New avenues for tourism: Residents need to benefit more

The Baltic Sea resort of Binz.Scratched cars from holidaymakers in the Corona period, residents who get annoyed and grumble about the “tourist traffic queue” on the streets, and holidaymakers who really let it all out elsewhere. No question: The relationship between guests and residents of West Pomerania used to be more relaxed. Tourism acceptance is the magic word of the time, with which politics and tourism management try to take countermeasures and build bridges.

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At the island conference, organized and moderated by the Rügen Tourism Association, the second day of the conference dealt not only with topics such as fisheries and opportunities to generate energy, but also with this area of ​​tension. Because – whether it is Heligoland, Herring, Usedom or Rügen – there is a focus on the unity between holidaymakers and residents everywhere.

“Reconsider tourism”

“Uncontrolled tourism development can topple, we have known that for a long time,” described Cornelius Obier from Agency M, which specializes in tourism projects and concepts, in his presentation. “We need to rethink tourism,” he demanded. “In other aspects. Above all, the role of the local population needs to be involved much more.”

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However, pure communication or marketing is not enough here. “You can not convince people that tourism is great,” Obier says. “Similar campaigns do not go far enough. We must create benefit. What does the population get out of tourism? ” Tourism concepts would not be everything, instead so-called living space concepts are forward-looking, such as those already being developed for Borkum or Juist. The creation of quality of life is in focus.

Cornelius Obier from Project M during his presentation on the future of tourism

Cornelius Obier from Project M during his presentation on the future of tourism

Any tourism project should also benefit everyone

This task will come to the tourism organizations, says Obier. “Every tourism measure should also contribute to an overall goal. Looking inward into the city will be the deciding factor. ” He gives the first practical strategies against the residents’ impending frustration: “More offers for the population, it is not acceptable for tourists to have a better infrastructure than the residents.” But also: “Use visitor management to avoid spatial overcrowding” and “Generate more added value locally, for example through our own booking platforms.” The daily working principles of politics and tourism were also put to the test. “What monitoring numbers do you work with?” he asked the approximately one hundred participants at the conference in Binz ‘Kurhaus hall. “The goal is still the maximum number of nights. Maybe you should only use the low season for monitoring – maybe also include completely different criteria. “

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Rügen on the way to the living space concept

The director of tourism in Binz, Kai Gardeja, also believes that a living space concept for Rügen makes sense. “Sometimes we have to break down these different perspectives. People need to feel good – whether they live here or only there is a temporary Past. “We need to ask ourselves how we can create a better quality of life,” he says. To this end, tourism researcher Richard Florida has developed his so-called 3 Ts, which can easily be extended to include the fourth T, tourism. Talents, technologies, tolerance and tourism. ” To achieve this, one must become active in four focus areas and achieve qualitative improvements. “It’s mobility, culture, education and energy supply,” says Gardeja. “We also need to learn to think differently here. A cycle path, for example, should not be considered in isolation for tourists. In the field of education, one should try to work together to avoid leaps in education. ”

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Island steering wheel and projects for all people – not just tourists

But what does this mean in practice for the island? “It makes sense to develop a structural organization for participation and co-creation,” says Gardeja. »So an island council or something like that. After all, people need to be involved in processes. ” In addition, the further development of the Rügen brand and numerous initiatives awaiting the quality of life of locals and visitors await. “There are many examples of how it can work,” says Gardeja. In Warfenweng, Austria, for example, they rely on a mobility concept with shuttle buses running to the front door. Both guests and locals use the offer, tourism acceptance has grown. In the field of architecture, Gardeja brings in the star architect Patrick Lüth from the architectural firm Snøhetta. He recommends “build less”. “Go into rooms with humility,” Gardeja says. “Do not just let all investors go.”

Island Conference Environment Award 2022

The island conference’s environmental prize in 2022 was awarded to two prize winners. On the one hand to the Bye bye Plastic association from the island of Herring. Steffi Schröter and Heike Werner work together to avoid plastic waste. The association accompanies companies and individuals on their way away from plastic waste and distributes a similar seal, which enjoys a high acceptance.

Nils Peters was also honored for his regional orientation in the company “Bäckerei Peters”. In contrast to the large flow of goods on the world market, he is dependent on regional cultivation and processes products from the island of Rügen, including spelled and rye.

Statements one could not imagine ten years ago. A lot of fresh wind at this second island conference. Knut Schäfer, chairman of the Rügen Tourism Association, was pleased. “A versatile successful conference that I really see as a gallop into the future cooperation between the islands.” The next island conference is to take place next year in the East Frisian islands.

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By Anne Ziebarth

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