Klaus Lindemann: A place where you’ll like to meet – Booming tourism in Stuttgart, the “region of experiences”

Stuttgart and its region have a lot to offer: capital of the high-tech state of Ba­­den-Württemberg, economic, cultural, sporting and social centre of a region presenting an extraordinary variety: a wonderful, varied landscape, a wealth of gardens, museums, theatres, galleries, parks, baths, orchestras and so on, but also with the necessary infrastructure as well as the economic strength and innovative power. A new state fair, NeckarPark, Stuttgart 21, two new au­­tomobile museums and numerous newly set up hotels, to name but a few keywords illustrating the dynamism of this region.

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The close connection between location marketing and tourism promotion, which is successfully used in the Stutt­gart region, has coined the term “Stutt­garter Modell” as a seal of quality. A lot of factors were decisive for considering this combination as a role model. The first one is the region’s motto: “We can only be strong together.” We combine the forces of all 179 towns and municipalities in the region of Stuttgart, thereby creating the Stuttgart-Marketing and the Regio Stuttgart Marketing- und Tourismus GmbH. Both are an ideal network of co-operation between all relevant organizations.

The meetings and congress businesses benefit very highly from the co-op­eration strategy. The congress office of Stutt­­gart-Marketing is responsible for the entire region’s congress marketing. Considering the great variety of the lo­­cal supply of event venues, the congress office can draw on plentiful resources. We also have attractive offers on stock when it comes to providing a programme of experiences which add value to an event and its guests:
wine villages, fun fairs, Christ­mas markets, museums, exhibitions, opera, ballet, concerts, film and music festivals, restaurants, sporting events and many other things.


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We also set a focus on Russia, Korea and Vietnam. If we continue to work con­­sistently on the international and in­­no­vative marketing of the Stutt­gart region, we may realistically exceed the limit of seven million overnight stays per year in the next five years. This will enable us to continue to develop the excellent position of Stuttgart and the region in the European and worldwide competition.

The NeckarPark, the Killesberg area and not least also the Stuttgart 21 project are among the most important projects in city planning. The entire state will ben­­efit from Stuttgart 21, as it already does from the new state fair. In the marketing area we have planned a number of spe­­cial activities to promote the development. Within the scope of our building site marketing, we will invite special­ists, architects, engineers, town planners, trans­­portation experts and local politicians from all over the world to Stutt­gart already during the time of planning and building. When the once-in-a-century project, financed by the Bahn AG together with the state and the city, is finished Stuttgart will be connected to the great mainline railway from Paris to Buda­pest. A new district will be built on an area of 100 hectares in the immediate proximity to the city centre and it will complement the town. This gain in urbanity cannot be valued highly enough.

 

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The new Porsche museum, too, which opened on 31 January 2009, is an ad­­ditional highlight. The Neckar­Park will also develop even more into a popular tourist destination. These meas­­ures will attract new groups of visitors. This means, tourism in the region of Stutt­­gart will grow continuously. More guests, higher booking rates for the hotels and convention centres, a higher turnover, more added value. But all this carefully balanced, without any outliers. Three things are of utmost importance in all areas: quality, quality, quality. That is what we want to excel in. That is what we want to score with. That is what creates lasting faith and ensures continuity. But the ongoing critical review of the infrastructure, the offers and a never ending customer service are also es­­sential for our competitiveness and our success.

LindemannThe author is the tourism manager in Stutt­gart and the managing director of Stuttgart-Marketing GmbH as well as of the Regio Stuttgart Marketing- und Tour­ismus GmbH. He studied political scien­ces, sociology and history. After having worked as a journalist for a long time, he specialized in event management, marketing and city tourism. He is a member of the board of the Deutscher Touris­mus­­­verband (German Tourism Association).