Germany is a principal attraction for foreign tourists, and the Germans themselves are among the world's most enthusiastic tourists. Although Germany attracts millions of foreign tourists, German tourists every year spend tens of billions of deutsche marks more than foreign tourists spend in Germany. In fact, tourism constitutes a major drain on German foreign exchange.
The areas that attract the most tourists to Germany are the Alps, the Rhine and Moselle valleys, and several large cities, especially Berlin. But those are not the only attractions. Music festivals such as those at Bayreuth and Munich draw many tourists. So do some of the old German medieval cities like Rothenburg ob der Tauber and Dinkelsbühl. Because of the wealth of hiking and bicycle trails, many tourists come to the Black Forest and to other German woodlands and mountains. Since unification, tourists have increasingly visited the former East German states and especially the Baltic beaches and such cities as Leipzig and Dresden.
Unlike Austria or Spain, Germany does not regard tourism as a major source of foreign exchange. Hotel stays by foreign visitors to Germany do not rise above 15 percent of total occupancy, as opposed to the two-thirds levels that they reach in those countries. But as many as 1.5 million jobs in Germany are connected in one way or another to the tourist industry.
|Country Studies main page | Germany Country Studies main page|