Saturday, 17 April 2010


Tourism is a major industry and also a major topic for conversation for anyone learning German. Here's a list of topics that students are expected to talk about or discuss at AS level (exams taken by 17 or 18 year olds in England )
  • different types of holidays and holiday activities
  • what's important when choosing a holiday
  • what can be stressful about holidays
  • pros and cons of tourism e.g. impact on destinations,cultures, global environment and climate
  • impact of tourism on the German economy
A useful starting point would be making lists of vocabulary that you might need under these topics and some useful phrases. For instance, for types of holidays and holiday activities you might list: Strand & Sonne - Wellness, Spa & Beaty - Aktivurlaub & Abenteur-Touren - Sportlich Aktiv - Radreisen - Wanderreisen - Kanu/Kajak. But you also need to note what are the attractions of these types of holiday and to whom they are likely to appeal. If you are looking for entspannen und wohlfühlen then perhaps that would suggest lounging on the beach. However, vigorous activity helps some people relax and feel good.

As ever, a good source of general information is Wikipedia and this quite lengthy entry will tell you about Gesellschaftlich Bedeutung - Kulturelle Auswirkungen - Auswirkungen auf Umwelt und Natur - Wirtschaftliche Bedeutung. I found it particularly interesting that they also handle sustainable tourism, fair trade and problems likely to arise in the future - Sanfter und nachhaltiger Tourismus - Fairer Handel im Tourismus - Zukunftsprobleme.

When it comes to the impact of tourism on the Germany economy I have two suggestions beyond Wikipedia. The first is a report from Deutsche Welle earlier this week Traumziel Berlin: Touristen bringen Aufschwung in die Hauptstadt which is accompanied by a brief video to watch online or download as an MP4 file. The second appears to be someone's dissertation (Diplomarbeit) presented as website  This is not as specialist as it sounds and you can easily pick out sections that interest you - for instance, Bedeutung und Trends des Tourismus in Deutschland. You can see some of the section headings in the image of part of the site navigation.

When you work with websites like this, make sure you pick out key vocabulary and highlight a few facts and opinions that you think might be useful. You might also consider the consequences of the world economic situation on tourism in Germany. A couple of short articles might help with this - Deutschland wird wieder entdeckt and Deutschland ist der beste Verlierer And here are a couple of questions for you: Ist der Kurztrip im eigenen Land die Antwort der Deutschen auf die schwerste Wirtschaftskrise der Nachkriegszeit? Warum ist Deutschland als beste Verlierer genannt?

I'll leave it to you to do some research on what can be stressful about holidays. The key word to search for is Urlaubstress but you might try combining several in one search. Pick  any of the following Panne, Flughafen, Auto, Krise to include with Urlaub and/or Stress.

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