Fostering sustainable tourism

Norbert Barthle MP, Parliamentary State Secretary to the Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development, will participate in a session at the ITB Berlin Convention on the responsibilities of the German Government in outbound travel. We started by asking him how Germany is working on an international level to foster sustainable tourism?

With millions of Germans travelling abroad every year, I believe that Germany as a country bears responsibility. As the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), our goal is to foster a sustainable development through tourism in our partner countries. We are committed to ensuring that tourist spaces remain spaces worth living in. This can only succeed if all stakeholders are involved in tourism development and if ecological impacts remain acceptable.

Besides BMZ’s measures with a clear focus on developing countries and emerging markets, the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) and the Federal Environment Ministry (BMU) carry out various activities in the field of tourism. What these activities are, in each political department and, above all, how we can cooperate even more effectively in the future will be discussed at ITB Berlin. Our joint panel talk with the Parliamentary State Secretaries of the BMWi and the BMU takes place on stage of the ITB Tourism for Sustainable Development Day” on Thursday, March 7.

What concrete measures are already being implemented?
In rural Morocco, for example, job and income opportunities are very limited. One of our projects is carrying out tourism development measures in rural regions, with a focus on natural resources. The activities aim to create bene ts for the entire local population. About three years into the project, more than 430 people have found new jobs, and almost 1,850 people have increased their incomes or benefitted from better working conditions.


BMZ is currently implementing more than 90 tourism-related measures in its partner countries around the world. Furthermore, development experts are working in partner organisations – for example in Armenia, Rwanda and Mongolia. In all projects, we co-operate with partners at a local and national level and take a holistic approach to tourism.

How can tourism strengthen sustainable development in other parts of the world and promote social stabilisation?
Sustainable tourism development can help to stabilise a country’s economy and labour market, which is one of the keys for social stabilisation. Employment is also high on BMZ’s agenda: tourism is one of the most employment- intensive sectors in the world. Due to its widely rami ed value chain and therefore its diverse impact potentials, tourism is also an absolute cross-cutting issue in development co-operation.

In the areas of sustainable economic development, resource management and nature conservation or political framework conditions. In order for tourism to flourish, it is vital that a country not only has stable governance, security and peace, but also has the necessary infrastructure. This is important for every kind of tourism, including sustainable tourism – if there are no roads or water or electricity, then no holidaymakers will come. Countries need to create this infrastructure at the local level, with our support.


Category: ITB Tourism for Sustainable Development Day
Date: March 7, 2019
Time: 4pm-4.45pm
Location: City Cube, Auditorium A3

Photo: Norbert Barthle MP, Parliamentary State Secretary to the Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development, Germany