It all started in spring 2019 - many measures, events, cooperations, campaigns and renovated cycle paths later, the ERDF funding project "Palaces and Castles Region Münsterland" is now coming to an end. With a total volume of around 10 million euros, it was one of the largest tourism projects that the region had ever initiated together. Yesterday morning, Münsterland e.V. presented the results of the project together with its partners, the Münsterland districts and the City of Münster. Around 100 guests experienced the milestones of the project once again at this festive closing event through videos, field reports and a small exhibition.
And a lot has been achieved. The project team strengthened the Münsterland as a region of castles and palaces with four projects - information and guidance system as well as marketing, cycle tourism infrastructure, innovation workshop on the quality of the experience and the development of SME networks. One focus was on the further development of the premium product 100 Castles Route. In total, the project consisted of about 50 individual projects, divided into numerous measures that were coordinated with many project partners and implemented not least for 100 castles, palaces, aristocratic residences, manor houses, monasteries and manor houses.
Some examples: A total of 200 new equipment elements such as information boards or table-bench combinations now provide more comfort at the castles and palaces, around six million euros flowed into the cycle path renovation of the 100 Castles Route, campaigns with a wide reach were implemented, more than 11,000 photos and videos were produced, 4,000 cyclists were surveyed, information was digitalised and made Open Data-capable, events were realised and new travel offers were developed. In the B2B area, castle and palace operators informed themselves in over 40 network meetings on various topics, attended innovation workshops and benefited from the development of various guides on topics such as accessibility.
At the beginning of the event, Andreas Bothe, District President of the Münster District Government, emphasised in his welcoming address the opportunity that funding with EU funds offers for the people of a region: "The Münsterland Castles and Palaces Region is a tourism lighthouse project of the European Regional Development Fund. It shows that through regional consensus and in larger, region-wide networks, something great can also be created."
District Administrator Dr. Kai Zwicker, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of the project coordinator Münsterland e.V., also saw the concrete benefit of the project for the region: "Compared to the long time our historical treasures have already enriched the Münsterland park landscape, four project years are of course short. But we are convinced that we have created something sustainable. The project has made our castles and palaces more open, more accessible, more digital and fitter for the future. So that they can hopefully last for more centuries and make a small contribution to eternity." In addition, he said, the project is also an asset for the Münsterland regional brand with its claim "THE GOOD LIFE." "The castles and palaces are important symbols of regional identity and shape the brand image of Münsterland."
District Administrator Dr. Christian Schulze Pellengahr welcomed the guests as the "landlord" of Vischering Castle and once again referred to the genesis of the project: "If we can officially conclude this beautiful project today, I like to think back to its beginnings. As the last project of the successful Regionale 2016, it was launched here at Burg Vischering, but from the very beginning it focused on the entire Münsterland region of castles and palaces. I am therefore very pleased that with the numerous measures and building blocks of the project, the entire region could be upgraded in terms of tourism and made even better to experience. My heartfelt thanks go to all those involved in the project!"
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