German National Tourist Board GNTB
The German National Tourist Board (GNTB) is Germany’s national tourism organisation. It works on behalf of the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) to represent Germany as a tourist destination and is funded by the Ministry in accordance with a decision taken by the German Bundestag. Working closely with the German travel industry and private-sector partners and trade associations, the GNTB develops strategies and marketing campaigns to further enhance the positive image of Germany’s regions as a travel destination internationally and to encourage tourists to visit the country.
The GNTB markets Germany around the world as a destination for both holiday tourism and business travel. The latter includes not only traditional business travel but also visits to trade fairs and trips for meetings, incentives, conferences and events (MICE). The GNTB works hand in hand with the German Convention Bureau to market Germany as a MICE location. This strategic partnership is supported by the GNTB’s international network of 27 foreign representative offices, which cover more than 40 markets.
The GNTB has a three-pronged recovery strategy for overcoming the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic:
- Raising awareness of the Destination Germany brand and enhancing the brand profile
- Supporting the travel industry, which is dominated by small and medium-sized businesses, through relationship management and the sharing of knowledge
- Developing evidence-based action plans on the basis of targeted market research and ongoing analysis of the impact of coronavirus.
Business travel: a key pillar for inbound tourism to Germany
The business travel market is a key asset for Germany’s inbound tourism industry. Almost one quarter of the volume of all inbound travel from Europe to Germany is generated by business travellers – a higher proportion than in any other European country. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, demand in the traditional business travel segment had already been in decline for a number of years, whereas the market share of promotable business trips had been steadily increasing up to that point. But even after the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic and the associated disruption for the MICE market, over half of all inbound business trips to Germany were classed as promotable.
Focus on digitalisation and sustainability
The GNTB promotes forward-looking and sustainable tourism in line with the objectives of the German government. Sustainability is a core overarching topic for the GNTB and one with which it engages strategically across all areas of the organisation. To reflect the global shift in travellers’ values towards greater social and environmental responsibility, the GNTB is positioning Germany as a sustainable and inclusive destination in the international travel market.
When it comes to the digital transformation, the GNTB has become a pioneer in the use of immersive technologies, conversational interfaces, and artificial intelligence applications. To ensure that tourism offerings are visible on AI-based marketing platforms, the GNTB coordinates the German tourism industry’s open-data project, which aims to develop a tourism knowledge graph.
Innovation is key to the future of promotable business travel
Digitalisation and internationalisation are the key factors in the strategic partnership between the GNTB and the GCB. Both organizations are working hard to develop smart MICE formats and to incorporate them into the structure and international marketing of Germany’s business travel offering.