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ITB Berlin News 2021 - Day 3 Edition

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I GERMAN REGION I MECKLENBURG-VORPOMMERN I MECKLENBURG-VORPOMMERN Demonstrating exemplary crisis management Exclusive interview: Tobias Woitendorf, CEO at Mecklenburg- Vorpommern Tourist Board The Covid crisis has impacted all tourism destinations… some harder than others. We asked Tobias Woitendorf, CEO at Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Tourist Board whether his organisation has a plan to navigate “out of the woods”. Yes, and we indeed need a minimum level of foresight. There is nothing that would be counterproductive to making plans subject to certain conditions being met. Federal and state level politics have promised people, businesses and also themselves that they will speed things up. The holiday destination Mecklenburg-Vorpommern was severely impacted by the negative effects of the corona pandemic early-on. We came up with complex strategies and WE DO WHATEVER WE CAN TO GENERATE POSITIVE EFFECTS FOR THE INDUSTRY IN MECKLENBURG- VORPOMMERN step-by-step plans to manage the crisis as promptly as possible. For instance, since March 2020 (first lockdown), a strategic plan to restart tourism, and based on it a multi-phase model as well as a total of eleven protection standards for different sectors of tourism have been developed which were linked to the Corona Act by the state government. We received the Special Award for Exemplary Crisis Management from the German Tourism Association for these efforts. Driven by foresight and accountability, with our partners, we launched a re-start scenario for the post second lockdown period as early as January 22, 2021. The tourism industry, which employs every fifth worker in the northeast urgently needs a perspective. Now we can only wait for the plans we have made – which also include a test strategy and a red/yellow/green light function for infectionrelated measures over the course of the year - to be heard. Tell us more about your participation in ITB Berlin NOW this year. What can attendees see at your ITB Brand Card? We are at ITB with the “All in for destinations” package and have 17 exhibitors "on-site", including tourism associations and marketing companies, cities such as Rostock, Schwerin, Greifswald and Wismar as well as enterprises such as Deutsches Meeresmuseum, the Fleesensee Feriendorf GmbH or the Arcona Management GmbH. What are your thoughts on the organisation of this year’s ITB Berlin NOW? It is a gigantic challenge that requires a lot of coordination between everyone involved. We do whatever we can to generate positive effects for the industry in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and of course also for ITB. With this year’s virtual performance, the ITB sends out a clear signal for the future. Let us hope that in addition to the definitely sustainable digital elements, actual personal encounters will once again be possible in Berlin starting in 2022 VISIT BR AND CARD NEWS “KÖNIGSWEG” IS BEING DEVELOPED AT THE CLIFF COAST IN JASMUND NATIONAL PARK Likely one of the most attractive construction projects in Mecklenburg- Vorpommern is the completion of the Königsweg on the Island of Rügen. An accessible scenic viewing platform is in the making at the Königsstuhl, one of the Jasmund National Park’s landmarks. It offers visitors fascinating views of the cliffs, the Baltic Sea and the Königsstuhl. Construction work is scheduled to begin in the first half of 2021 and ought to be concluded in 2022 REMOVE BARRIERS, INCREASE PARTICIPATION: RESORT STETTINER HAFF The construction of Stettiner Haff Resort in Vorpommern draws attention to Mecklenburg-Vorpommern when it comes to accessible holidays. Under the motto “Designing the Future Together – Sustainably and Barrier Free,” a new resort, which will cover 18,000 square meters, is under construction near the Port of Altwarp at the Stettiner Haff. Based on information provided by the investors, Jana and Uwe Trinkus, its concept is one-of-a-kind in Germany 16 ITB BERLIN NEWS • THURSDAY 11 TH MARCH 2021

I SPECIAL FEATURE I SMART TOURISM I FAMILY DESTINATIONS & RESORTS I GOTHENBURG & MALAGA – 2020 CAPITALS OF SMART TOURISM – Under the spotlight at ITB Berlin NOW ADVERTORIAL Gothenburg and Málaga have been selected as the winners of the 2020 European Capital of Smart Tourism competition. In addition, four cities received 2020 European Smart Tourism Awards for their outstanding achievements in one of the categories of the competition: Breda (Accessibility), Gothenburg (Sustainability), Ljubljana (Digitalisation) and Karlsruhe (Cultural heritage and Creativity). The European Capital of Smart Tourism is an EU initiative. It gives European cities the opportunity to share their exemplary practices as smart tourism destinations and awards the titles of European Capital of Smart Tourism through an EU-wide competition to those cities that implement the most outstanding measures. The European Capital of Smart Tourism initiative recognises outstanding achievements by European cities as tourism destinations in four categories: sustainability, accessibility, digitalisation as well as cultural heritage and creativity. It aims to promote smart tourism in the EU, network and strengthen destinations, and facilitate the exchange of best practices. Hotel building in Gothenburg, Sweden Smart tourism responds to new challenges and demands in a fastchanging sector, including the evolution of digital tools, products and services; equal opportunity and access for all visitors; sustainable development of the local area; and support to creative industries, local talent and heritage. Helsinki and Lyon were the 2019 European Capitals of Smart Tourism VISIT BRAND CAR D © Linda Tate Wolfbard / Unsplash JEJU, KOREA AN IDEAL SETTING FOR FABULOUS FAMILY HOLIDAYS Located southwest of the Korean Peninsula is the country's largest island, Jeju-do, not only one of the most relaxing holiday spots anywhere, but also a designated UNESCO Triple Crown awardee (Biosphere Reserve, World Natural Heritage, Global Geopark). Travellers can access the island easily via ferry or plane from the mainland. Seoul-Jeju is the air route with the most flights in the world with airplanes plying the 60-minute long flight almost every ten minutes. It is also possible to come on an international flight from many countries. With its many resort-style hotels, Jeju-do is an especially convenient holiday retreat for families. The island is not only full of exciting activities like para-sailing, horse riding, diving or taking a railbike track. At the Jeju Big Ball Land, visitors can feel like an oversized hamster. Fulfilling its role as a UNESCO World Natural Heritage, Jeju-do also has a vast variety of naturelinked sightseeing. Renting a car will be the most convenient way to enjoy the scenic routes along the coastline and visiting must-see natural sites like the Seongsan Ilchulbong Tuff Cone, Manjanggul Lava Tube or mysterious Bijarim Forest. Many places offer educational programmes for visitors to learn more about nature and environment on the island. One can also visit Korea's largest aquarium, Aqua Planet Jeju, or the Eco Land Theme Park in Gotjawal Forest. The latter is the only place in the world to nurture both tropical and polar plants in one place. Other family-oriented tourist attractions include Jeju Maze Land, with the world’s longest stonework maze, and the Teddy Bear Museum at Jungmun Resort VISIT BR AND CARD ITB BERLIN NEWS • THURSDAY 11 TH MARCH 2021 17

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