Day 3: Tourism
Hello and welcome to the third day of the Baltic Sea Forum 2020. We hope that you all have a happy new year. And now we hope you enjoy today's video about tourism. Our first guest speaker is Prof. Dr. Bjorn Jacobsen. He is a professor at Stralsund University and will briefly present German-Polish tourism.
Hello and welcome to our contribution on tourism within the framework of the Baltic Sea Forum 2020. I was invited by the Baltic Sea Forum team to give you an overview of Polish tourism. And actually it's about Polish tourism in a nutshell. So it will only be a 10 minute presentation.
I am referring a little to a project that I have carried out over the past few years as part of my involvement in the Baltic Sea Tourism Center. Here I examined the development of tourism in the Baltic Sea region. My name is Björn Jacobsen and I am Professor of International Management Studies at Stralsund University.
In the context of this article I would like to give you a background on tourism in the Baltic Sea region, especially Poland, a little bit about data and facts and where they come from. After that, in the second part, I would like to give an overview of Polish tourism. Based on statistical data, which I would like to put in relation to German tourism. In the third part I would like to give you a brief overview of the qualitative aspects of tourism in Poland. And draw the comparison to Germany again.
So, these are the topics we'll be talking about in the next 10 minutes. First of all, I have to admit that I am not a tourism expert. In my research, I mainly focus on working in the Baltic Sea region. A few years ago I was involved in a project related to tourism in the Baltic Sea region. I examined different tourism markets and among them was of course Poland as one of the larger markets in the southern part of the Baltic Sea region. In this context, I worked with the Polish Ministry of Sports and Tourism, which gave me a lot of insights into Polish tourism policy and the plans for the further development of tourism in Poland. An aspect that I learned there, which made a great distinction between tourism in Poland and tourism on the Polish Baltic coast, ...
This is also an aspect that I would like to highlight in this short presentation to give you a great overview of the general Development in Poland, in particular the development on the Polish Baltic coast in relation to tourism. So that's a bit about the background and where I got my data from. Again, I want to mention that I'm not a tourism expert per se, but I think I can give you some insight. Ok, then let's start with a few key figures, look at the relationships and think about how we could characterize tourism. I looked at four key figures that characterize Polish tourism.
In fact, I should say tourism in general, but I looked specifically at the key figures for the Polish tourism market. Also for the German market. So we can contrast these a bit.
One of these indicators is overnight stays. So tourists who stay for a longer period of time, not day tourists. And here you can see that Poland has around 84 million overnight days per year. You might say that 84 million is a lot or not that much at all, how can we compare that? If we compare that with Germany, Germany as a whole has almost 400 million overnight stays per year. If you put this in relation to the number of inhabitants and compare it with the German market, you could say that there is still potential in the Polish market. As I indicated earlier, we make a distinction between tourism in general and tourism on the Baltic coast.
If we now look at this in Poland, there are the three Polish voivodeships that border the Baltic Sea coast. And of the 84 million overnight stays, around 27 million happen on the Polish Baltic coast. That is quite something. So we could say that a lot of tourism is related to the Polish Baltic coast. If we compare this again with Germany, we of course also have a touristic Baltic Sea coast region, which is in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Schleswig-Holstein and Hamburg.
We have about 67 million here. So here too there is still potential for the Polish tourism market on the Baltic coast. About 20% of total overnight stays in Poland are from international guests. So 80% national and 20% international tourism. If we compare that to Germany, we have about 20% international travelers. This is basically more or less the same, but on the German Baltic coast we have about 10% international travelers. So we have far more national travelers and more Germans traveling to the Baltic Sea coast than international guests. So that's another number, and if we look at the last number, just to get a little bit into perspective, about 2% of the workforce in Poland are directly employed in tourism, and if we go to the Polish Baltic coast, are it about 3%. In Germany around 7%
of employees work in tourism and on the German Baltic Sea coast it is around 5.5%. The last number or quantitative characteristics of Polish tourism is something like: Where do international travelers come from? What we can see is that, especially now when we look at the Polish Baltic coast, the majority of the international guests are from Germany. They count for over 800,000 arrivals per year. Then there is basically a huge gap in terms of quantities, but number two is Russia,
then Sweden, Denmark and travelers from the United Kingdom from number 5. If we compare that to Germany and the German Baltic coast, this is this Top tourism source market from an international perspective Denmark with around 600,000 overnight stays, then we have Sweden, Switzerland, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. We see that it is a bit different in terms of confusion and that is probably also a bit characteristic of the German point. So, as far as the statistics and if you are interested in learning a little more about the statistics , I can recommend a documentation that deals with tourism statistics in the Baltic Sea region and especially in Poland and Germany , which you can download from the website of the Baltic Sea Tourism Center, which is easy to remember: bstc.eu for Baltic Sea Tourism Center.eu. So that was the second part. The third part deals a little with the qualitative aspects of Polish tourism and it was an interesting discussion I had with colleagues from the Polish Ministry of Sports and Tourism about the qualitative development of tourism in Poland in general and there are 5 top Issues raised by the ministry in relation to the future development of tourism and the first is improved regulation for Polish tourism and that does not mean restricting tourism, but better funding tourism promotion, making tourist routes more accessible do and all of this requires something like a legal framework. That was number one. Number 2 is the development of more local tourism products,
so not only promoting Poland as a tourist destination in general, but also looking at regional and local tourism markets. Number 3 is improving the training of staff who work in tourism. Number 4 was that Poland is looking to develop new source markets. So we just talked about international arrivals and travelers. Poland is interested in opening up new markets, especially in the Middle East with a special focus on Israel and also in Asia with a special focus on China. Now we all know that it
might be a little difficult to talk about international travel in these times , but at least that's on the agenda of Polish tourism development. Number five is that this has been included in a 2020 plus program for tourism development in Poland funded by the Polish Ministry of Sports and Tourism. The last topic I want to address is to talk a little about the strength of Polish coastal tourism, and here we have an interesting exchange with those responsible for tourism in the Pomorskie region who are trying to encourage and convey that to potential tourism investors In addition to the tourist, of course, the heritage is also a great asset, which is a great advantage. It is about national resources, so everyone who has been to the Polish coast enjoyed beaches. It's about the price-performance ratio, so that you get something for your money on the Polish tourism market, and it's about accessibility, i.e. improving the infrastructure,
accessibility by train, road and also by plane. These are the strengths. On the other hand, there are also some weaknesses and the main weakness that has been identified is that in the meantime we could also experience something like crowded areas and Polish tourism is working on that too. I hope that this very short introduction has given you an impression of Polish tourism both in facts and figures and in qualitative aspects. As I said, it was only meant to be a brief introduction, and I believe you will get a much more detailed look at the other posts on this part of the Baltic Sea Forum 2020. Thank you and have fun with the rest of the sessions. Our next contribution comes from Johannes Volkmar. He is the head of organization at the Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania Tourist Board. His topic is tourism in Poland and Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. Is it a cooperation, a competition or a copetition? Hello and welcome, my name is Michael and I am part of the content production team. Today I would like to welcome Mr Volkmar. Thanks for taking the time. Mr Volkmar, can you briefly introduce yourself and describe your activities or your position as head of corporate organization for the tourism association? My name is Johannes Volkmar, I work for the Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Tourist Association. We are based in Rostock and we are
ultimately a destination management organization that promotes tourism development and communication for Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania . I myself work in the corporate organization department, head the department, and it's particularly about internal coordination, work organization, work processes here in our organization. -While we're at it, how did you get your position as Head of Corporate Organization ? I've been working for the Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania Tourist Board for a good twelve years now, I have supervised a wide variety of projects , have also worked in a wide variety of areas and for a year and a half now, I've now been working in the department and head the corporate organization department, so I would say it was a constant development within the organization and yes, ultimately, the work in the different areas and topics that I was on the way to contributed to the fact that I then changed here within the organization and that was also possible within the framework of a restructuring and yes that I accepted and then I'm satisfied with the position I currently hold. Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania recorded a total of 29.8 million overnight stays in 2017, most of them on the country's Baltic coast
. Have the number of overnight stays increased in recent years? If so, were there reasons for the increase, if not, why are the numbers falling? -Yes, all in all, you can say that there has been a slight increase in the last few years, so the 30 million mark we passed there has still been cracked. Ultimately, however, there was also a certain degree of market saturation there, there were still statistical effects. The state office has changed the count a bit, that's why we are now at 33 to 34 million under normal circumstances, which we had now also targeted in 2020, so basically, yes, the market has experienced a certain saturation there, but such an easy one An increase was also to be seen in recent years. This is of course also due to the fact that the tourist offer is ultimately limited in the country, that we now experience a relatively high occupancy rate in the high season, and in the low season we still have a bit of capacity, a bit of air, but overall it has the country has had a very positive development again and 30 million overnight stays and the tourist intensity, measured against the residents here in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, who find relatively sparsely populated land here, is very good and we have a very good relationship there, I believe good position worked out and it is not for nothing that they are the most popular holiday destination in Germany, at least for Germans. -Were there any negative or positive influences on tourism in MV due to the corona pandemic ? -Yes, I think how worldwide you have to say, unfortunately, Corona also had a significant impact on tourism in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania.
Tourism is indeed ultimately one of the also most affected areas / Total sectors and has also, of course, in numbers and so ultimately clearly contradicted played in in the tourists and visitors in this country and we see as yet relatively large slump this year, what the arrivals and overnight stays of tourists here in the country yes the situation ultimately. -How much are companies, especially cafes, bars, restaurants, museums, theaters affected by the lack of tourism? -Yes, I think that can be explained relatively easily by the lockdown in spring, now again in October it started in November, now in December and the prospects are not exactly rosy. If you now look to the next year, it is clear that in particular the areas that you have now also addressed, the hotels, cafes, excursion destinations, i.e. all ultimately tourist
providers who are now also affected by these closings, of course one Yes, already living through hard times, on the other hand there is luckily also in Germany and in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania through grants, through guarantees, through loans, through short-time work KUG, for example (short-time work allowance) because the possibilities of this loss, which the companies here now also suffer something to cushion in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. Nevertheless, it is not a normal year and the losses, you have to say, over the entire year in the tourist area here in Mecklenburg- Western Pomerania can still be classified as, so to speak, dramatic. -How important are the day tourists from Poland for MV, how much did the industry have to lose? -I believe that it is difficult to quantify, especially on day trips, but of course if no guest or few guests are allowed to travel to Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania for the entire year or fewer guests are allowed to travel to Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, then that of course also applies to day tourists and especially day tourists from Poland We have a relatively long border with our Polish neighbors, with West Pomerania and, of course, especially in the area near the border, there is a great exchange and even if that is currently actually interrupted. So if you have to go into quarantine as soon as you take a step on Polish territory and want to go back then that is of course a big obstacle for many to make a day trip, both from the German side to Poland but also the other way around. Therefore, we can also say with the day tourists, without having to back up with numbers, so to speak, and think about it, that it also had a negative, major negative influence on the numbers of day tourists . Basically, like overall, if you look at the international numbers compared to the German visitors here in the region, I don't even know whether we still have the question, maybe we will come to that in a moment, because you can do it again relatively well read off. - Assuming the pandemic will continue for
a while, what options are there to attract or attract tourists, especially international visitors? - We are, so to speak, in the situation that in Mecklenburg- Western Pomerania the proportion of international visitors in previous years was incredibly low compared to other destinations in Germany but also internationally. If you take that roughly again, we have just under 30 or a good 30 million in the meantime with the overnight stays, you mentioned them, of the 30 million overnight stays that we normally generate here , in a normal year, we only see 3% to 4 % international overnight stays, that means that Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania is not that dependent on international visitors. On the other hand, we have been trying to pump more internationally for many years, i.e. to increase the proportion
because the customer value is also good, especially when we are in the local markets in Scandinavian, Switzerland, Austria. And there we have made a lot of efforts in recent years to generate guests from the international area in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania again, so to speak , and we are still trying to do that, now we are not breaking off our entire activities, even in one of these Phase because we think that if we do something now, maybe we can benefit a little more in the future. In concrete terms, this means that we have not stopped our international marketing activities at the moment, but are continuing on a different level, maybe a different level, maybe not quite as intensively and maybe with a different message. That we
say: " Have a look what there is to discover here and as soon as it is possible we will welcome you here with open arms", so we try to advertise Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania there a lot through visual language and digital media , even in the way that you can not travel at the moment, cannot come here but maybe for your vacation, which hopefully will be possible again soon, you will also be informed about the corresponding offers here. - What are the common potentials for tourism in MV and Poland's tourist area on the Baltic Sea coast? - What common potentials are you asked correctly? - Exactly - between Poland and the Baltic coast? So I think we have a lot in common, it is a contiguous stretch of land, and a political border separates us, but the Baltic Sea region has developed in a similar way there in both areas. I believe that we have a very high natural potential on the coast, we have a common coast, i.e. the common Baltic Sea.
We also have many cultural and historical connections, which also give us a certain link between the two regions in terms of tourism , but that also applies to all of the above when you go up towards Schleswig Holstein or on the other side towards Pomerania or Masuria, there are many similarities that we have in tourist advertising, from the tourist's point of view or the attraction potential, which we have in common. - While we're at it, Poland also has a large Baltic coast with numerous hotels. Is Poland a competitor for the country MV in terms of tourism? - Yes, we have worked a lot with Poland and our Polish colleagues on a touristic level in recent years, on a national level too, we also looked at each other a lot in mutual exchange.
I wouldn't describe Poland as a competitor, but more as a competitor and of course in the end we all advertise the guest to travel to Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, West Pomerania or Pomerania. Basically, however, I think that we also have a lot in common with regard to tourism development, there are an incredible number of topics from which we can learn from each other. We are also seeing an uncanny, dynamic development in Poland , which may have started a little earlier here. But basically, I think there is still a lot of potential that we can develop together at the working level in exchange with the regions.
I don't see ourselves as big competitors, although in the end we are, that has to be said very clearly. We may also be competing for similar target groups, Poland is of course very interested in German guests. Germany is basically the largest source market for the entire Baltic Sea region and that also applies to Poland.
We, as I said at the beginning, that we generate our largest proportion of visitors from Germany ourselves here in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. That is why you compete with each other at one point or another, but I think overall there are also many similarities, especially in the border region between West Pomerania and Western Pomerania, so to speak. - In your opinion, what are the biggest differences between the two locations? - Yes, that is difficult to say, when you see it from the guests' point of view, you have to look at what your value is on. As I said culturally, in terms of natural potential, I think we are relatively similar. Perhaps I would refer to the tourist infrastructure a little more because we can already see that Poland has caught up a lot in recent years. That was different before, the development in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania was much faster, but we also have to recognize that an incredible amount of European money has flowed into the tourist infrastructure in West Pomerania and Pomerania in recent years and is still flowing. An incredible number of new hotels have been built, the transport infrastructure has been improved and the marina (port) has
been built. Especially in West Pomerania in addition to Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, which of course many guests also welcome, who then no longer have to ask themselves "What is still going on behind Usedom, behind Swinoujscie", but has been there in recent years An incredible amount of construction, development and advancement on the Polish side and I think the tourist infrastructure is now , I think, a little closer to ours. What you can basically say is, I also believe that the tourist offer is a bit more differentiated than ours, maybe a bit cheaper, which may then motivate one or the other guest , especially if you come from Germany , then maybe to go to Poland. The advantage of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania is that we have paths from tourists, from guests who have been traveling to Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania for a holiday on the Baltic Sea for many years, soon decades, and these are basically regular guests, who might be Poles or maybe even Danish Have tried the Baltic Sea coast , but still remained relatively loyal to Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, which we also see in Schleswig-Holstein when they have been here in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania and then for many years. Even then, they basically differ little and those are perhaps a few points where you can perhaps differentiate a little between our regions.
In 2008 the Baltic Tourism Forum took place in Rostock for the first time. The aim of the forum is the development of intergovernmental cooperation, which complement the own marketing strategies of the countries and regions in a meaningful way and thus create a better market presence. So far the event has taken place annually in different countries in the Baltic Sea region.
Can you tell us the importance of the event? Yes for us ... First of all, it was and still has a really big meaning. As a federal state, together with the Ministry of Economic Affairs and the tourism company in MV , we carried out the first Baltic Sea Tourism Forum here in Rostock in 2008 , at that time it was still a summit where we brought the people of the Baltic Sea together for the first time at the state and federal level . There we discussed common ideas, strategies and cooperation in the Baltic Sea region.
From this a constant exchange, a constant forum, has developed over the years that, as I said, has taken place every year since 2008. In different countries, in different regions in the Baltic Sea region, the idea was also that the participants could also get information about perhaps somewhat more remote areas, about new regions, and then also on site with the forum and then exchange ideas about political and economic topics can. We, as a tourism association, together with the Ministry of Economic Affairs and the tourism policy area of the Baltic Sea Strategy, have strongly promoted this forum and this exchange in recent years . We just met in Lithuania this year , so to speak. This time virtually. It was also the first time that we held this event virtually.
A novelty for us, so to speak. And yes, I also think personally, because I have put a lot of energy and work into it myself over the years that I have been working here at the tourism association and have been responsible for the forum since 2008, we see this as important in the future as well Platform to exchange ideas across borders , on a tourist level, because something like this simply doesn't exist in the Baltic Sea region. There are occasional projects in which tourism professionals also work together, often limited in time, on certain topics, subject-specific, but this certain level where you also, yes, certain programs, certain ideas, strategies, how the Baltic Sea region is set up as a whole, cooperates in tourism, but also in other sectors and areas. That does not exist in this form and so it only exists in the form of the tourism forum, the Baltic Sea tourism forum and we are very interested in that this will continue in the future. So important. - Can you name projects in which both Germany and Poland are involved in the outcome of the event? Yes, of course it was a big goal that we bring together stakeholders from the individual countries of the countries bordering the Baltic Sea at this event , that they exchange ideas, that new contacts are made and, if possible, topics that are taken up there also in the Implementation come and that you then sit down together, so to speak, and get new project proposals off the ground. That is a
clear aim of this forum too. That has worked out a lot in recent years. Of course, I cannot list every single project, and there are quite a few. We may not know anything about many of them, because the contacts were made then and maybe only years later something emerged from them, but there was, for example, if you also think of Poland now, your focus this year is on that Project "Enjoy South Baltic", where we ran together from 2012 to 2015, 14 I believe, where we tried together to market the southern Baltic coast in selected source markets or target markets. That was in particular Switzerland, Austria and Great Britain, where we really specifically picked out markets where we might be able to bundle our potential together, including our resources in particular. And then we can jointly advertise the Baltic Sea region on the markets , especially the southern Baltic Sea region. We tried to attract more international guests to our region there. That worked well in certain areas. There
was a close exchange with our partners Denmark, for example, Poland, as I said, and Lithuania, where we really pooled resources and then, with the help of an EU project, we jointly advertised in the markets that I mentioned Guests from Switzerland, Austria and Great Britain. - All right. - Perhaps in addition; There are also a number of other projects that were active in the cooperation there, cross-border, as I said, this cannot always be presented as a result of the forum. But the forum clearly showed that we always did a lot of surveys after the forum, where we asked the participants how they felt, whether they had generated new contacts on the forum. That was often the case, and often something happened that we couldn't understand in the end. Sometimes that can only bear fruit two, three, four, five years later, so to speak, and this meeting may have taken place somewhere, maybe also at the first tourism forum. - Very nice. Again on a different subject;
Is there a future plan for sustainable tourism in MV? - Yes, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania is already interested in it. I had said earlier or at the beginning that the growth figures are stagnating somewhat , so to speak. We no longer look too much at quantity in terms of the number of guests , but now also increasingly focus on quality and when it comes to quality, sustainability is of course also very important in order to convince the guests who may have come here before , and To give reasons why it is worthwhile to visit Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania a second and third time or even to come to Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania at all. We think that sustainability will continue to be a key for this in the future. We also do not think alone, has been around since 2018, the country's tourism concept and it is also clearly established that sustainability is one of the key strategic areas that will be basically for tourism development important in the future and we will be in dedicate to the work of the Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania Tourist Board in the years to come. To this end, we have also changed our structure in recent years. We will no longer
act as a destination marketing organization , so to speak , but more as a destination management organization and since these topics such as quality, sustainability in particular, digitization, but also now what has been shown in the Corona crisis, the topic of tourism acceptance is a lot examine and process more closely than maybe two or three years ago . So yes, sustainability and the strategic direction is given here and now it means for us as an organization but also for the many partners for the many companies in the country to fill this with life. - And last but not least, have you ever been to Poland? If so, did you like it? If not, maybe you want to travel to poland in the future if it is possible of course? - Yes, I have already been to Poland very often, also through the many projects and the many travel activities for the association. I am always happy to be in Poland, we have an incredible number of great partners with whom we have worked a lot in recent years and the development is amazing, what has happened there in the past few years or decades, you can do about well a decade in which I am now traveling there for work.
And I can only recommend everyone to spend a few days or maybe a little longer in Poland , it doesn't have to be in West Pomerania, it can be a bit further in Pomerania, Gdansk the greater area, incredibly interesting what's going on there last few years did too. So yes, my clear recommendation, the first recommendation would be to go on holiday in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania and the second in Poland. So I can only recommend it to everyone and yes it is a great experience and really worth spending a few days there. - Very nice. Thank you very much, Mr Volkmar, for taking the time
and of course the opportunity for this interview. - Yes, I would also like to thank you, wish the participants of the forum all the best and stay healthy and thank you for the opportunity to briefly introduce us here. - Our last guest for today is Stralsund's Lord Mayor Dr. Alexander Badrow. He talks about Poland and its connection to Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. Dr. Badrow could you briefly introduce yourself and describe your activities as Lord Mayor? Yes, my name is Badrow, I am a civil engineer and have decided to become mayor so that you can build as much as possible, that is actually the main point and in fact it is also one of the focal points of a city where you try to renew the infrastructure, to build new schools building and it is also part of the focus of activity that you make sure that people stay together and get on well with each other. I think these are the two biggest tasks you have as a mayor and that's why it's fun. - What sparked your interest
in politics? - The good thing is what I can say, I think that being mayor has very little to do with politics, except for the situation of taking care that people stay well together. Otherwise, it is more of a project management task that you have as mayor, which means I can't say that much about politics. - And what brought you to Stralsund? - Well, what brought me to Stralsund was that we A) my father comes from the region, so to speak, and B) that many years ago we went on an unbelievably wonderful winter holiday here nearby . And that was just great and then I responded to an advertisement, they were looking for a civil engineer , in administration, I responded. Then I took the night train here, went once through the beautiful old town that we have here in Stralsund and then I thought, I have to take that seriously with this advertisement, because it's a great place to live and that's how it came about . So a train journey with a night train that actually left Switzerland and arrived in Stralsund. - What led you to run for mayor? - Yes,
that is also a good question, a lot of people had approached me and said: "Wouldn't that be an idea?" and then I said: "Exactly". So I didn't really take it seriously and then thought about it intensively and then thought about what I had before in the office, i.e. it was about bridge building, road construction, but also things like winter service, building yard and all things that a city more or less always work well or at least where the big problems are, were already there anyway. And somehow I wanted
to see the greatest possible efficiency as a civil engineer. And actually you have that when you decide for such an office that you can shape an incredible amount and that is the reason why I said at the end: that is my business. We do it that way Why do you think Polish, but also international students in general , should study at the Stralsund University of Applied Sciences? Because we have a great university, which is naturally located in one of the most beautiful cities you can imagine. With almost direct access to the beach, with a direct path that leads to the old town, to the world cultural heritage, it is simply fantastic. And in addition, it is of course a university
with an extremely close practical relevance, where when you have finished your studies you can get into practice very quickly and in so far I can only say that is a great situation for international, for national students , Stralsund is really a good idea. What makes Stralsund attractive for students? So we have the world cultural heritage, one of the most beautiful places you can imagine an old town island, embedded in the water, directly on the Baltic Sea. It's just fantastic. We have the beach right in front of the university and that is one thing. There are of course leisure activities, we have great clubs
and a feel-good atmosphere in the old town. Also to party in the evening and at night, but of course it is also a very centrally located place with a view of Europe , so I think it is definitely a good idea to choose Stralsund. What does the city offer students? So first of all, when you come to Stralsund and register as your main residence here, you get a welcome fee of 150 €, but of course it is much more important that you have great prospects after your studies in Stralsund. So that you not only studied in the
most beautiful city, but we are also working with our local banks, especially the Sparkasse, to ensure that founders are supported. In the future , we also want to build the business and science campus close to the university . And we have started with the Megaport, but also with the L'Orangerie with workrooms for founders, so to speak, laying building blocks and I think that's where things have to go in the future, where you want to and should think again, I really want now to the largest city that Europe has to offer, with all the advantages and disadvantages, or should I say it is in such a city, where it is also much better for families later to live with a much higher quality of life, mine there Company to build my future. I can only say that I chose the second one.
Stralsund is a point of view for tourism on the Baltic coast, do you see Poland and its coastline as competition? So I don't know if competition is the right term, we are seeing that especially from Poland, we are able to welcome more guests every year. Just recently, the number has doubled again and I'm also happy that the use of the Polish Baltic Sea has of course also increased significantly, that a lot of people are interested in it and of course there are wonderful places there too, if you can now thinking of Gdansk, that is also wonderfully beautiful there. So in that respect there is no competition, I am much more pleased that things are progressing everywhere on the Baltic Sea.
How was tourism influenced in Stralsund in 2020? Well, until August you can say that the problem was that the topic of accommodation and many other things were very limited and of course the tourism industry had big problems with it, but overall we also saw at the shipyard that there were restrictions here There was production and so on, so that means the situation this year is special, and also really difficult in terms of the framework conditions. On the other hand, we have of course seen that since things opened up again, the number of overnight stays has really increased almost exponentially in Stralsund, in our region . Of course, also because you could not fly to many travel countries by plane and so we were able to compensate a lot there. But overall, Stralsund is currently really on a good road to success and these influences of the pandemic have not resulted in such severe restrictions , but you cannot yet estimate them as a whole. Many cities in Germany such as Stralsund, Wismar, Lübeck, Greifswald and Rostock as well as cities in Poland such as Danzig are Hanseatic cities that belonged to the Hanseatic League at that time and an efficient trading network from the 13-17th. Century. Can you tell us more about how this league facilitated trade in the Baltic Sea region? The Hanseatic League has of course been one of the very great positions in history and indeed, at least that's how we see the European Union, what the Hanseatic League was already thinking about back then and what the core elements were free trade as a whole, the subject of freedom what of course forms a framework that we can not imagine otherwise today, which is a matter of course today and must also remain a matter of course where you have to do a lot for it again, but that was what made the Hanseatic League at the time and was perhaps a harbinger of what we are now in the Seeing democracy and freedom, especially from trade, and I can say that of course that made us great as a city and I am very happy that we have this situation all over Europe today and in this respect the Hanseatic League is to a certain extent the model for the present day.
Even today there is a friendly connection between Stralsund and Stargard. Would you like to continue expanding this connection to the Polish twin city in the future? So this is a very important twin city, so one of our most important. We have already done an incredible amount together in the past in the sporting area in the cultural area. Together we were able to realize a really amazing project, also with the support of Pomerania.This is our
common music school that we created infrastructurally in both places, but also in life namely that we have an exchange of choirs and a common orchestra and it and it is just great. And of course, in the future we want to strengthen this and keep looking for project ideas. Of course, the exchange between people is very important. It works quite well and has really established itself over the last 30 years so that the people in Poland, including us, have a close relationship with each other and that is the most important thing.
Do you see big differences in the way of working and living in the two cities? So I don't see that! We are both Christian Occident. I envied my colleague in Stargard a bit for a while and also said that it's just great how he just manages it. In fact, ten years ago he managed to establish a large number of companies in industry.
Which was much more difficult for us. But what has picked up speed over the years and works better. So to that extent I can say that there has been a great, almost exponential, really fast development in many places in our twin city and I think that's just great. Otherwise we are very similar and I think that's a good thing. And I am pleased that the cooperation is also very close. What about the cultural exchange during this time? Is there one thing in Germany or even Stralsund that has been shaped by Polish culture? Naturally! I have already hinted at our common music school center. The orchestra that we have in common.
But especially in the theater landscape. The German-Polish Theater Days, which we held in Stralsund in 2018, or the EU project that related to Stettin. Also the opera in Szczecin Castle, which we were able to realize. During the Biennale, the Theaterhanse and international co-productions with the Stralsund Theater and the Opera in Stettin Castle.
A lot has happened there and of course you have to know that a considerable number of Polish citizens live and live in Stralsund. And of course they influence us when it comes to eating and of course many other topics, and of course I'm happy about that too. Are there joint projects in which Stralsund and Poland work together? There are a lot of them, especially those who create the connection between Poles and Germans and Pomerania in particular has to be mentioned, which has actually worked very intensively on cross-border contacts over the last few decades. The Pomerania is an organization that A) is localized here in particular.
That means located in Poland, but also naturally located here in the region. And it forms a space that circumscribes the border area on the Polish side in the east and in the north especially, but also from Germany in the north-east, and in this area considerable European funding has been used to achieve precisely this goal that Poland and Germans get closer to each other, get to know each other better and from my point of view that has really worked out very well over the past 30 years. How badly do you think Stralsund is actually affected by the pandemic? And how does the city deal with this situation? It's still very difficult to say. So we cannot yet exactly predict what the effects will be.
There were many programs from the federal government and from the state, which significantly weakened the whole situation and ensured that we as a municipality, but also the people themselves, had a lot of relief and where bottlenecks arose that were resolved quickly and unbureaucratically. Of course, we cannot yet say exactly what effects this will have on a very important production site in Stralsund at the end of the day. For example the shipyard, which is currently working again. But we cannot look exactly into the future what will happen there. If you look at the situation, then when the disease progresses like this, there is always a prick.
Then for a long time the situation is such that you can control it quite well and then there is a second, much higher prick, which we now also see. And if it stays that way, I am in good spirits that we as a whole, as Europe, but of course Stralsund in particular, will get out of this situation well. And then take off with renewed vigor and everything goes back online.
With regard to this difficult time, which we are all just going through, is there a message that you would like to convey to the citizens and students of the city? 460 00: 50: 10,590 -> 00: 50: 17,040 has new challenges ready and it just depends on learning as much as possible being Yes, we see that the world holds new challenges every day and it is important to learn as much as possible, to be as smart as possible. smart as possible to complete a degree because you actually wanted to adjust to complex framework conditions To complete a degree because you actually have to adjust to complex framework conditions again and again. again and again and we did we also see that the most valuable thing we humans And we also see that the most valuable thing we humans have, especially in Europe, is really our know-how and that is what counts.
have, especially in europe, really have our know-how and it is important to expand that and to To expand that and to build up as much know-how as possible and then of course to be able to develop new concepts that build up as much know-how as possible and then of course to be able to develop concepts that arise in our heads that are based on today's technology Can also transform , so to speak arise in the head, which can be transformed into products using today's technology, , into a product and I believe that we have to concentrate even more on and I believe that we have to concentrate much more on them what will be possible for digitization in the future. what will be possible in the future via digitization, so to speak, that everything will But all of this only works if you have previously completed a good degree, learned a lot and that is what matters. only work if you have previously studied well and learned a lot, and that is what matters And now to our last question: and now after our last question, when are you ever in poland if so how did Have you ever been to Poland yourself? If so, how did you like it? you like it when a w Would you like to do it to others in the future, but of course I If not, would you like to do it again in the future? But of course I've been to Poland, quite often. was recommended quite often, of course, our partner city but also in Szczecin, which In our twin city, of course. But also in Szczecin with whom we did a lot together. by the way, we did a lot together and of course I also have a And of course I also have a favorite city in Poland. favorite city in Poland that is very special with my wife i associate a lot with I have a lot in common with the city of Krakow, especially with my wife personally. the city of krakow it is simply an unbelievably beautiful place and other most beautiful places in europe
It's just an incredibly beautiful place and one of the most beautiful places in Europe.