Ostholstein tourism: Future potential and current challenges
The upcoming Fehmarnbelt Link will give the Baltic Coast of Schleswig-Holstein more visitors and more revenue. However, there will be challenges, unless actions to lessen negative consequences are implemented. The authors of the report from the NIT Institute for Tourism and Seaside Resort Research in Northern Europe, which was prepared for the Organization Ostholstein Tourismus e.V., had a number of recommendations up their sleeve.
According to the authors, the segment of short-term travelers from Denmark and southern Sweden are to be strengthened. This segment has a significantly greater potential than tourists on longer holidays or transit travelers.
In addition, today’s travel potential can be developed better. Today travel is predominantly based on shopping trips. The price differences between Scandinavia and Germany could also be utilized in other areas such as medical, dental, visits for various treatments, workshops etc.
Conferences and meeting facilities should provide more offers due to meeting venues and conference hotels in scenic locations. After the opening of the Fehmarnbelt Fixed Link the island og Fehmarn will almost be midway between both Hamburg and Copenhagen.
After the tunnel opening, Ostholstein will be easily accessible by rail. This should create an opportunity for rail-oriented service companies to explore new or improved products (transfer to and from stations, luggage and bike transport, etc.) – as should a train schedule and tariff system, attuned to tourists’ needs, be considered.
The report concludes that the construction sites during the construction phase constitutes a weakening of the tourism potential. But these sites are in fact placed so far from the tourist ares concerned, that one cannot assume serious disturbances affecting tourists. It is an important common task to communicate this fact to the public.
If work is done on the hinterland connection for rail and road, and there is work on the Fermernsund Bridge, thereby stopping the train for a period, you risk creating serious bottle necks around the Fehmarnsund. This will impair the accessibility of Fehmarn seriously. Therefore, there should be a timed planning of the construction works and the arrangement of attractive alternative transport to and from the island, the report concluded.
STRING calls for action and cooperation
STRING Managing Director Jacob Vestergaard highlights the great potential for tourism due to the improved infrastructure and the increased availability in the future.
– It is certainly crucial that the tourism networks in the STRING Corridor work even more closely on the basis of STRING’s tourism strategy. Our strategy’s orientation is from the local tourism to the increased attractiveness of a new, coherent and European travel destination – a destination with two closely connected metropolises; Hamburg and Copenhagen. A destination that also offers cozy market towns and villages, long beaches and a varied nature, says Jacob Vestergaard.
– At the same time, there is also a tourism potential during the construction. Look at the existing experience from the exhibition on the Øresund Bridge. This exhibition was one of the biggest tourist attractions in southern Sweden in the late 90s and through the years. The idea is to use these experiences by marketing exhibitions and construction sites on both sides of the Fehmarnbelt as tourist attractions, says Jacob Vestergaard.