About tourism and uber tourism in bamberg

about tourism and uber tourism in bamberg

One sunny summer afternoon, three groups of about 12 tourists stood at the foot of the canal and, at the sight of little venice, burst out in ecstasy in their respective languages. A bamberger bicycles towards you, comes to a stop for lack of alternatives and shouts: "this is fei a strass' und ka museum"!"

This observed scene shows why a four-hour "symposium over-tourism" is so important has been held at the university of bamberg. On the one hand, limited urban resources are being used by more and more people due to increasing numbers of tourists, residents and students. On the other hand there is "world heritage" – and not "heritage only for bamberger". So the old town is basically "a bit of a museum". And many people in bamberg also benefit from this: tourism is now the second most important sector of the economy, with around 6,000 jobs depending on it.

But because the street is also located in the middle of the world heritage, the situation between residents, partying bambergers, district residents and tourists, who have to share the narrow streets and guesthouses, is getting worse.

Over-tourism? More of a feeling

But can we really talk about "over-tourism"? Speak? Professor andreas kagermeier from the university of trier shows in his lecture: bamberg is in the average of the urban tourism development and is far away from becoming a venice, barcelona or amsterdam in terms of overnight stays per inhabitant. The ratio is similar to that of the state capital – but the perception is quite different: in munich, the tenor toward tourism is pride rather than displeasure. "People have come to terms with the situation, avoid the theresienwiese during the oktoberfest, and as long as they are among themselves in the beer garden, everything is fine", kagermeier interprets his research results.

Accordingly, he is critical of the idea put forward by bamberg's mayor of culture, christian lange (CSU), to attract tourists to the districts outside the city center by means of new offers. Because retreat spaces are particularly important for tolerance toward guests. The neighborhoods could be renovated, but for the bamberger. In addition, the cathedral city tourist stays an average of 1.8 days "and he wants to see the old town".

Kagermeier's hometown of trier also takes a more relaxed approach to tourism, despite similar figures and structures (not much rougher, also a world heritage site, also a river cruiser): "because they are proud of it, they also accept that you can't get through at the black gate." There, however, tourism grew more moderately than in bamberg.

Because travel experiences and photos are increasingly replacing consumer goods as status symbols, tourism will continue to grow according to forecasts. And in bamberg, too, we will have to come to terms with this. A sentence from the opening speech by marc redepenning (university of bamberg) might help: "don't forget: we are tourists too – just somewhere else."

Five approaches from the symposium

Distribution among city districts and counties

"Visit amsterdam, see holland" – this is how the dutch capital advertises to attract tourists to the surrounding area. The district of bamberg also has a lot to offer. However, the average tourist stays only 1.8 days – and wants to see the old town. But tours to the county could be worthwhile for those who stay for a long time. Professor andreas kagermeier (university of trier) advises against tourist offers in districts outside the city center: this is how the people of bamberg have been deprived of their retreats.

Not to further promote tourism

Bamberg should stop trying to attract tourists, demanded a resident of the island town. However, city tourism is flourishing worldwide – and with it the revenues. The cities are in competition with each other. If bamberg does not want to lose the connection and the almost 300 million euros in annual revenue, it must assert itself in the competition.

Tighten rules (e.G.B. Alcohol ban)

That bachelor parties and other "booze groups" are not the only ones to benefit from the tax the fact that the bamberger gastronomes do not usually place a high value on the beer garden has already become common knowledge. Can a public alcohol ban in the city center keep more unwanted guests away??Perhaps. However, any restriction also affects the people of bamberg – which may further strengthen the feeling that tourism has had too many negative effects.

Earmarked tourism levy

Bed tax, spa tax, tourism tax, mooring fee for cruise ships: there are many ways to involve the public sector in the tourism business. However, the levy should be earmarked for specific purposes – such as strengthening the infrastructure (opnv, cycle paths, monument protection). Or to demand cultural offerings – so that residents as well as guests benefit.

Demand tolerance, facilitate retreat

According to most forecasts, urban tourism will continue to grow. Instead of opposing, the researchers recommend asking for tolerance from the residents and letting them share in the positive effects. For example, large city festivals should be held outside the city center during the main season. 

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