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SUMMER DREAMS:Germany sets sights on cities in 2021

Christmas is usually a time when a traveller’s fancy turns to thoughts of Germany, but with famous festive celebrations severely curtailed this year due to the coronavirus pandemic, marketing folks at the German National Tourist Board have already turned their attention to next summer with the “German Summer Cities 2021” campaign.

Built around “unspoiled nature and carefree enjoyment, sustainable offers and great entertainment,” the campaign is designed to channel interest of potential visitors specifically towards alternative experiences beyond the known touristic hot spots, such as green spaces, parks, local recreational areas and offers in the vicinity of city destinations.

Speaking to travel media last week, Julia Dywelski, director of the German National Tourist Office in Canada, echoed common sentiment that 2020 has been a year to forget, with average Canadian overnights of 733,000 plummeting more than 75% due to COVID-19. But she noted that the European nation earned plaudits as the number one country in 2020 in the Nation Brand Index and is a top-five visitor destination overall.

But until tourism resumes, the GNTO is eager to promote aspirational travel to potential visitors, not least on its website where there is a variety of virtual experiences, ranging from recipes to videos, quizzes, and concerts – all part of the “Discover Germany from Home” campaign.

As for “German Summer Cities 2021,” there are five thematic clusters:

• “Nature and City” is about the broad spectrum of nature and active options within the city and at the city’s doorstep

• “Sights” highlights lesser-known spots in the metropolises and smaller cities

• “Romantic” gives suggestions for dream routes to indulge and stay

• “Arts and Culture” brings together classic culture, tradition, and customs as well as contemporary art experiences. And,

• “Entertainment” inspires to travel to Germany for smaller and bigger events that are happening in 2021.

The main campaign elements are detailed in a microsite on as an inspirational and informative hub with target group specific picture and video content, digital communication in all international markets, as well as the cooperation with global OTC platforms like Tripadvisor.

Partners of Germany’s incoming tourism, such as the Magic Cities, the Historic Highlights of Germany, as well as the UNESCO World Heritage Sites, provide specific offers that have been adjusted to Corona-requirements to be integrated within the areas of focus of the campaign showing international visitors that they can experience the city differently, close to nature, away from the tourist flows and sustainably – on the bike for example.

Dywelski notes 2020 celebrations around Beethoven’s 250th anniversary (banner photo) have also been extended throughout 2021 to make up for lost opportunities during the past year, including planned outdoor concerts next summer, condition permitting.

In the meantime, Dywelski offers a few of her favourite under-the-radar bucket list recommendations – “not obvious ones” – for Canadians to research and dream about ahead of a potential visit in 2021 or beyond.

They include:

Linderhof Palace

Linderhof Palace – The smallest of three Bavarian palaces built by Ludwig II (who also built Neuschwanstein, the “Disney Castle”).

Rudesheim am Rheine – Wine country with an amazing cable car.

Schwerin Castle – Castle on an island, known as the “Neuschwanstein of the North.”

Wuppertal – Famous for its suspended monorail, oldest in the world.

Weimar – Home of the Bauhaus architectural movement and Goethe’s Haus (national museum).

Goslar – Over a thousand years old, the old town is a UNESCO world heritage site.

Tubingen – A charming university town and home of Germany’s largest chocolate festival.

Bremerhaven – Home to the Klimahaus (climate museum), a combination of a science centre and theme park dedicated to weather and climate change. And,

Halle – The “Handel City,” where the famous composer was born and is feted in the Handel Haus museum. There’s also a Beatles museum for those so inclined.


First published at Travel Industry Today

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