a year, fostering the exchange of information and the co-ordination of measures involving two or more Länder.

The German National Tourist Board is responsible for marketing Germany abroad, working closely with the tourism marketing organisations of the Länder and with the German Chambers of Commerce Abroad.

Support for tourism remains a focal point of the Federal Government’s regional policy, including through the Joint Federal-Länder Scheme for the Improvement of Regional Economic Structures (GRW), which provides funding in the form of investments in trade and industry (including the tourism economy), and municipal investments in economic infrastructure (including basic infrastructure for tourism, developing land for tourism and public tourist facilities). The GRW budget for tourism was EUR 909 million over the period 2014-18, divided evenly between Federal and Länder contributions.

The Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy budget for tourism in 2018 included EUR 32.6 million for institutional support for the German National Tourist Board (up 7% on 2017), together with EUR 26.1 million for marketing activities (up 4.4%).

Tourism businesses also have access to funding from the Federal Government to support investment through, for example, the Joint Federal-Länder Scheme for the Improvement of Regional Economic Structures, and the European Recovery Programme. Tourism also benefits from funding measures and project supports offered by other federal ministries in their respective policy fields.

Financing for tourism in Germany at municipal, regional and Länder levels derives from a range of different sources. In addition to public funds, revenue is also generated from Länder based spa and tourism taxes as well as from regional bed taxes.

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Germany: Organisational Chart of tourism bodies
Germany: Organisational Chart of tourism bodies

Source: OECD, adapted from the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, 2020

Tourism policies and programmes

The main issues, challenges, and policy priorities for tourism development in Germany focus on supporting SMEs to develop their competitive position and unlock potential for growth and employment. Other tourism policy priorities include:

  • Accessibility - making services and information available for people with reduced mobility and families with small children.

  • Strengthening rural tourism - rural regions account for 60% of Germany’s territory and 32% of holiday accommodation capacity, but only 12% of tourism value added.

  • Labour and skills - competition for skilled professionals has intensified across the entire economy and is impacting the development of tourism. Many tourism firms are registering declining numbers of trainees, comparatively high training drop-out rates and high staff turnover.

  • Digitalisation - an increasingly important issue, where smaller businesses in particular are struggling to keep up. The digital transformation of tourism, or Tourism 4.0, is included as a key priority for the Federal Government in its National Tourism strategy.

  • Influx from new source markets - management of congestion caused by increase in visitors.

  • Economic, social and environmental sustainability.

The 2019 National Tourism Strategy aims to strengthen tourism in the economy and to prepare the entire sector for the future. The Strategy has three overarching policy goals: to raise domestic value creation, to improve the quality of life for the people living in Germany, and to play a part in helping to ensure global stability. In order to achieve these goals, the Federal Government has worked closely with partners from business and government to develop a set of six strategic goals for tourism policy:

  • Exploit the many different areas of economic potential in tourism, including creation of employment opportunities in rural areas.

  • Strengthen the competitiveness of Germany as a tourism destination, and bolster the tourism industry which is largely made up of SMEs, providing it with the room it needs to develop.

  • Create modern, accessible, reliable and sustainable digital infrastructure that takes account of tourists’ needs, and of the challenges associated with an increase in visitor numbers.

  • Seek to develop quality tourism that preserves valuable natural and cultural habitats, contributes to providing a high quality of life for visitors and local residents, and creates a positive image of Germany abroad.

  • Utilise the potential of tourism to boost economic development in other parts of the world, and to foster peace, tolerance and international understanding,

  • Support tourism development that is environmentally and climate friendly.

Through a dialogue process led by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, the Federal Government collaborates with individual federal ministries to develop an Action Plan covering the priorities defined in the National Tourism Strategy and detailing specific measures for each of the fields of action. Other actors, such as Länder and business associations, also develop action plans setting out specific measures.

Ongoing actions in support of the Strategy include:

  • Tourism for All project, providing information on barrier-free tourism offerings. Measures include the creation of a nationwide certification system and database, which is made available by the Germany National Tourist Board.

  • Development of sustainability guidelines for tourism destinations, dissemination of information on sustainable tourism offerings through the German National Tourist Board, the Green Travel Transformation project to sensitise consumers and the travel trade on sustainability issues, and work on measuring sustainability of tourism.

The Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy has also established a Centre of Excellence for Tourism, which mainly supports the implementation of tourism policy objectives by monitoring and analysing economic, technical and social developments in the sector. An important part of the Centre’s work is the Tourism 2030 project, which brings together various industry players and academics to look at long-term scenarios and prospects for tourism in Germany. The Centre of Excellence has an Advisory Board and a Supervisory Body whose membership includes representatives of national tourism associations (Box 1.5).

The National Tourism Strategy also considers the impact of German outbound tourism on developing nations. The Federal Ministry of Economic Co-operation and Development supports over 90 tourism projects in developing countries that contribute to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and Agenda 2030.

copy the linklink copied!Statistical Profile

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Germany: Domestic, inbound and outbound tourism

2014

2015

2016

2017

2018

TOURISM FLOWS, THOUSAND

Domestic tourism

Total domestic trips

..

..

..

..

726 728

Overnight visitors (tourists)

153 902

164 139

164 682

151 175

159 338

Same-day visitors (excursionists)

..

..

..

..

567 391

Nights in all types of accommodation

570 010

611 975

589 172

551 346

587 419

Hotels and similar establishments

214 421

221 242

217 997

220 102

235 441

Other collective establishments

131 224

139 304

129 471

107 981

136 487

Private accommodation

224 365

251 430

241 704

223 263

215 491

Inbound tourism

Total international arrivals

..

..

..

..

..

Overnight visitors (tourists)

32 860

34 831

35 405

37 307

38 748

Same-day visitors (excursionists)

..

..

..

..

..

Top markets

Netherlands

4 228

4 315

4 466

4 574

4 703

Switzerland

2 758

3 008

3 096

3 167

3 295

United States

2 365

2 528

2 553

2 803

2 964

United Kingdom

2 410

2 554

2 545

2 596

2 674

Italy

1 637

1 708

1 645

1 702

1 781

Nights in all types of accommodation

74 805

78 828

79 947

83 111

86 962

Hotels and similar establishments

61 312

64 890

65 861

68 653

71 418

Other collective establishments

13 493

13 938

14 086

14 458

15 543

Private accommodation

..

..

..

..

..

Outbound tourism

Total international departures

183 238

181 216

192 957

194 276

208 172

Overnight visitors (tourists)

83 008

83 737

90 966

92 402

108 542

Same-day visitors (excursionists)

100 230

97 479

101 991

101 874

99 630

Top destinations

Austria

10 575

10 544

11 380

11 275

14 396

Italy

9 485

10 646

11 548

10 973

13 573

Spain

9 143

10 242

10 393

11 093

11 672

Netherlands

..

4 839

6 763

5 673

7 413

France

5 472

4 838

5 159

6 231

6 143

TOURISM RECEIPTS AND EXPENDITURE, MILLION EUR

Inbound tourism

Total international receipts

43 779

45 682

47 154

49 753

50 642

International travel receipts

32 609

33 265

33 838

35 282

36 391

International passenger transport receipts

11 170

12 417

13 316

14 471

14 251

Outbound tourism

Total international expenditure

76 381

76 953

78 853

85 943

88 141

International travel expenditure

70 261

69 861

72 084

78 839

80 934

International passenger transport expenditure

6 120

7 092

6 769

7 104

7 207

.. Not available

Source: OECD Tourism Statistics (Database).

 StatLink http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/888934076818

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Germany: Enterprises and employment in tourism

Number of establishments2

Number of persons employed

2017

2014

2015

2016

2017

2018

Total

..

..

..

..

..

..

Tourism industries

249 009

1 651 162

1 728 462

1 840 602

2 122 014

..

Accommodation services for visitors

..

1 560

1 621

1 720

1 760

..

Hotels and similar establishments1

32 031

..

..

..

..

..

Food and beverage serving industry

171 613

1 079 064

1 136 031

1 216 356

1 482 155

..

Passenger transport

..

..

..

..

..

..

Air passenger transport

500

57 381

58 382

59 449

55 786

..

Railways passenger transport

..

..

..

..

..

..

Road passenger transport

31 500

411 706

423 307

448 828

465 354

..

Water passenger transport

552

8 373

8 867

9 253

9 732

..

Passenger transport supporting services

..

..

..

..

..

..

Transport equipment rental

..

..

..

..

..

..

Travel agencies and other reservation services industry

12 813

93 078

100 254

104 996

107 227

..

Cultural industry

..

..

..

..

..

..

Sports and recreation industry

..

..

..

..

..

..

Retail trade of country-specific tourism characteristic goods

..

..

..

..

..

..

Other country-specific tourism industries

..

..

..

..

..

..

Other industries

..

..

..

..

..

..

.. Not available

1. Data for hotels and similar establishments refer to number of establishments.

2. Data refer to number of enterprises.

Source: OECD Tourism Statistics (Database).

 StatLink http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/888934076837

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Germany: Internal tourism consumption
Million EUR

2015

Domestic tourism expenditure

Inbound tourism expenditure

Internal tourism consumption

Total

..

..

..

Consumption products

224 649

39 555

287 207

Tourism characteristic products

133 193

29 860

177 443

Accommodation services for visitors

26 820

9 003

39 457

Food and beverage serving services

43 819

7 422

51 241

Passenger transport services

31 182

10 393

41 575

Air passenger transport services

13 168

8 702

21 870

Railways passenger transport services

4 081

348

4 429

Road passenger transport services

12 802

928

13 730

Water passenger transport services

1 131

415

1 546

Passenger transport supporting services

..

..

..

Transport equipment rental services

1 494

153

1 647

Travel agencies and other reservation services industry

12 408

..

12 408

Cultural services

..

..

..

Sports and recreation services

17 470

2 889

31 115

Country-specific tourism characteristic goods

..

..

..

Country-specific tourism characteristic services

..

..

..

Other consumption products

91 455

9 697

109 764

Tourism connected products

..

..

..

Non-tourism related consumption products

..

..

..

Non-consumption products

..

..

..

.. Not available

Source: OECD Tourism Statistics (Database).

 StatLink http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/888934076856

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