Sector in brief
Tourism has a long tradition as an important economic sector in Bavaria – this can be traced back to the hospitality of the inhabitants, the breathtaking nature, the rich wealth of experience in communities as well as its cultural features. The cooperation of tourism associations, commercial tourism development, support by the LfA Förderbank Bayern and pioneering projects such as Bayern Cloud, which allows stakeholders to gather information for tourists (public transport, weather information, etc.) in one place, contribute massively to the success of tourism in Bavaria.
Whether it’s hiking hotels in the Fichtelgebirge, nature hotels in Spessart-Mainland or winter sports hotels in Chiemgau, Bavaria's tourists appreciate being active in harmony with nature. There are also numerous health resorts and spas in Bavaria that make it possible for tourists to spend a relaxing time here. Exclusive conference hotels belonging to international hotel chains in large cities profit from Bavaria's fast-growing economy just as much wellness or family hotels. Numerous recreational facilities such as climbing halls, summer toboggan runs and leisure parks make Bavaria a lively environment for investors, operators, project developers and tourists. The bus travel company Flixbus, the hotel chain Motel One or the travel group FTI Group are well-known companies from Bavaria's successful tourism industry.
The presence of different of leisure and hotel concepts throughout Bavaria can be attributed not least to the well-developed infrastructure in the tourism sector. For example, there are several international airports, a well-developed rail infrastructure and a large number of certified hiking trails. Tourism companies from a wide variety of categories and sectors have settled in Bavaria as a result of this excellent infrastructure. This outstanding local ecosystem offers investors, operators, tour operators and project developers a variety of opportunities to successfully implement tourism projects.
€33.9 billion total turnover in Bavaria
Outstanding events such as the Munich Oktoberfest, the Augsburg Plärrer or the Würzburg Kiliani fair attract large numbers of visitors from Germany and abroad year after year and contributed a large part to the Bavarian tourism industry’s total turnover of €33.9 billion in 2017. They also serve as excellent ambassadors for the Bavarian way of life: well planned and yet casual, vibrant and yet cosy, full of highs and yet down-to-earth.
Tourism industry figures
accommodation establishments (2019)
guest beds offered (2019)
overnight stays (2019)
percent of Germany-wide overnight stays take place in Bavaria (2019)
Talent & research
Due to its wide range of renowned educational institutions, Bavaria offers excellent opportunities for tourism companies to recruit qualified specialists. For example, there are a large number of hotel and vocational colleges that offer vocational training in the tourism sector. The list includes, for example, training to become a state-certified hotel business administrator or a state-certified assistant for hotel and tourism management. Training centres for this are for example the Staatliche Berufsschule Immenstadt, the Staatliche Berufsschule Berchtesgadener Land, the College and Vocational College of Hotel Management Pegnitz or the Staatliche Hotelfachschule Bad Kissingen.
Furthermore, it is also possible to rely on specialists who have completed their studies in the field of tourism. For example, the State Vocational School Centre Wiesau offers a dual study programme, the University of Kempten a Bachelor degree in Tourism Management and Munich University of Applied Sciences Bachelor & Master degrees in Tourism Management and Master in Hospitality Management. There is also a Bavarian centre of excellence for tourism at Kempten University of Applied Sciences and a Tourism Department at the Bavarian State Ministry of Economic Affairs, Regional Development and Energy, which reflect the importance of tourism as a leading economy.
One outstanding network for tourist enterprises is the Bayerische Hotel- und Gaststättenverband DEHOGA Bayern e.V., which is committed to the interests of hoteliers and restaurant operators, networks them and acts as a recognised dialogue partner for politics, interest groups, the press and administration. In addition, Bavaria offers tourism businesses a professional marketing service through Bayern Tourismus Marketing GmbH, as well as through the regional associations Tourismusverband Franken e.V., Tourismusverband Ostbayern e.V., Tourismusverband Allgäu/Bayerisch-Schwaben e.V. and Tourismusverband Oberbayern München e.V.. More than 70 spas, health resorts and spa facilities are also organised in the Bayerischer Heilbäderverband e.V. association.
Support for start-ups in the tourism sector
The innovation-friendly climate in Bavaria favours the development of start-ups in the tourism sector. For example, Munich Startup supports start-ups in the tourism industry in cooperation with the IHK for Munich and Upper Bavaria, DEHOGA Bavaria e. V. / Upper Bavaria district and the Tourism Upper Bavaria Munich e.V. (TOM) within the framework of the Upper Bavaria Tourism Forum.
The “Ois Easy" programme from Invest in Bavaria also supports start-ups when they enter the German or European market and provides office space free of charge for three months, among other things. BayStartUp is also an excellent contact for start-ups in the tourism sector and can be reached at offices in Nuremberg and Munich.