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Doing Business in Germany

Germany is a nation of travellers and the national passion for travel is serviced by a strong network of German travel sellers. 

Tourism New Zealand has built strong relationships with travel sellers in Germany and these relationships are managed from our Europe office, based in London. German travellers are well known researchers and our distribution channel research findings below provide some market insights.

Market Key Facts

Key Source Regions/Cities

Hamburg, Berlin, Frankfurt, Stuttgart, Munich

Direct Routes into New Zealand

None

Airlines

Singpore Airlines, Lufthansa/Air New Zealand (no direct AirNZ long-haul flight out of Germany), Qantas, Cathay Pacific, Emirates, Korean Air

Leave Entitlement

5-7 weeks per annum

Population

81,147,265 (July 2013 est.)

Languages

German

Currency

Euro (EUR)

Total Outbound Travellers

73,000,000 (2011)

Peak Booking Periods

September - November
January - February

Peak Travel Periods

November - April

Data sources: 
CIA World Factbook
 (Currency, Population, Language)
Reiseanalyse_RA09 (Total Outbound Travel)

Doing Business in Germany

  • New Zealanders have a positive reputation among Germans, being seen as uncomplicated and direct - qualities the Germans admire.

  • There are numerous commercial centres in Germany and travelling between them can be both costly and time consuming. This should be taken into account when planning a travel schedule.

  • For the business environment, the dress code is formal in Germany. A casual but smart dress code is expected for any leisure activities involving business partners. Jeans, shorts or sneakers are normally not acceptable.

  • For correspondence or at official events, people address each other formally, i.e. by their last name. Don't assume everyone will have English language skills.

  • Attention to detail is most important. Ensure that proposals are backed up with a lot of logical, supporting arguments and concrete examples. Germans are very schedule-oriented and business communication is very agenda-based.

  • It is not appropriate to request appointments from large organisations at short notice. Long lead times are generally expected. Punctuality with appointments is vital and German companies expect overnight replies to business correspondence.

  • Entertaining is commonly used to establish and maintain business relationships. Alcohol should be handled carefully. A lot of German companies now have an alcohol-free policy in place for lunch appointments, but business dinners with alcohol are common and often seen as an important way to create closer relationships.

  • It is advisable to avoid conducting business in the months of July and August, as this is Germany's main summer holiday period and many business contacts take extended leave. The actual Christmas break is relatively short and most people are back at work during the first week of January. Also avoid scheduling appointments on Friday afternoons as some offices shut by 2:00 pm or 3:00 pm on Fridays.

Want to know more about doing business in Germany?

Visit the New Zealand Trade & Enterprise website.