The German Tourism Association (DTV), which was founded in 1902 as the Federation of German Tourist Information Services, is the only umbrella body with a federal structure that is made up of local and regional tourism organisations plus the tourism bodies of the individual federal states. It has 94 regular and sustaining members. The regular members currently comprise the tourism organisations of twelve federal states, two city states and five regions. A further 32 towns and cities as well as all the local umbrella organisations are represented in the DTV. The 40 sustaining members include the German Automobile Association (ADAC) and Deutsche Bahn AG. Sustaining membership is open to all organisations and companies that support tourism in Germany.
Representing the tourism policy-related interests of the tourism industry, the DTV is committed to boosting Germany's growth as a travel destination. It lobbies for the ongoing improvement of the political framework, such as the scheduling of each federal state's school summer holidays in Germany. To this end, the DTV is calling for the holiday period to be spread as widely as possible across the summer months in order to improve occupancy rates in all German holiday regions. The DTV uses fundamental studies and other research to highlight the importance of the German travel industry for Germany's economy. It also promotes the expansion and maintenance of the tourism infrastructure and offers its members a wide range of advice and services. For example, it provides specific advice on legal issues and provides up-to-date templates for contracts and framework agreements.
Besides lobbying and providing information, the DTV focuses on travel-related work and projects designed to ensure high quality throughout the German tourism industry. As part of this, it advises on and coordinates many areas of quality tourism, grants certification and supports innovation in products and marketing. The DTV's business operations have been the responsibility of a subsidiary since 1973: DTV Service GmbH's main task is to classify holiday homes, apartments and private rooms.
It also awards the 'i-Marke', a Germany-wide quality standard for tourist information offices. High-quality service is one of the DTV's top priorities. DTV Service GmbH acts as a service procurement agent and coordinator for the internal quality management system "ServiceQualität Deutschland". This quality management system enables the implementation of individually tailored service standards and encourages service innovation.