The Tourism Podcast of the Tourism Association of Hamburg regularly invites tourism stakeholder to talk about advantages and disadvantages of #HamburgTourism. Recently, I was also invited to talk to the president of the association, Wolfgang Raike, about the Hanseatic City.
Hamburg is quite airy!Sarah Janning-Picker
What must-sees are there in Hamburg?
Of course, as a certified tourist guide in Hamburg I could talk for hours about this beautiful Hanseatic City but in general, I would say that Hamburg provokes a special appeal through its vastness (the horizon and broad streets), its Green (the many parks) and its Blue (the stretches of water). Hamburg appears a lot more “airy” than other cities I know. We cannot provide a castle, oriental-style facades or mountains but we provide liberty – Great Liberty. Not only as a street name in the quarter of St. Pauli. It can be felt by all of those who would like to experience it, free of charge, at numerous places within the city.
Sit down at the Outer Alster Lake for a moment and observe the swans present proudly their plumage, enjoy the view of Hamburg Skyline from the viewing platform at the Old Elbe Tunnel, let the wind caress your face on the Elbe Boulevard! Only those who don’t hurry from one sight to the next, will be able to grasp our awareness of life.
What is missing in Hamburg for tourists?
Tourism is no priority in Hamburg. We tourism stakeholders feel that clearly, although tourism is contributing ever more to the private and governmental income in Hamburg. Measures often target attracting more guests (recently more foreign guests) to the city. Unfortunately, touristic infrastructure is not keeping pace. Or is not extended accordingly.
Many tourists arrive in Hamburg in a group on a coach. There are not enough parking lots for coaches – especially for overnight parking – available and the access to many hotels is difficult – or after the implementation of traffic calmed zones nearly impossible. Being out on the street with a group and finding a public toilet is a challenge, if the guided tour does not include the town hall or St. Michael’s Church.
How can tourist guides support?
As a qualified tourist guide I’m aware – and am trying to forward that to colleagues and apprentices – that tourism only runs smoothly if also the inhabitants of the city – in this case, the Hamburgers – agree. Hamburg Guides can make a difference by really leading our groups. That’s what we are supposed to do! We as guides need to keep an eye on the bike lanes, we need to position our group in a way which does not obstruct ways or entries and exits, we must make sure that our guests understand and respect the local culture without interfering too much!