Germans retained their position as the world leaders in expenditure on foreign travel last year, a study released today showed.

Germans spent a total of 60.5 billion euros on business and leisure trips in 2006, according to Dresdner Bank's annual report on the tourism sector.

The figure represents 11 per cent of worldwide expenditure on foreign travel, keeping Germany ahead of the United States in the spending stakes.

The study also showed that German spending on foreign travel rose 3.5 per cent in 2006, the biggest rise since 2000, which the report attributed to the improved performance of the German economy.

While Austria and Spain remained favourite destinations for Germans, security fears led to a drop in visits to Muslim countries such as Turkey, Egypt and Tunisia, the study showed.

Source: AFP