For many people, Stylt represents myth, cult and legend. Numerous tales surround Germany’s beloved holiday island, and the fact that there is always more to discover greatly adds to its fascination. Since time immemorial, Sylt has been a meeting place for those who confront themselves and others with curiosity and open-mindedness. The island offers variety rather than arbitrariness and individuality rather than anonymity. Nearly 50 per cent of Stylt are a protected nature area. Endless sandy beaches and sharp-edged cliffs create a diverse interplay between the elements. Nature is and always was the island’s strongest aspect.
The newest trends in tourism therefore provide opportunities to reinforce these natural highlights further yet and to attract a wider target group. The Sylt Marketing Gesellschaft (SMG) has been focusing upon the redirection and reinforcement of the Sylt trademark since 2003, with Sylt representing the epitome of lived nature, passionate enjoyment and carefree life.
Sylt is and remains the tourist flagship of the federal state Schleswig-Holstein. In 2008, Germany’s northern-most holiday island recorded a 2.7 per cent increase in visitors. In comparison with 2007, the number of overnight stays rose by 1.7 per cent to over 6.6 million. As a countermove, the average duration of stays slightly decreased from 8.2 to 8.1 days – evidence of the constant trend towards shorter and repeated holidays in Germany. Sylt particularly reached peak values for its number of overnight stays during the summer months. With around 120,000 visitors, July tops yearly statistics, closely followed by August (117,705 visitors) and May (99,908 visitors). But even during the winter months, more visitors came to Sylt in 2008 than in the year before – a sign that the North Sea island is also becoming attractive in months outside of the high season.
Sylt has become increasingly significant over the past few years as a tourist trademark. The island’s silhouette and uniform lettering have become unmistakable characteristics portrayed on all means of communications. The umbrella trademark, Sylt, was reborn as well as strategically and communicatively reoriented in 2003. The slogan “Sea. Passion. Life.” reflects the characteristics that Sylt particularly stands for: closeness to nature, health, wellbeing and enjoyment.
Owing to this new reorientation, Sylt already recorded an increase in visitors of ten per cent in November 2003. Over the following years, communication was constantly being bit by bit developed.
In co-operation with the trademark communication agency in Neuwied, Thielker+Team, the SMG developed a new communication concept in 2009, which should particularly appeal to LOHAS (Lifestyle of Health and Sustainability), enthusiasts of health and environmentally conscious life.
From oyster farm and shifting dunes – the island of superlatives
Sylt’s broad tourism range convinces through its diversity. At List harbour, modern ambience combines with maritime flair.
Germany’s only oyster farm and shifting dunes attract the eye right here in the northern-most part of the island. Kampen – indeed, Germany’s most distinguished location – is exclusive, elegant and also extremely charming. Blossoming moors and far-reaching mud-flats in the east, rough North Sea surf and fine sandy beaches in the west; the location easily unites tradition with the modern world and creates space for music and literature. A true delight for the eye is also the famous “Whiskey Mile”, lined with its many clubs, bars and restaurants. Germany’s northern-most golf course caters for sporting variety. Its one of four golf courses on the island. For families, in particular, the joint community Wenningstedt-Braderup boasts top opportunities.
Whether as small discoverer in the mud-flats or as clown in the island circus – here, particularly young guests receive their full money’s worth. The Frisian villages of Tinnum, Keitum, Munkmarsch, Archsum und Morsum form the green heart of the island. Surrounded by juicy meadows and mud-flats, the old Frisian houses, with their thatched roofs, stand for tradition and lived customs. The heart of the island beats in the Westerland, Sylt’s largest town. Visitors can experience glittering concerts there, comfortably stroll alongside the many boutiques and stores or withstand the sea’s surf on a surf board.
A unique quality here is also gastronomic variety: matjes or oysters, haute cuisine and beach bistro. For fans of wellness, ayurvedic oil massage and Qi Gong courses in Westerland offer that long-desired change from the stresses of everyday life. Due to its central location, Westerland is also best-suited for Nordic Walking and island tours.
A mere stone’s throw away, in the Rantum Dunes, holidaymakers can enjoy the treasures of outstanding cuisine and wine cellars in a relaxed atmosphere. Many of Germany’s most talented chefs pamper the pallets of illustrious guests at Sylt, which not lastly can be recognized by its high concentration of stars. Finally, far south, the community of Hörnum lures through its fantastic beaches and strong-scented hedge roses. As central service provider and community project of the various towns on the island, Sylt Marketing GmbH promotes all of these treasures and attractions. The host directory, the well-loved website www.sylt.de with its over three million visitors and further online appearances are all maintained by the SMG. In addition to this, the company presents the destination of Sylt at tourist exhibitions and co-operates with tourist service providers such as transport companies and other marketing organizations.
Sylt, the “Frisian island of passion”, is the most powerful tourist destination trademark of Schleswig-Holstein; an island, which thanks to its singular range of services and the consequent re-orientation in the direction of people’s needs, looks confidently and free of fear into the future. Today more than ever.
Born in Kiel in 1975, the author studied tourism in Wilhelmshaven, following an education in hotel management at the Hamburger Hotel Vier Jahreszeiten. After this, he worked in the position of business manager of tourism organizations in Brake and in Papenburg. Since 2006, Moritz Luft has been responsible for the Sylt Marketing GmbH.