Tourism as a catalyst in the Fehmarn Region
08-04-2014Tourism & Culture
When the Fehmarnbelt tunnel opens in 2021, Northern Europe will see many changes. Mobility will increase for the close to 10 million people who live closest to the tunnel, and it will be easier for neighbours to visit each other’s countries and later live or work on the other side of the border.

Picture :www.norden.org

''It will be a game changing new infrastructure that opens in 2021 and therefore we see tourism as an important factor to assure that our region gets the best possible benefits from the fixed link in terms of integration and growth'' says Vibeke Storm Rasmussen, Chairman of the STRING political cooperation between Skåne, Zealand and Northern Germany.

At the political summit in Copenhagen today the 6 partners in STRING agreed on a political statement supporting and encouraging the tourism industry to play an active role in integration, growth and creation of new jobs in the wake of the fixed link:Tourism does not only create hotel nights and turnover for the tourism industry, but it also creates jobs, international awareness, networks and a basis for strategic infrastructure such as airports, arenas and congress centers. Tourism is the only completely destination bound industry, since it can't be outsourced or moved elsewhere, and it's also an industry returning VAT and other taxes directly to the tourism destination.

Tourism therefore creates an overall growth agenda, since it is a sector that will:

• Increase mobility across the region's borders and thereby create integration 

• Expand the common market place to attract more international tourists

• Act as a catalyst for a common labor market, housing market, trade and services across borders 

• Lift existing regional visions and development plans

• Strengthen the sense of belonging to the region

• Raise the awareness of a common cultural heritage among the region's inhabitants

A new tourism strategy, "Building Tourism", for the whole corridor from Hamburg to the Öresund region was presented for the politicians who support the new initiatives.

The STRING partners vowed to pursuit tourism as one of the key prioritized areas of work for the STRING cooperation, and to contribute to driving the development of a strong and coherent tourism sector in the Fehmarnbelt region.

-''We will do this at a regional as well as local basis through the work carried out by our respective existing tourism organizations. STRING will also centrally carry out this work by being one of the facilitators of the initiatives presented in the Building Tourism strategy, and sustain the recommendations that will later follow from the new collaboration of tourism organizations'' says Vibeke Storm Rasmussen

Please click HERE to read the Building Tourism Strategy - and click HERE for the Appendix.

Please click HERE to read the STRING Political Statement on Tourism