||The biosphere reserve Vessertal (Biosphärenreservat Vessertal) is one of the two oldest biosphere reserves in Germany and represents a characteristic part of the central European highlands. It is part of the Thuringian Forest (Thüringer Wald). In this region nature based tourism is very traditional. Since 1999 the increase of touristic offers in combination with the development of more touristic infrastructure caused a variety of activities in visitor management. A first step was the definition of the aims of visitor management. The discussion showed soon that visitor management in the Vessertal should include more aspects than the protection of species and biotops. Nevertheless the survey of sensitive habitats and species is an important basis for all further steps towards a concept of sustainable development. Finally, the first results of a project of reducing the present network of touristic trails are presented.