Our beautiful countryside has always been the trademark of the Chiemgau. Tourism is an important element of the local economy. But there’s more than just scenery. “Homeland, high tech, highlights” is the motto of the county of Traunstein. Strong sectors such as electrical engineering, IT, mechanical engineering and the plastics industry are based here. Traunstein county constitutes the southern tip of the Bavarian Chemical Triangle. 3,200 people work in the chemical industry. The fields of nutrition, health care, rehab and wellness taken together provide jobs for 5,500 people. This mix of industries plus the proximity to the internationally renowned cities of Salzburg and Munich, with universities and airports, make the county of Traunstein a region with good future prospects.
“Chiemgau – Bavaria’s smile”: This is the charming slogan which the 35 towns, market towns and municipalities of Traunstein county jointly use to promise their guests an enjoyable, high-quality “temporary home” in all seasons. The numerous wellness, sports, leisure and rehab facilities, together with the excellent food producing and mineral water bottling companies and agricultural operations, are to be merged into a health region along the “chain” of spa towns consisting of Bad Aibling, Bad Endorf and Bad Reichenhall.
Traunstein county easily demonstrates that a landscape straight out of a picture book and a centre of industry do not have to be contradictory. Leading international and export-oriented companies of the electronics, chemical, optical and metrology industries are based here. About 8,500 medium-sized firms benefit from a positive business environment. Almost 4,000 skilled-trades firms are the solid foundation of the regional economy.
Due to the eastward expansion of the European Union, the county of Traunstein has become a Central European hub and is increasingly developing into one for Eastern and Southern Europe. The proximity to the airports of Munich, Salzburg and Innsbruck, the A8 motorway and the Frankfurt-Munich-Salzburg-Linz Intercity connection make it an attractive transport junction in the heart of Europe.
A large number of farm operations cultivate the countryside and at the same time produce food “from the region for the region”.
State-of-the-art production methods are used to produce quality food from natural resources, which is valued far beyond the borders of the Chiemgau.
The “Region Aktiv” initiative was especially set up as a partner to promote regional buying in South-East Upper Bavaria, which comprises the counties of Traunstein, Berchtesgadener Land, Altötting, Mühldorf and Rosenheim.
The county too, sees itself as a business. Its “annual turnover” in 2009 amounts to some 150 million euros. 24.5 million euros are provided for the capital budget alone. This is added to by the “subsidiaries”: the nursing home organization “Kreisalten- und Pflegeheime GmbH & Co. KG”, accounting for ten million euros, and the housing construction company “Wohnungsbau GmbH”, accounting for two million. In July 2009, the counties of Traunstein and Berchtesgadener Land merged their five hospitals to form one of the most proficient providers of health care services in Southern Bavaria. It offers in-patient treatment for about 47,000 patients annually at five locations in Traunstein, Trostberg, Bad Reichenhall, Berchtesgaden and Freilassing. With its 3,100 employees, the Kliniken Südostbayern AG is among the largest companies in the region.
Over the next ten years, Traunstein county will spend about 100 million euros on expanding schools and traffic routes as part of an investment programme for education and infrastructure. Thus the county, which runs four intermediate secondary schools, four grammar schools, three vocational schools, one agricultural school, one specialized secondary school including a higher vocational school, and a support centre for children with special needs, attended by a total of 12,500 pupils, provides development opportunities particularly for the young generation. The second priority is a transport development plan aiming to expand no less than 40 traffic routes to relieve the burden on municipalities and offer businesses better development possibilities.
Traunstein county is at the top of Germany’s first league table for solar energy. By 2020, 100 per cent of the county’s electricity demand is to be covered by renewable energies – a goal that, according to district administrator Hermann Steinmaßl, is a binding obligation to protect the environment.
The business development agency of the county is pushing ambitious projects, such as a hotel master plan, a broadband initiative to enable future-proof internet access throughout the county, or an intermodal freight terminal.
The Chiemgau has world renown as a sporting region. Ruhpolding, for example, is firmly established on the Biathlon World Cup calendar and will host the Biathlon World Championships for the forth time in 2012. The multiple world champions and Olympic medal winners Kati Wilhelm, Ricco Groß and Michael Greis as well as mixed relay world champion Andreas Birnbacher come from here. Besides Ruhpolding, Inzell is the second world-famous winter sports venue in Traunstein county. The most famous athlete is Anni Friesinger-Potsma – two Olympic gold medals and numerous world cup titles are just a few examples of her outstanding career.
Other internationally successful athletes from Chiemgau are the cross-country relay skiing gold medallist of the Salt Lake City Olympics, Evi Sachenbacher-Stehle, the cross-country skier and two-time overall World Cup champion Tobias Angerer, and the seven-time Paralympics gold medallist and multiple world champion Martin Braxenthaler. They are ambassadors of this unique region that combines so many things:
HOMELAND, HIGH TECH, HIGHLIGHTS
and thus the most natural link with the Munich Metropolitan Region!
The author, born in 1948, is district administrator of Traunstein county. Since 2005, he has been chairman of the Regionaler Planungsverband Südostoberbayern. He studied at the Staatsbauschule München and worked as a civil engineer until 2001. From 1998 to 2002, he was a member of the Bavarian state parliament; from 2002 to 2005, he was the president of the Euregio Salzburg/Berchtesgadener Land/Traunstein.