© © by Daniel Berkmann

Lord Mayor Casting 2022 with the Dresden Tourism and Convention Industry

On 12 June 2022, the people of Dresden will elect a new Lord Mayor. The Tourismusverband Dresden e.C. (TVD) together with the TVD departments Dresden Convention Bureau and Dresdner Hotelallianz invited the mayoral candidates to a forum on 13 May 2022 to discuss tourism policy issues, wishes and demands concerning the tourism and congress industry.

What does the new city leader want to do and what can he do for tourism? 

The mayoral candidates positioned themselves as follows on the demands of everyone at the tourism policy forum on 13 May 2022. There was one thing they all agreed on: the great importance of tourism for Dresden.

Dirk Hilbert (Independent Citizens for Dresden e. V.):

  • Tourism is one of the most important employers in our city. We have long been spoiled by steadily growing numbers and can hopefully make an unrestricted restart in 2022.

  • The congress business plays an important role in Dresden as a science and business location. The city offers excellent framework conditions. To make it easier for participants from all over the world to come to Dresden, it needs direct connections to international airports such as Berlin and Prague.

  • It will be important to create new offers for families and to rethink the theme of "experience" in order to appeal to young people and to be able to discover Dresden anew again and again. We also need to better integrate the retail sector, which profits greatly from tourism. In this way, we can also make an exciting and eventful city centre a place to stay and an area of discovery.

  • In order to counteract the lack of workers in tourism, we could use successful programmes such as the Junior Doctor or Junior Master as a model and develop appropriate formats together with the industry. We should also take advantage of the opportunities offered by migrants and give these people immediate access to the labour market.

  • We have already increased marketing expenditure with the introduction of the bed tax. For the restart after the pandemic, we now need targeted marketing. Later on, we can and must use the bed tax to finance investments in the city, also to create new points of attraction and offer travel incentives.

Eva Jähnigen (BÜNDNIS 90/DIE GRÜNEN):

  • Dresden is a compelling and beautiful city and lives as a very special destination from tourism. I want to open a new chapter for a cosmopolitan and European city. How can we make Dresden more sustainable? How must the administration position itself as a service provider?

  • Dresden has a great attraction as a congress location. But the question is always the connection. I think the railway is the means of transport of the future. International offers, night transport - I see potential there.

  • In the short term, marketing Dresden must be a focus, this should be financed from the bed tax. In the medium term, we have to focus on the infrastructure, an important project would be the implementation of a tourist guidance system.

  • We have to create a culture in the city that is characterised by appreciation for those working in the tourism industry. And we must warmly welcome those who come to Dresden, who want to work here and who are able to do so.

  • For me, a funding programme for more sustainability in tourism with consulting, profiling, marketing and networking would be conceivable. I would consult the funding guideline broadly in the industry to find out what is needed to kick-start it.

Dr Maximilian Krah (Alternative for Germany):

  • Our tradition, culture and art are our strengths. We need to strengthen our strengths and grow with our pound. Developing new strengths costs too much money and takes too long. Dresden no longer needs to define itself. We have a great wealth of culture and tradition, and we have to carry the passion for it to the outside world. We should invest in solvent target groups with which more margin can be achieved.

  • What flows into the budget via the bed tax must be returned to tourism at least in the same amount. This money should be used for tourism promotion purposes and the industry should be consulted on this.

  • The skilled labour problem is shared by all industries. We need to promote commercial professions in schools so that young people take jobs, do an apprenticeship and don't all just go to university.

Albrecht Pallas (Social Democratic Party of Germany):

  • The city administration must see itself as a service provider for tourism service providers. But we also have to intensify cooperation with the industry, various institutions and neighbouring counties in order to join forces and jointly ensure that more money is available for city marketing.

  • I don't think it is sustainable if we limit ourselves only to the great tradition. We already have great diversity of interests among tourists, we have to look at the interests of our guests worldwide and should focus on innovations.

  • Bed tax is state of the art. The question is: What can the city do to finance tourism, but what can the industry add? If I want to have more congresses, I have to take care of that. I think a coordinated marketing strategy is essential. I can also well imagine a public transport ticket for every overnight guest, financed by both the guest via the bed tax and the city and DVB.

  • Unemployment is falling in all groups while vacancies are rising. Some feel stagnation, have the feeling that nothing is happening here. As a city, we have to be attractive for young people so that they stay here. And yes, it can only be done through immigration.

  • Public Wi-Fi is no longer a "nice to have", it's a "must have", an essential - that's what makes a destination so attractive.

André Schollbach (DIE LINKE):

  • Dresden is a wonderful destination, but negative messages also emanate from Dresden, hate and agitation. This is a big problem - for leisure travel as well as for business travel and the congress business. We have to solve this problem. But there is also a need for tourism infrastructure. Whether it's a guidance system or mundane things like sufficient toilets in the city centre, that's where I see deficits and that's where we can do a lot better.

  • Business travel and the conference industry have changed due to the pandemic. The shift to digital will have consequences. Nevertheless, we have an enormous potential for business travel and we all know what economic opportunities there are in it. Day trippers leave an average of 66 euros here, the private traveller 146 euros and the business traveller 277 euros - per day. And it is not unusual for business travellers to stay a few days longer because they like it so much. We have to continuously spend money to acquire this so important business for Dresden and then profit from it as a city.

  • If Dresden wants to remain attractive as a location, life must also remain affordable for average earners. We need affordable rents so that people don't move away. Public transport must also be affordable, which is why I don't want any more price increases there until 2030.

  • In2019, the city took in ten million euros from the overnight tax. We can plan with this money and should use it to continuously invest in congress marketing in order to establish reliability on which all parties can build. And we should work again seriously on a guest card that offers tourists really practical benefits.

  • All employees in tourist businesses but also at the bakery are ambassadors of our city. They tell others about the experiences that tourists have here. That's why I see it as a common task to convey to everyone in contact with tourists that we need a positive image. The lack of foreign language skills is also an issue.

Dr Martin Schulte-Wissermann (Pirate Party Germany):

  • We must promote all forms of tourism, in all age groups. Satisfied guests are the best multipliers. The best events are those that are so attractive that people come to Dresden in droves, we have to promote that and allow it mentally, broaden the base. For example, I dream of a drone race on the banks of the Elbe, that has a lot of potential. And we have to lay the foundation now for tourism in ten, twenty years. For me, that means appealing to young people, for example through school trips.

  • The bed tax will remain at the same level even with me, as mayor. Of course, the industry should then be at the table to help decide what the money is spent on. A guest card would be conceivable, which would give tourists the feeling that they are getting more than they paid via the bed tax.

  • Work AND city must be attractive. Civil society must give Dresden a new image as an open, free, life-affirming city. And we must seize opportunities as they arise - a saleswoman in a bakery spoke Ukrainian the other day. If Dresden is attractive as a whole, a lively, liveable, usable city with art, culture, sports, then that attracts not only tourists, but also workers and investors.

Quelle: Gemeinsame Presseinformation
Tourismusverband Dresden e.V. | Dresden Convention Bureau | Dresdner Hotelallianz

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