German activities

German activities for sustainable tourism

One goal of German development cooperation is to harness the potential of tourism for sustainable development while minimising any risks that may arise, such as harmful impacts on the global climate and overexploitation of natural environments.

In its efforts to support tourism in its partner countries, Germany seeks to foster respect for human rights and the introduction and enforcement of minimum social and environmental standards.

Projects with broad sets of objectives

In the tourism sector, the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) supports mainly projects that address multiple goals, such as sustainable economic development, natural resource management, biodiversity conservation, climate action, resource efficiency, vocational education, and community and regional development. In total, the BMZ currently operates over one hundred projects that have tourism components.

Besides a number of integrated experts sent by the Centrum für internationale Migration und Entwicklung (International Centre for Migration and Development, CIM) there are also many development workers who are involved in activities in the tourism sector.

Protection of children and youth

The BMZ is involved in implementing the German government's interdepartmental Plan of Action for the Protection of Children and Teenagers from Sexual Violence and Exploitation. It supports organisations that are active in this field and funds appropriate measures in its partner countries, often collaborating with tour operators.

Development education

As part of the educational aspect of its work, the BMZ provides comprehensive information about developing countries and raises German tourists' awareness of socially responsible and eco-friendly travel.

Cooperation with the private sector

Cooperation with the tourism industry is a key issue for the BMZ. This is not only about making sure that tourism itself will develop in a socially and environmentally sound manner but also about using it as a driver for sustainable development across industries. This requires all players to assume social responsibility, and interaction with private sector players must become part of German development cooperation programmes.

Tour operators should use their expertise, creativity, capital and innovative capacity in the countries where their target destinations are in order to help reduce poverty. One way in which the BMZ supports them is by working for a better business environment in its partner countries. For example, it seeks to foster legal certainty and good governance, it supports investment and the tapping of new markets, and it assists with training for skilled staff.

In addition, the Ministry provides funding and expertise to German and European tour operators so that they can make their operations in developing countries and emerging economies sustainable, inclusive and socially compatible.

To that end, the BMZ uses a broad range of instruments, such as the develoPPP.de programme, integrated development partnerships and the lab of tomorrow and the matching platform leverist.de.

Industry dialogue on tourism for sustainable development

In March 2016, the BMZ together with the German Tourism Industry launched an industry dialogue on tourism for sustainable development. Representatives of the political arena, the tourism industry, civil society and academia meet twice a year in order to develop solutions for tourist destinations so as to harness the potential of tourism for sustainable development.

Development scout working at German Travel Association

Under the BMZ's "development scout" programme, an expert for development cooperation and tourism has been working at the German Travel Association (DRV) since autumn 2017. Thanks to her expertise on the interface between tourism and development cooperation, she helps this industry federation to tap synergies and provides advice to tour operators that want to get involved in development-related activities.