|Posted on June 16, 2016 at 11:00 AM|
We would like to welcome you to the Tourism Information office in Neumarkti.d.OPf., where we met up with tourism officer, Rainer Seitz. There is a small team working at the Tourism Information office, which consists of both full time and part time employees. The Tourism Information office is the go-to place for tourists when they get into town, whether they are looking for a hotel room in Neumarktor have questions about the important sights that can be seen. In addition to this, they are also part of the organizing team that organizes and markets eventsheld for the residents of Neumarkt. The team makes use of a special hall called the https://www.neumarkt.de/en/culture/festival-halls/reitstadel.html" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Historical Reitstadel for cultural events in the Residenzplatz. The office sells tickets for the concerts and events that takes place here, as well as the souvenirs.
The team is constantly searching for ideas that would attract tourists and residents from the surrounding towns to Neumarkt. They are responsible for the promotionand the distribution of the brochures of the numerous hiking trails, cycling trails and golf courses. This is one of their strategies of promoting sustainable activities around the town and to achieve this they work together with the BürgerhausNeumarkt. Some argue about how sustainable some of these activitiesreally are. Even with hiking, an activity that does not have a carbon footprint, there are still environmental impacts due to possible pollution and habitat disturbance when people walk off the path. Even with these uncertainties the office continues to make people aware of benefits of utilising the hiking and cycling trails around the city rather than driving in motor vehicles.Utilising the trails is also the best way of seeing all of the attractive landscapesin the city.
The cycling trails that they promote, stretch between Nürnberg, Neumarkt and Regensburg. These three cities have a strong connection and they form the hotspots for tourism in East Bavaria. There are a lot of people from Neumarkt that work in Nürnberg and a lot of people from Nürnbergthat holiday in Neumarkt. The same goes for people in Regensburg. These three towns have various activities that they plan together and one of these activities is the connecting bike trails from one city to the other. The Tourism office in Neumarkt is only responsible for the promotion of the trail from Neumarkt’s side. There are also some spots along this trail that have e-bike charging stations.
There are around 500kms of marked hiking trails in and around the town of Neumarkt. The Tourism office have initiated a new project in April 2016 using these hiking trails to celebrate the “https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reinheitsgebot" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">German Beer Purity Law”. The beer trail is about 15km. Their idea was to have the public from Nürnberg use the public transport to get to Neumarkt. The beer trail then starts at the train station, where participants have to visit atleast 3 guest houses and each of these guest houses has an association with the three breweries in Neumarkt Stadt. Before they begin the trail, they get a list of guest houses that they could visit with a map. After they have visited these locations they get a stamp, and when they have collected enough stamps, they get a little prize in the form of a souvenir glass. This glass has the logos of the different breweries on it. This is a sustainable project because it promotes public transport, hiking and supportsthe local breweries and promotes community upliftment.
One of the biggest hiking trails in the brochure, “the best of Europe”, is a trail that runs rights around Neumarkt. It is around 48 km long and they are forms part of the German Wander Association. This association has certain criteria for trails that want to part of the association. There are only 21 trails in Europe that are part of this association. Neumarkt has gone a step further and now their trails are now fulfil the European standards, which have stricter criteria than the German association. There are only 9 trails in Europe that meet their criteria and Neumarkt is one of them.
The tourism office themselves are not responsible for maintaining and upgrading the trails, but they have a contracting firm and also consultant that does the maintenance. They have to maintain a high level of quality to keep their membership in these associations. When you join these associations, you have three years to test the trail, and while you are part of the German association you will always get surprise inspection visits from them. This ensures that the trails are always kept in good shape throughout the year. When they do a check up on the trail, they take a look at about 20 km of the route to make sure it is in good shape.
The biggest sustainable project that has ever been undertaken in Neumarkt was the Landesgartenschau in 1998. This great garden exhibition ran from April that year to October and more than 1 million people visited Neumarkt in those few months. This area where the exhibition was held was once a water clearing station, so when the clearing station was moved to its current location, the area still smelled bad. The mayor at that time saw this as an opportunity to transform this vacant space into something that can be used for the community and also to promote tourism. The Tourism office only had three years to do this, where most cities would had 5 or more years to do the same type of project. The team spent a lot of time doing marketing around this project to make people aware of it. After three years, the objective was reached and the garden was complete. Today, 90% of the original garden is still being used and maintained by the county. Now they have even more activities to do at the garden, including open air programs in the summer, mini golf and a restaurant on the wharf.
The Tourism Information office also offers a sustainable walk around the town of Neumarktthat ends at the One World Station. They also have, in corporation with the Bürgerhaus, developed a “4-Elemente WegNeumarkt”. When you walk the trail you get spots for information that focus on the four elements of earth, fire, wind and water.
We want to wish Rainer and his team all the best and we hope that they find new more way of linking sustainability with tourism.
Categories: Government Administration