Status: 27.09.2023, 14:00 p.m.
By: Klaus Wiendl
The postcard idyll at Lake Tegernsee attracts tens of thousands of tourists and excursionists every year. © THOMAS PLETTENBERG
Heat, water shortages, natural disasters: For many tourists, the holiday regions in the south are losing their attractiveness. We spoke to tourism professor Markus Pillmayer about the consequences.
Tegernsee Valley – Heat, water shortages, natural disasters: For many tourists, the holiday regions in the south are losing their attractiveness. We wanted to know from Markus Pillmayer what consequences this could have for destinations in temperate climate zones. He is a tourism professor at the Munich University of Applied Sciences and, in view of the ever-increasing number of horror reports from southern Europe, is currently a sought-after interlocutor.
Mr. Pillmayer, the Mediterranean region, which is popular with German holidaymakers, has been hit by several disasters this year as a result of climate change, whether fires or flash floods. What impact will this have on the Alpine foothills, especially the Tegernsee Valley?
At the moment, it is still too early to make a qualified statement on this. In the medium to long term, however, this could lead to a shift in travel flows to other attractive travel regions such as the Tegernsee Valley. The geographical location, in our case the mid-latitudes, certainly also play a role in the considerations of the travelers.
Tourism researcher Markus Pillmayer. © private
Why has Upper Bavaria in particular come to the fore against the backdrop of the Covid pandemic?
On the one hand, Upper Bavaria was and is indisputably one of the most attractive travel regions, especially because of its natural and cultural landscape, which must be protected and maintained. On the other hand, during the time when foreign travel was not possible or only possible with great difficulty, the domestic travel regions were virtually rediscovered.
Two years ago, the Alpine region of Tegernsee Schliersee (ATS), as a smart tourism region, planned intelligent visitor guidance for over half a million euros. What did it bring? Is it deceptive to think that excursionists can't be dissuaded from their trip to Lake Tegernsee?
The Bavarian Ministry of Economic Affairs has kindly agreed to financially support a project in the ATS in the form of a pilot study. Without funding, such projects cannot be managed. However, the whole thing takes time. An example: Some local property owners find it very difficult to convince why such a project requires a measuring station for data collection on their property. Without data, however, there is no intelligent visitor guidance, at least in digital form. In any case, it would have been desirable to accompany such a project scientifically. However, it remains to be seen whether intelligent visitor guidance can lead to noticeable effects in terms of relief. Because when the weather is nice, not all day tourists will be dissuaded from going to the Tegernsee Valley despite possible alternative offers.
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Won't the pressure on the valley increase even further with cheap public transport fares? Do you see any successful visitor guidance measures here?
The Tegernsee Valley was and is a highly attractive holiday and leisure region, especially for the Munich conurbation. Therefore, there is a need for alternative mobility services that also represent a real alternative in terms of a comfortable transfer. I would therefore not want to tie this primarily to the tariffs, but to the frequency or equipment of public transport, for example. A successful visitor guidance measure is certainly the price increase at the hikers' parking lots and the simultaneous offer of the DAV hiking bus.
They are calling for political support for the right framework conditions in tourism. So do you miss it?
I would like to see much more appreciation for the tourism industry in Bavaria, which is not only an economic factor, but also a location and cultural factor. During the pandemic, this industry was the first to be sent into lockdowns due to political decisions, and was the last to have its restrictions lifted. Tourism in Bavaria, with over 500,000 jobs, is a leading economy, which must be reflected not only in political speeches, but also in concrete action.