Unspoilt nature and landscapes offer attractive options for tourism and recreation that people are making use of more and more in Germany. In turn, tourism can contribute to nature conservation through environmentally aware travel and leisure activities. Natural areas and resources need to be used more sustainably, irrespective of whether they are used for sports or tourism.
Sustainable tourism in harmony with nature and landscapes and geared towards sustainable management and, consequently, towards resource efficiency and climate action, offers excellent opportunities to contribute to long-term regional added value.
Germany is by far the most popular holiday destination for Germans, with approximately one third of the population holidaying in their own country. A total of 2.9 million people are employed in Germany’s tourism sector and they account for almost 4 percent of the gross value added in the German economy, which amounts to 105 billion euros. As a result, the tourism sector has grown to a size comparable with the automotive and engineering sectors and is now one of Germany's booming, lucrative economic sectors.
Information on the economic effects of tourism is very important, for example for communicating the importance of protected areas as recreational areas. It can also contribute significantly to acceptance, for example increasing acceptance among the local population and at political level.
At the same time, sustainable tourism caters to the rising quality standards expected by customers and helps companies maintain their competitive positions. Sustainability, comfort, pleasure and health are important elements of sustainable tourism products and trademarks of a modern, successful tourism sector.