51 UNESCO world heritage sites at the heart of the German National Tourism Board campaign

The German National Tourism Board (GNTB) positioned the year 2023 with a global campaign highlighting Germany’s 51 UNESCO world heritage sites

The campaign not only highlights culture and environment but also puts sustainable travel experience at the heart of tourist activities.

Berlin’s Museums Island, Bamberg old town, Cologne cathedrale, the hanseatic cities of Lübeck, Stralsund and Wismar, the Muskau Park in Saxony and the Wadden Sea in the North. These are all part of the 51 UNESCO designated world heritage sites located in Germany.

Many of these sites are located in secondary destinations which help to attract tourists to less-known areas of Germany while promoting nature- and culture-linked tourism activities.

In a time of increased demand for sustainability and travel with a purpose, the GNTB launch of a UNESCO linked campaign is a perfect opportunity. By promoting UNESCO Wold Heritage sites, the German National Tourist Board is further expanding its commitment to positioning Germany as a sustainable destination in international markets.

The new global campaign ’51 UNESCO world heritage sites’ is due to draw the interest of potential German holidaymakers to the country’s great heritage with its significant cultural assets and unique natural landscapes. Most of the sites are easily reachable by public transport, promoting also a tourism with less footprint.

The UNESCO World Heritage Sites stand for a high standard of quality, for the protection of historical monuments, and for the preservation of customs and tradition.

51 UNESCO world heritage sites at the heart of the German National Tourism Board campaign
The National Gallery on Berlin Museums Island | Credit: LC/Cleverdis

UNESCO values shared by the GNTB

Petra Hedorfer, Chairwoman of the GNTB’s Executive Board, recently explained that “in their universality and historical significance, our 51 UNESCO world heritage sites point far beyond the horizon of the multiple crises we are currently experiencing.”

She stressed: “They stand for departure, upheaval and out of the box thinking and embody the idea of a united Europe in a unique way. Today, we can still get inspired by this special spirit of the world heritage.”

The GNTB Destination Brand 2021 study also proved the close connection between the affinity for sustainable travel and the interest in cultural experiences. “With this in mind, we designed the campaign to inspire an experience of Germany’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites with environmentally and climate-friendly travel behaviour,” added Hedorfer.

The campaign promotes the discovery of the 51 World Heritage Sites through seven clusters: “Palaces and Castles”, “Cultural History”, “Nature and Gardens”, “Industrial Culture”, “Architecture and Design”, “Churches and Monasteries” and “Historic Cities”.

The central element of the campaign are eight themed routes that combine sustainable travel to the World Heritage sites with emotional experiences and added value for guests and inspire longer stays.

By offering further thematically corresponding points of interest along the route, potential travellers can also discover places and regions that were previously less frequented by tourists. The suggestions for the eight to twelve-day trips contain detailed travel tips, maps and links to accompanying sustainable travel experiences.

51 UNESCO world heritage sites at the heart of the German National Tourism Board campaign
The Hanseatic city of Lübeck | Credit: LC/Cleverdis

Special microsite launched

A microsite has been created for that purpose, providing practical information, tips for travel planning as well being a source of inspiration. All the circuits are designed in such a way that they can also be comfortably completed by public transport. The microsite is available in German, English, French and Spanish.

The campaign appeals to young city travellers interested in nature and culture, who are interested in responsible, sustainable travel to local places and people, as well as culturally interested travellers who have long favoured sustainability in many facets of life.

51 UNESCO world heritage sites at the heart of the German National Tourism Board campaign
Naumburg cathedral | Credit: Von Linsengericht – Eigenes Werk, CC BY-SA 3.0

’51 UNESCO World Heritage Sites’ is played out as a digital campaign in all GNTB target markets. Central elements of the campaign are the campaign film, programmatic marketing, social media channels, SEA and email marketing as well as the microsite as an information hub.

Saxony-Anhalt, premium partner of the campaign

The premium partner for the implementation of the campaign is the Land of Saxony-Anhalt. In this federal state alone, six outstanding cultural monuments, valuable documents and a biosphere reserve are protected by UNESCO.

Among them are Quedlinburg, one of the most beautiful medieval towns in Germany with its half-timbered houses, Naumburg cathedral, Dessau with the famous Bauhaus school of architecture, Luthertown Wittenberg or the UNESCO biosphere of the Elbe river and UNESCO geopark of the Harz mountains.

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