For Dorothea Schäffler, International Marketing for Saxony Tourism (TMGS), Asia remains a priority market and ITB Asia was the perfect place to highlight what the Eastern German state can provide in terms of tourism attractions and activities.
“Asia is a fast growing market with China and Japan being our top incoming Asian sources. We also see a growing number of Southeast Asian travellers. We are lucky to be well positioned near the borders of both the Czech Republic and Poland, halfway between Berlin and Prague. This makes our region an ideal stop for multi-country circuits,” she explains.
Culture remains the top motivation to visit Saxony with its historical towns, palaces, cultural institutions as well as local traditions. Local christmas markets or classical music in prestigious locations such as the Semper Opera House in Dresden are part of the permanent marketing offer of the Land of Saxony.
“We however know that we also need to adapt our image to specific wishes of Asian clientele. Luxury products are for example part of our communication towards Asian markets. We emphasise the visit of Meissen and its world-famous porcelain manufacture, the luxury watch brand Glashütte and also the production sites for Porsche and BMW that can be visited. We promote as well general shopping in Dresden and Leipzig,” adds Schäffler.
In the coming years, Saxony tourism representatives want to emphasize more secondary destinations, particularly smaller cities which often correspond more to the Asian perception of romance. “Bautzen or Goerlitz are true architectural jewels. They are a perfect setting for the wedding market for example”, tells Schäffler.
This year, UNESCO listed the Ore Mountain Mining Region (Montanregion Erzgebirge) on its world heritage list with its 800-year old industrial heritage landscape. The area has numerous monuments and collections related to the historic mining industry of the region. It is also a chance to discover the traditional Ore Mountain folk art produced for Christmas with its wooden smoking figures, Christmas pyramids and candle arches.
Photo: Dorothea Schäffler, International Marketing, Saxony Tourism (TMGS)