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Fireworks behind the Neues Palais in Potsdam to celebrate the 'Palaces by night' festival
© dpa
Palaces, Parks and Gardens: Germanyís tourism theme for 2008

March 20, 2008

History combined with countryside and culture – a global multi-media marketing concept to showcase verdant landscapes, majestic buildings and hidden treasures.

With the launch of its "Palaces, Parks and Gardens - Romanticism in Germany" theme for 2008, the German National Tourist Board (GNTB) is continuing its worldwide cultural marketing campaign to advertise Germany as a travel destination. This marketing drive follows on directly from the "Art and Culture in Germany" campaign it launched in 2007 and highlights new aspects of Germany as a cultural travel destination in conjunction with fascinating natural landscapes.

Germany has already established itself as the world's second-most popular cultural travel destination for Europeans to visit. Only France attracts more "culture vultures", with rivals Spain, the United Kingdom and Italy following in third, fourth and fifth place respectively. The "Palaces, Parks and Gardens – Romanticism in Germany" theme for 2008 combines insights into Germany's history with historical buildings, the chance to experience wonderful architecture and gardens, and the particular pleasure of being able to appreciate art and culture in a natural setting.

Palaces, parks and gardens already rank as some of Germany's most popular visitor attractions, with roughly 20 million people a year visiting Germany's palaces and parks. The English Garden in Munich has three million visitors a year, while Neuschwanstein Castle welcomes 1.3 million. A number of attractions classified as UNESCO World Heritage sites act as a powerful advertisement for the splendour of Germany's beautiful countryside and places of cultural interest, including its palaces and parks.

Visitors to Germany are fascinated to see palaces, parks and gardens from all periods of history: baroque features bear testimony to the wealth of old aristocratic dynasties and draw foreign tourists' attention to historical connections with Europe's royal households, for example along the House of Orange Route. Numerous garden kingdoms invite visitors to take a leisurely stroll and relax in an aesthetically pleasing setting: well-known examples include the Garden Kingdom of Dessau-Wörlitz - which is a UNESCO World Heritage site, as is Prince Pückler Park in Bad Muskau – Belvedere Palace gardens in Weimar and the flower island of Mainau in Lake Constance.

However, Germany's palaces, parks and gardens are not just about looking back to the past. They often house museums or are used as attractive conference venues and also serve as a backdrop to a large number of festivals featuring concerts, theatre performances and cabaret. Many buildings are used as hotels that provide a luxurious ambience in which to live and dine - where the lord of the manor himself often plays the role of host.

According to Petra Hedorfer, the GNTB's Chief Executive Officer: "Apart from health & fitness holidays, culturally motivated travel is one of the strongest trends in international tourism. In overseas markets such as the United States, Japan and China there is huge interest in cultural holidays – which is generating great potential for Germany."

The GNTB is using a full range of marketing tools to advertise its "Palaces, Parks and Gardens – Romanticism in Germany" theme for 2008. A key element in this campaign is its comprehensive website content at www.germany-tourism.de, which enables prospective guests to see what it would actually be like to visit Germany's palaces, parks and gardens. 360-degree panorama views, over 300 photographs and visual guided tours allow them to experience and 'feel' the theme year at first hand. Another important feature is the image brochure, which is available in eight languages from the GNTB and its 29 foreign representative offices and presents over 150 palaces, castles and parks from every corner of Germany in various theme groups, highlighting their unique aspects.

In addition to the image brochure, all twelve annual issues of the GNTB's Destination Germany magazine - which has a total circulation of over 500,000 - include an eight-page special feature on selected palaces, parks and gardens. The marketing campaign is completed by a full range of press and PR activities, fact-finding tours about the theme year for foreign journalists and decision-makers, and special campaigns by the foreign representative offices in their respective countries. The inaugural event for this year's GTM Germany Travel MartTM at the Residenz Palace in Munich will take "Royal Munich" as its theme.



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