Tourism project “Oder Partnership” takes stock at the ITB after first year

A Region takes off

Berlin, 8 March 2012 The Berlin metropolis is booming – and the entire Oder Region is benefiting from this development. After the first year of partnership between visitBerlin, the German and Polish tourist partners of the Oder Partnership, the stocktaking is as follows: The tourism co-operation strengthens the region across borders. The first result of the co-operation is a transnational tourism map which will be launched for ITB. Berlin establishes excursion destinations of the Oder Region as attractive invitations for guests from all over the world.

In order to further enhance the tourism dynamics in the Oder Region and reinforce visitor flows between the two countries, important milestones in 2012 will be the opening of the new Berlin Brandenburg Airport (BER) on 3 June and the UEFA Euro Football Championship in Poland, which will take place in Poznan and Wroclaw. The image of the region will also be boosted by the “Tall Ship Race” which will be staged in Szczecin just as by exciting events like the big “Woodstock” Festival in the Lubusz Land, with more than 700,000 young visitors. The ports at the east coast, in particular in Warnemünde, welcome an increasing number of cruise ships and attract guests to the Oder Region. The new motorway between Berlin and Warsaw reinforces the tourism impact. Saxony with its natural and cultural treasures served as the backdrop for the US film industry in 2011 and in Berlin the Indian blockbuster “Don – The King is back” was shot. Hollywood or Bollywood – the Oder Region develops into an interesting destination for international visitors as well.

First year of co-operation between tourism experts

A year ago, the co-operation between the tourism experts of the Oder Region started at the initiative of the city of Berlin. The region encompasses the four German states – Mecklenburg Vorpommern, Brandenburg, Berlin and Saxony – and the four Polish regions West Pomerania, Lubusz Land, Greater Poland and Lower Silesia. Since that time regular partner meetings took place in order to implement distribution and marketing campaigns, develop joint products and conduct lobbying.

The Oder Region at a glance: transnational tourism map

The map looks like France or a region in Spain – but it is the first transnational map for the Oder Region. Under the motto “Borders divide – the Oder links”, the map does not show national borders but provides guests with a quick overview of the entire Oder Region. The map presents the region with the tourism highlights and constitutes an optimum basis for vacation planning; it is ideal for tour operators who envisage new programmes or tourists who want to get information on site.

Outlook: Joint activities in the USA

For 2012 joint marketing campaigns are scheduled to take place in the USA. visitBerlin will present the Oder Region during a roadshow at the west coast. Furthermore, joint press trips will be carried out and an image film by the highly acclaimed travel production company “Travelscope” will be produced. Furthermore, the goal is to enter into closer co-operation with important partners such as the German National Tourist Board and the Polish counterpart POT (Polska Organizacja Turystyczna) as well as traffic operators such as German railways and the Polish state railways PKP and the new BER airport.

The development of the interregional German-Polish network “Oder Partnership” started six years ago. The representatives strengthen their cross-border co-operation in the fields of traffic, energy engineering, innovation, technology transfer and tourism. One of the building blocks has been tourism cooperation of visitBerlin with the Polish partners since 2011.

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