MUNSTERLAND. "The tourism regions in NRW are unanimous: this was a black day for our industry," says Michael Kösters, General Representative and Head of Tourism at Münsterland e.V. He is referring to the past statements by the federal and state governments, which do not provide for any relaxation in the accommodation and catering industry and prohibit large-scale events until initially the end of August 2020. "This is a serious blow to the leisure and tourism industry throughout Germany and in Münsterland." Kösters had exchanged views with his colleagues from the other NRW tourism regions and the umbrella organisation Tourismus NRW e.V. in a video conference on Friday.
"Tourism is what is known as a cross-sectoral industry with diverse interconnections to other economic sectors," Kösters explains. "It is tied to the location and cannot be outsourced to other regions and states. The tourism and hospitality industry contributes to considerable turnover, creates jobs and is ultimately also very important for an intact city and village life with many positive location effects. Especially in Münsterland, many businesses depend on excursionists, cyclists and horse enthusiasts who take tours in the region."
Kösters calculates on the basis of market research data that "in the Münsterland travel region, in the period from March to May 2020 alone, around 80 per cent or a good 1.2 million overnight stays in hotels, holiday flats or on campsites will not take place compared to 2019." In addition, there would be around 7.5 million missing day visitors and day business travellers. Together, according to Kösters, "in the aforementioned three-month period alone, a primary gross turnover from tourism of a good 300 million euros and municipal tax revenues of around 7 to 8 million euros will be missing. This makes it clear: the aid provided so far is not enough and the reduction of VAT is at best a first step in the right direction."
"Münsterland e.V. is doing everything it can to ensure that our partners, stakeholders or service providers survive these times as best they can," emphasises Klaus Ehling, board member of the regional management organisation Münsterland e.V. "In the areas of culture, tourism and business, we develop solution concepts that offer quick added value and implement them together with the region. This includes, for example, the development of the platform 'Münsterland liefert' or the fundraising campaign 'Kein-Konzert der Superlative' for art and culture in Münsterland."
"In addition, we are preparing for the day when relaxations of the current restrictions will be announced, so that we can then be there again for the people of Münsterland and provide wonderful experiences in our own region," adds Michael Kösters.
And that is necessary, he adds, because the federal government's Competence Centre for Tourism assumes that normalisation will not begin until the Easter season in 2021, that the availability of a vaccine is not likely until the summer of 2021, and that consequently the German tourism industry will not be able to fully recover until the summer of 2022.
Münsterland e.V. provides up-to-date information, tips and advice at www.touristiker-muensterland.de and also offers tourism professionals the opportunity to exchange ideas in various forums.