Values and Strategy

For a sustainably responsible tourism

  • The Institute for Tourism and Development (Studienkreis für Tourismus und Entwicklung) is committed to sustainable, socially responsible, and environmentally friendly tourism development.
  • Active in the field of development-related information and education, Studienkreis contributes to increased awareness among the public and in the tourism industry with regard to the impacts of tourism and tourism’s special responsibility for people in the host countries, their culture, nature, and the global environment.
  • The work of Studienkreis is of practical relevance and is focused on developing and newly industrialised countries, bringing together different stakeholders in tourism.

Independence and charitable status

  • The Institute for Tourism and Development works in a critical and constructive manner, with its work being based on evidence and of practical relevance.
  • The Studienkreis is a registered, non-profit organisation, holding its financial and political independence in high regard and maintaining it.
  • The activities and offers by Studienkreis contribute to the organisation’s highest possible degree of economic viability.

Committed to values

  • Since it was founded, the Institute for Tourism and Development has been committed to a kind of tourism development that strengthens human dignity, security, and justice for everybody involved in tourism.
  • Its activities show commitment to the principles of sustainability, participation, solidarity, diversity, and equal opportunities.
  • Studienkreis is committed to human rights, religious diversity, intercultural encounters, and stands up against group-focused enmity and/or racism.

Sustainability in tourism

  • The Institute for Tourism and Development stands for sustainable, environmentally friendly, and socially responsible tourism which is also economically viable on the long run.
  • Research, reports and public education are used in a critical approach pointing out risks and opportunities of tourism development for the local population affected. The objective is to sensitise as many tourism stakeholders as possible for respectful and responsible forms of travel.
  • Studienkreis supports developments and tourism initiatives which in terms of economic sustainability guarantee and promote fair working and living conditions for people working in tourism.

Travel in Times of Climate Change

  • The Institute for Tourism and Development (Studienkreis für Tourismus und Entwicklung) calls upon air travel and tour operators across the globe to integrate pro-active and responsible strategies for climate protection into their products and services. Travellers are urged to deliberately choose environmentally friendly options and alternatives.
  • The Institute for Tourism and Development has pointed out negative consequences of tourism flows and the associated impacts on the climate and risks for the tourism industry. It supports strategies for climate protection that include information on the ecological impacts of travel, are aimed at avoiding or reducing unnecessary travel, and include comprehensive offsetting of harmful tourism-related emissions.
  • The Institute for Tourism and Development is campaigning for sensible and enjoyable travel to remain possible, with tour operators and travellers taking more active responsibility for the environment and nature, globally and locally.

Promoting intercultural encounters

  • The Institute for Tourism and Development stands for a philosophy of travel characterised by curiosity and openness as well as respect for other people and their cultures.
  • The activities of Studienkreis generate empathy and understanding for other worldviews. With its projects, Studienkreis promotes intercultural learning, supports intercultural methods of imparting information, and strengthens intercultural skills.
  • Studienkreis is committed to a kind of tourism that contributes to encounters and mutual learning and encourages openness for cultural diversity in society.

“SympathieMagazin” booklets: Understanding the world

  • The Institute for Tourism and Development has published more than 50 country booklets, booklets on five world religions and on specific topics such as development, globalisation, environment, ”countries and people”, and human rights.
  • The “SympathieMagazin“ booklets make the case for a travel culture of encounter, respect, and mutual learning. They provide information on the social, political and economic background of the respective host countries.
  • With this important part of its work, Studienkreis provides insights into the daily lives of people in tourist receiving countries and allows glimpses behind the touristic scenes.

Intercultural Tour Guide Qualification

  • The Institute for Tourism and Development organises practical intercultural training seminars for tour guides in developing and newly industrialising countries. It sensitises and trains participants in their countries with regard to development issues, intercultural topics, and sustainability.
  • The seminars enable tour guides to become aware of their key role as facilitators between different cultures, to improve their own communication and reasoning skills, and to recognise and dismantle their own prejudices as well as those of tourists.
  • In this way, Studienkreis contributes to global context being better understood and imparted in a convincing manner, and to tour guides and tourists reflecting on questions of sustainable tourism development.

International contests

  • The Institute for Tourism and Development organises international contests which contribute to the recognition of socially responsible projects in the tourism sector and raise awareness among the public and tourism stakeholders of the risks and opportunities of tourism.
  • The “TO DO Award“ honours initiatives that enable local people’s participation and voice in decision-making on tourism projects, products and services. Its objective is to support local economies and use existing resources in an environmentally friendly manner, creating new sources of income and perspectives for the local population while at the same time promoting cultural identity and equal opportunities.
  • With the “TO DO Award Human Rights in Tourism“, Studienkreis awards initiatives, projects and individuals who have shown outstanding commitment to human rights principles along the touristic value chain. The objective of the award is to raise awareness among political decision-makers and business players for tourism to be developed in such a way as to respect human rights.

Activities in the fields of information and education

  • The Institute for Tourism and Development actively participates in public debates on tourism issues, brings different stakeholders together, and promotes dialogue within the sector.
  • With its own event formats such as the «Ammerlander Talks» and «ITB Interjections», Studienkreis takes up controversial issues in tourism, political and social development, initiates debates and addresses contemporary issues in tourism in a critical and constructive manner. The events target decision-makers in tourism, trade media, or – in the case of the «ITB Interjections» – the larger tourism community, particularly students, trainees, and junior staff in the tourism sector.
  • With its events and media relations, Studienkreis raises awareness of the social and economic impacts of tourism, of the impacts of tourism on the environment, and of the global impacts of tourism. It critically addresses the influence the political setting has on tourism and human rights violations in destinations.


  • The Institute for Tourism and Development conducts research on its own and on behalf of others, looking at the conditions, forms, and various impacts of tourism in many areas.
  • The research activities by Studienkreis serve to build a solid foundation for the organisation’s own work, to develop it further, and to optimise tourism products and services. They mainly consider the German source market for holiday trips to developing and newly industrialised countries.
  • The research projects by Studienkreis focus on questions related to encounters during holiday trips, the image of certain destinations, socially responsible and environmentally friendly forms of travel, or travel to countries with human rights violations.