The commodity most people immediately associate with the state of Rhineland-Palatinate is wine: There are six major wine regions in the state which produce more than 70% of the country’s wine exports. These regions along the primary rivers of the state, Moselle and Rhine being the most famous, also are the main tourism regions of Rhineland-Palatinate, combining beautiful river valley sceneries with the backdrop of the green, rolling vineyard hills. In addition, more than 40% of the land area are covered by forests.
Rhineland-Palatinate was formed in 1949 from large parts of what had formerly been the French Occupation Zone after the war. As the different regions combined into the new state had only very few cultural commonalities, there have repeatedly been attempts to dissolve the state at first and it took a few years for a common identity to develop.
A number of old villages and cities, many of which have been founded by the Roman Empire, are the main tourist attractions of Rhineland-Palatinate. The state also has a great number of castles and chateaus and is home to four UNESCO world heritage sites.
Tourism plays an important role for the state’s economy, which is, judged by its low unemployment rate, one of the most stable among German states. While there are only a few large corporations located in Rhineland-Palatinate, the economy is largely based on small and medium sized companies. Unlike the rest of Germany, the service sector’s share of the GDP is relatively low.