Think. Debate. Express your views.

An initiative by visitBerlin and you

Kreativ-Werkstatt ©  visitBerlin; Foto: Marcel Schwickerath

Apart from visitBerlin’s core task of promoting the city within Germany and abroad, it also has an increasing focus on tourism partnerships and internal marketing initiatives. In 2016, after attracting a steadily growing number of visitors for years, Berlin’s overnight stays topped the 31 million mark. This growth also ushers in changes in neighbourhoods and urban environments.

Against this background, the Senate Chancellery, Senate Department for Economic Affairs, Energy and Public Enterprises, Senate Department for Urban Development and the Environment, Berlin Partner, DEHOGA and the Berlin Chamber of Commerce (IHK) commissioned visitBerlin to develop a project on maintaining the acceptance of the tourism industry in the city, evaluating potential activities and driving forward their implementation. The overall aim is to evolve innovative approaches supporting a sustainable culture of welcoming tourists, and hence secure over the long term one key factor in the city’s economy.

In this process visitBerlin provides a point of contact and a network for the actors involved (e.g. offering a platform for discussions with Berlin boroughs, policy-makers, Berlin initiatives and businesses in the tourism sector), and implements individual measures which lie within the company’s remit and sphere of responsibility.

All information about our initiative - you can find on our website www.du-hier-in.berlin

Focusing on dialogue and citizen participation

“Collecting opinions, creating encounters, ensuring participation, implementing ideas”

Kiez-Tour ©  visitBerlin

In November 2014, the first workshop was held with local residents to develop ideas for Berlin’s culture of welcoming tourists, and it generated a number of proposals for various projects.

Since 2016, visitBerlin and the HIER IN BERLIN mobile have been touring local districts and neighbourhoods. At weekly markets, festivals, and busy public spaces we have been discussing ‘Berlin and tourism’ with local residents, encouraging feedback, questions and ideas, and distributing information on tourism in the city. Local residents could also put their thoughts down on paper and leave a note anonymously in a ‘Your Views’ post box.

In 2017, the HIER IN BERLIN team visited 15 locations in the districts of Charlottenburg, Mitte, Neukölln, Prenzlauer Berg and Schöneberg. In talks with over 760 people, they found a large majority of locals taking a positive view of tourism in the city.

The recurring criticisms revolved around letting apartments as holiday accommodation / Airbnb (due to a shortage of apartments and increasing rents) and the feeling the city is becoming noisier and dirtier (the fundamental feeling that the city is changing). Most local residents in Berlin said that they avoid the ‘tourist hotspots’.

The neighbourhood tour is being continued this year because for us it is very important to get in contact with the locals. Here you can find the dates of our neighbourhood tour.

visitBerlin has also implemented other measures as part of the HIER IN BERLIN project, including:

  • The annual “Experience Your City” (Erlebe Deine Stadt) weekend (Berlin residents invited to take a short city break in the city where they live)
  •  An annual survey on the acceptance of tourism (citizen survey)
  • The travel guide app “Going local Berlin” (a contribution to steering tourist flows)
  • The city networks with e.g. New York, Vienna, Barcelona and Amsterdam, to learn about and take into account solutions successfully applied in other major tourist cities.

In addition, visitBerlin’s communication activities are to put those boroughs less frequented by tourists more in the spotlight and lend greater weight to the significance of tourism as an economic factor.

All information about HIER IN BERLIN, dates of our “Kiez-Tour” and the opinions of the Berliner, you can find on our website www.du-hier-in.berlin.