National tourism strategy

Berlin outlines priorities for action plan

Berlin plans a national tourism strategy for Germany.
Deutscher Bundestag/Axel Hartmann
Berlin plans a national tourism strategy for Germany.

The German government has published the main priorities and aims for the first-ever national tourism strategy and will draw up an action plan with specific measures in cooperation with regional states and the travel industry.

The cabinet agreed on Tuesday the core points for a national tourism strategy designed to strengthen the industry and gear it up for current and future challenges. There are three main political aims: to support economic growth in Germany; to improve the living quality for people in Germany; and to contribute to international stability.

Thomas Bareiss, the government’s tourism commissioner, declared: “With today’s cabinet resolution we are laying the foundation for the sustainable success of German tourism. The aim of the national tourism strategy is an over-riding economic and political approach for this sector.” The German tourism industry generates more than €100 billion in economic value and accounts for nearly three million jobs, he emphasised.

In general, Berlin wants to maintain Germany’s position as a major international tourism destination while supporting the role of the outbound industry in contributing to the economies of other countries, particularly in terms of sustainable growth.

Among the main points, Berlin wants ‘efficient regulation with the least possible bureaucratic burdens’ and ‘fair conditions’. Rural areas should become more attractive with better transportation connections, not least to relieve pressure on ‘tourism hotspots’.

However, Bareiss warned that a shortage of skilled staff was “a threat to business” and urged rapid agreement on a law to promote immigration of skilled workers. In addition, smaller tourism companies needed fair conditions to take advantage of digitalisation, especially in the face of stronger international competition and the power of large booking platforms, he added.  

In the next step, the government will work with German federal states, which are legally responsible for tourism development and promotion at a regional level, to draw up an action plan with specific measures.

Tourism organisations were quick to respond and generally welcomed the government’s initiative. The German Tourism Association (DTV), representing mostly German destinations, welcomed the inclusion of topics such as mobility, sustainability and development of rural areas and called for rapid implementation of the action plan.

The German Tourism Industry Federation (BTW), covering both the domestic and outbound travel sectors, hailed the government’s main action points and urged action to eliminate bureaucratic burdens such as unnecessary taxes and laws. The German Travel Industry Association (DRV), representing the outbound travel sector, made similar comments.

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