Tourism on the trail of Friedrich Wilhelm Raiffeisen

Professionally planned tourism for communities along the historic “Raiffeisen Route”

In many cities and communities currently experiencing growth, tourism plays a not insignificant role. Other areas, however, fail to tap the full potential of their facilities when it comes to tourism. These parts of Germany face new challenges: to reposition themselves in the ever-changing landscape of tourism and leisure activities and to develop as a tourist destination. Fundamental to this process will be their ability to recognize tourism trends and weave them into existing resources and infrastructures. The Steinbeis Consulting Center for Regional and Communal Development is crafting a course of action for the Historic Raiffeisen Route.

Nestlied between the cities of Hamm and Neuwied in Germany’s Westerwald forest, the communities that dot the Historic Raiffeisen Route have understood how important repositioning is. The Steinbeis Consulting Center in Kaiserslautern has been commissioned to present a model of professionally planned tourism, one that will guide and inspire innovative tourism development throughout the region.

The Historic Raiffeisen Route runs through an area covered by the rural districts of Altenkirchen and Neuwied, taking in places shaped by the influence of Friedrich Wilhelm Raiffeisen. Today, Raiffeisen is best known as a social reformer and the father of local cooperative banking. He was also a key contributor to the construction of this historic transportation route.

Professionally planned tourism will mean taking greater advantage of the legacy of Raiffeisen. To make use of the existing infrastructure and draft a plan that will be acceptable to all communities affected by the project, the Steinbeis consultants will analyze the supply and demand of tourist attractions. This will include a survey of owners of local accommodation, day trippers and overnight guests, and local residents. The research will provide a clear picture of tourism’s potential and pinpoint possible “unique selling points” to add value to the region and, ultimately, help market it. The aim of the project is to agree a plan containing key actions. Ideally, the plan will show how best to market the region to specific target groups and highlight improvements needed in the services offered. The plan will also demonstrate organizational changes needed to improve the nature of regional tourism.

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