Marketing the destination Kühlungsborn in Switzerland: A marketing concept

Diploma Thesis, 2004
126 Pages, Grade: 1,7 (A-)


Table of Contents

1.1 Problem definition
1.2 Targets of the paper
1.3 Approach

2.1 The destination
2.2 Marketing of destinations
2.3 Marketing concepts in tourism

3.1 The tourism development in Kuhlungsborn
3.1.1 The history of tourism in Kuhlungsborn
3.1.2 Current development and situation of the tourism in Kuhlungsborn
3.2 Analysis of the touristic services supply
3.2.1 The natural services supply The location and natural environment The climate and weather The landscape The Socio-cultural conditions
3.2.2 The derived services supply The touristic infrastructure The touristic suprastructure
3.3 Summarized assessment of the destination Kuhlungsborn

4.1 Analysis of the demand side
4.2 Analysis of the Swiss source market
4.2.1 The purpose of journeys for all trips abroad
4.2.2 Travel intensity and travel frequency
4.2.3 Duration of trips
4.2.4 Time of travel
4.2.5 Organization forms of the trips and means of transportation
4.2.6 Travel motives
4.2.7 Choice of destinations
4.2.8 The Swiss journeys to Germany
4.2.9 The booking behaviour of the Swiss population
4.2.10 Particularities of the Swiss market
4.3 Forecast of the development of the Swiss market and summarized findings

5.1 Analysis of the situation
5.1.1 Analysis of the enterprise performance
5.1.2 Analysis of the competition performance (competition analysis) Heringsdorf and Usedom Binz and Rugen Poland and other foreign countries Measures Kuhlungsborn must take
5.1.3 Market analysis The guest structure The course of the season
5.1.4 Analysis of the macro-environment
5.1.5 SWOT Analysis
5.2 Development of a marketing strategy
5.2.1 Aims and guiding theme
5.2.2 Forms of strategies Market field strategy Market stimulation strategy Market parcellation strategy Market area strategy
5.3.3 Strategy draft
5.3.1 Bases of the Implementation
5.3.2 Marketing-Mix Product policy Price policy Distribution policy Communication policy
5.4 Summarised assessment of the marketing concept

6.1 The medium trade fairs in tourism
6.1.1 The Touristik-Service Kuhlungsborn GmbH on fairs
6.1.2 The Swiss fair market, especially the FESPO in Zurich
6.2 Message and objective of booths
6.2.1 Presentation of the enterprise
6.2.2 Presentation of products and services
6.2.3 Communication with the customer
6.3 Booth architecture
6.4 Summarized assessment of the fair appearance of the TSK on the FESPO in Zurich



For me, as the authors of this diploma thesis, I would like to say "Thank You” to all who made this essay possible and supported my studies.

First of all I would like to thank Mrs Reyer-Gunther and the whole Touristik-Service- Kuhlungsborn GmbH, who supported me while writing this paper.

I’m very grateful for the continual help of Prof. Dr. Ph. D. Axel Noack and Prof. Dr. rer. pol. Patrick Moore who inspired me for the development of this diploma thesis. Both were always a source of useful suggestions as well as a motivating force during the preparation phase of my final destination.

Furthermore I would like to use this chance to thank my family. Most of all I owe thanks to my parents for their loving support during the whole time, and making my studies at the University of Applied Sciences Stralsund possible by giving financial as well as emotional support. Without their engagement my studies and this diploma thesis wouldn’t have been possible.

Simone Weinert, August 2004, Stralsund

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8.1 Bibliography

8.2 Magazines and publications

8.3 Internet sources

8.4 E-Mail

8.5 Expert interviews


Appendix 1: The logos of the seaside resorts

Appendix 2: Fair visits of the Touristik-Service-Kuhlungsborn GmbH

Appendix 3: Fairs in Switzerland

List of illustrations

Illustration 1: The concept pyramid as terms of reference

Illustration 2: Development of the commercial overnight stays in Kuhlungsborn (without camping)

Illustration 3: Gross travel intensity according to size of the community (in conurbations)

Illustration 4: Duration of trips of the Swiss population

Illustration 5: Months of departure

Illustration 6: Number of holidays per year

Illustration 7: Where do you generally book your holidays?

Illustration 8: Bookings at the travel agency per year

Illustration 9: Time of booking

Illustration 10: Model of life phases

Illustration 11: Product/market matrix

Illustration 12: Success factors of the marketing implementation

Illustration 13: Distribution systems in tourism

List of tables

Table 1: Key data for travels with at least 1 overnight stay

Table 2: Development of the Swiss arrivals and overnight stays in Germany 1995­

Table 3: How frequently are you making excursions and journeys with at least three overnight stays per annum?

Table 4: Where do you book your journey, your excursion, your vacation, as a rule?

Table 5: How often (per year) do you use the services of a travel agency?

Table 6: How early do you book your holiday trip/vacation?

Table 7: Comparison of the arrivals and overnight stays in Kuhlungsborn, Binz and Heringsdorf

Table 8: SWOT-analysis

Table 9: Characteristics of classical advertising media

Table 10: National fairs the Touristik-Service-Kuhlungsborn GmbH is visitsing in

1. Introduction

1.1 Problem definition

Tourism has been a growth market, with chances and risks, for a long time. Due to growing travel experiences tourists are becoming more a more critical and demanding. Thinking of this and the merging Europe, tourism destinations have to offer touristic services supplies, that can make them - also internationally - competitive.1 Destinations2 have to react to these new expectations, because only satisfied guests are happy visitors, who are willingly to come back or to speak positively about their experiences.

Considering the dynamics of market trends it becomes more and more important for the service branch tourism to stand up against the needs and desires of the guests. Only with corresponding offers it will be possible to reach the demanding customers.

In consideration of the growing visitor numbers from Switzerland the destination Kuhlungsborn aims at preparing itself to enter this market. To do so, in the long-run, it is necessary to follow a strategic planning, that shows which ways have to be gone to accomplish the striven aims.

1.2 Targets of the paper

In today’s times of globalisation and intensifying competition, in which the competitors are hardly to distinguish, it is essential to offer quality in order to overcome hurdles to the market in the long-run. To stand one’s ground on the Swiss market, a variety of criteria has to be taken into account.

Arising from these facts the "Touristik-Service-Kuhlungsborn GmbH” (TSK) has given the author of this thesis the opportunity to develop a strategic marketing concept for the upcoming market entrance in Switzerland. The subject of the analysis, which is imperative for a successful appearance, will be the analyses of the touristic services offers and demands, as well as the superficial development of a marketing concept.

1.3 Approach

This thesis is subdivided into several parts. After the introduction to the theme and targets of the paper chapter two deals with a definition of the terms tourism destination, marketing of a tourism destination and marketing concept.

In the third chapter the analysis of the touristic service supplies of Kuhlungsborn is conducted, to evaluate the potential of the destination. This part is kept proportionally short, since the TSK knows its own touristic services supplies.

Chapter four highlights the potential source market Switzerland. Special focus is put on the travel and booking behaviour of the Swiss population. Based on these findings the special features of the Swiss travel market are summed up.

Chapter five aims at developing a marketing concept to enter the Swiss market. Based on assumptions, which have been concluded in chapter three and four, in­depth analysis of the situation, marketing strategies and the implementation of the concept are carried out. The results are leading into suggestions how to enter the Swiss market.

The „Touristik-Service-Kuhlungsborn GmbH" intends to take part at the travel fair "FESPO” in Zurich in January 2005. Chapter six gives tips and advices how to handle this appearance.

Derived from the preceding analysis chapter seven gives recommendations and a short summary of how to promote the destination Kuhlungsborn in Switzerland. Last but not least further approaches are given.

2 Definition of central terms

First of all the central terms of the thesis are explained.

2.1 The destination

Tourists are always consuming a bundle of performances, which is offered in a certain space, i.e. a place or region. Doing so the tourist compares the different regions and their special offers with each other. The decision is then made on the room/area which fulfills the needs the best way.3

Therefore destinations are these geographical units, which are chosen by the potential guest as a holiday region.4 This geographical region with its service packages does not have to be a certain place. It may also be a part of a town or a big holiday centre/hotel, including all facilities belonging to the stay and the activities around it. Depending on the opinion of the guest a destination can be a whole region, a country or a group (or mix) of different countries.5 So not the locality itself is the attraction. It is the tourist’s view, that decides about whether it is a destination or not.6

For that reason the definition of a destination arises from the background of the guest. That means that the delimitation of the destination is dissimilar on the different markets. The further away the destination is from the place of residence, the wider will it be put under geographical aspects. However, this tendency is not meant to be a basic principle, since even small destinations may have a bright touristic attractiveness and face great demands. There may rather be the risk that the profile in its compactness may become blurred, when the unit of offers is aiming at an area that is too big. In principal it can be said, that the combined service package has to be big enough, to be effective on the certain market.7

According to Bieger8 a destination can be defined as follows:

..Geographical unit (place, region, hamlet), which the respective guest (or guest segment) chooses as a target. It includes all necessary facilities for accommodation, catering and entertainment."9

Based on that the term destination is an expression, which covers all kinds and sizes of travel targets/travel products. As that destinations are the competition unit within the incoming tourism sector.10 Regarding this is has to be highlighted that the term destination is not that common within the German speaking tourism sector, while it is quite usual on the international travel sector.11

2.2 Marketing of destinations

Having defined the term destination it is now important to think about the marketing of it. Marketing in general can be thought of as: market oriented enterprise leadership, which systematically and at this more effectively and more efficiently than the competitors aligns all activities of the enterprise with the needs of the buyers. Through this the attainment of the business goals is ensured.12 That applies to a destination as well. Here the way to the long-term existence safeguarding is also pulling across the consistent customer orientation with upright preservation of the competition ability within the complete value/service chain. The destination marketing shows some unusual features at this: The service chain as a real product can be defined within a definite geographical room. The size of this product related room is linked to the market segment. For a sightseeing guest from another continent this might be a chain of touristic centres in the plan of his/her travel route, for a winter guest it might be a small vacation spot. Going out from this assumptions it seems clear that: no matter how big the product is, it is always in competition with other products. Therefore it has to be marketed as an independent, strategic business .. 13 unit.

2.3 Marketing concepts in tourism

There is hardly any field of industry like incoming tourism at which there have been written and published so many marketing concepts. Published marketing concepts are rather rare in the Outgoing tourism, e.g. for travel agencies. This fact is a clear indication for the special importance and function of marketing concepts in the Incoming tourism.13 14

The term "concept" is used in numerous different meanings today. That is based on the fact, that there is no uniform definition for it. The marketing standard literature understands a specific market orientation by the term "marketing concept".15 Kotler summarizes such a marketing concept briefly with "find wishes and fulfil them"16.

Becker17 summarizes the nature of a marketing concept as follows:

"A marketing concept can be seen as a conclusive, integral action plan ("schedule") which orientates itself at striven aims ("desired places") choosing suitable strategies for the realization ("route"), and fixes the adequate marketing instruments on those basis ("means of transport")."18

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Here (illustration 1) it gets clear, that an enterprise has to consider, where it stands (the starting point) and which "places" shall be reached in the future. After that the optimal "route" can be determined and the suitable "means of transport" can be selected.19 The pyramid clarifies the materializing of all the decisions that have to be made, from top to bottom.20 The general task while determining the marketing strategy is to use and combine all the long-term marketing instruments and marketing measures in the way that an optimal aim attainment is reached. To achieve this all enterprise resources have to be taken into account. According to the various scenarios and forecasts alternative strategies have to be developed, in order to find the most suitable strategy. The chosen strategy is the result of the acquirement process and leads to the marketing concept. To transform the concept it must be filled out with concrete measures.21

3. Analysis of the touristic services supply - the destination Kuhlungsborn

The following chapter analyses the tourism in Kuhlungsborn. Among other things this contains the social basic conditions, scenic conditions and the touristic infra- and suprastructure.

3.1 The tourism development in Kuhlungsborn

Kuhlungsborn lives from and for the tourism. The infrastructure and the location of the place are really suitable for this. There is a variety of hotels in town which are strung together like pearls on a string. The outsides of the hotels show the spa architecture of the first half of the last century while the interior is at the stand of today's time.22

Within and outside the town boundaries the vacation guest finds various offers of vacation dwellings and private accommodations. The immediate surroundings of the town and the urban features permanently were and are adapted to the increasing traffic density. However, this does not harm the typical charm and character of a seaside resort. Many traffic-calmed zones and municipal recreational areas (e.g. the town woods or the nearby "cooling" (Kuhlung) a densely wooded excursion destination, the beach, and the promenade) offer the possibility to spend a lovely vacation.23

3.1.1 The history of tourism in Kuhlungsborn

In 1938, the present seaside resort Kuhlungsborn arose from the three little villages "Brunshaupten", "Arendsee" and "Fulgen". Still today three flying seagulls symbolize the three districts in the coat of arms of the town. The first guests who came to visit the destination go back till the year 1850. Even at that time the main focus of tourism lay on the activities swimming and recovery. Back than the development of Kuhlungsborn towards a seaside resort started. Already at the beginning of the 1st World War tourism was the most essential source of income. Economic weakness following the defeat after the 1st and also 2nd World War almost led to the complete decline of tourism in Kuhlungsborn. In the times of the GDR tourism was supported. The aim was to make the seaside resort a real tourism destination. The result is today's town, which has been restored and privatised after the reunification of Germany.24

After the reunification the first sea bridge in Mecklenburg Western Pomerania was opened in Kuhlungsborn in fall 1991. The old brightness returned progressively. With fast but cautious restoration of the old architecture the elegant charm came back to Kuhlungsborn. In 1992 the reassignment of the expropriated hotels and pensions started. On February 15th 1996 the city of Kuhlungsborn was awarded the title "seaside resort”.25

Within the last years Kuhlungsborn has defended its leading position as biggest German seaside resort and records a steady visitor increase. The new port/the marina, with its 440 berths, was taken into full business in spring 2004 and is a further attraction since then.

3.1.2 Current development and situation of the tourism in Kuhlungsborn

"Tourism has broken one record after the other within the past years”.26 That’s how a booklet of the state chancellery of Mecklenburg Western Pomerania describes the positive development of tourism in the own federal state. After the structural change in the time between 1989 and 1991 the housing capacities and numbers of guests rose in the complete federal state of Mecklenburg Western Pomerania until the present time.

Immediately after the wall came down the development of a market oriented supply started. Since then Kuhlungsborn has developed itself into the biggest seaside resort of the region in which growth rates of over 20 per cent were no exception in the past time. This increase gets visible in illustration 2.

Illustration 2: Development of the commercial overnight stays in Kuhlungsborn (without camping)

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In summer 2003 a survey among the tourists/guests27 in Kuhlungsborn was carried out. 405 guests were questioned regarding their journey reason, satisfaction at the destination etc. The interviews are not prestigious, but however show certain trends and deliver important impulses to the improvement of the touristic offers in the seaside resort. Some essential findings are described in the following. 64 out of 100 questioned persons responded that their travel reason was the yearly/main holiday. 26.2 per cent spent a short/weekend holiday while 6.7 per cent made a day excursion in the town. 84 per cent of all the people said they would stay with the partner and 37.4 per cent with children. The length of stay showed a mean average value of 10 days, while more than 30 per cent stayed for 14 days, followed by 24 per cent staying 7 days.

The most favoured accommodation possibilities were hotels and vacation houses/ vacation dwellings with 33.9 per cent and 32.5 per cent. Furthermore 8.1 per cent spent their holiday in a vacation house/vacation dwelling of a plant. Besides that 6.6 per cent of the tourists stayed on the camping site and 5.8 per cent used the offer of pensions. Concerning the most favoured holiday activity the most frequently mentioned criteria were: swimming and enjoying the sun, followed by enjoying and experiencing the nature, enjoying the maritime flair as well as spending time with the children. Wellness was named as a criterion as well. Here stress management, recreation as well as healthy food and intellectual activities were dominating.28

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Regarding the question, how the guests got aware of Mecklenburg Western Pomerania (and especially Kuhlungsborn) own experiences (due to earlier journeys) clearly dominated the answers with 55.7 per cent, followed by recommendations of friends and relatives with 31.6 per cent and place and area booklets with 10.7 per cent. A quite big influence on the decision to make a journey is the appearance on the internet. For 13.2 per cent the world wide web represented the main information source. Concerning the booking of accommodations 62.4 per cent carried out the hotel booking directly at the supplier, while 11.4 per cent used their local travel agency. 8.1 per cent of the questioned people used the accommodation agency of Mecklenburg.

As a rule, the journey was carried out by car (82 per cent). Bus (8.4 per cent), train (6.4 per cent), mobile home (2 per cent), boat (0.7 per cent), motor-cycle (0.2 per cent) and airplane (0.2 per cent) are comparatively unimportant as means of transport.29

The guest study does also give findings concerning the retail trade and the missing factors of it. Concerning this the guests particularly often complained about a missing indoor swimming pool. At present there are merely some hotels offering swimming and sauna landscapes. However, this offers are only at disposal for the residents. Here a need for action is obvious, since bad weather alternatives are needed in future. Furthermore the youth must be thought of amplified since there aren't sufficient leisure time offers for this target group in Kuhlungsborn. With the creation of offers, which are attractive and aimed at all seasons, an existentially important season prolongation with an all-year exploitation can be striven for.30

A further guest survey has been carried out among 118 guests in fall/winter 2003. This study made clear, that short and weekend vacation primarily represent the journey reason in the off-season (62.7 per cent). Nevertheless the mean average value of the stays was 8 days. The desire to experience nature and to enjoy the quiet primarily dominated the journey motives. In addition, it can be recognized that the guests wanted to enjoy the maritime flair as well as to ride a bike and hike. Swimming and sunbathing (activities that were particularly attractive in summer) were now ranking quite far behind the other answers.31 Here clear interest shifts get obvious.

3.2 Analysis of the touristic services supply

Regarding the touristic services supply of vacation resorts and destinations there are various features and opinions.

Kaspar32 distinguishes two main components for the touristic services supply of a vacation region: the natural and the derived services supply. The natural offer contains all factors which don't show any reference to tourism in general and which only by the demands of the tourists get the character of a tourism performance. The natural offer can be divided into three elements:

- Natural conditions like geographical location, climate, topography, landscape and vegetation;
- Socio cultural conditions like tradition, religious and historical buildings, language, mentality, hospitality, customs;
- General infrastructure as basic equipment of the commonly usable facilities, which make the unfolding of extensive economic and social activities possible

The natural supply of a destination alone seldom makes a place a tourism place. It is rather giving stimulations for the development of tourism. The elements of natural supply are just becoming part of tourism, if so-called derived factors are added.33 Concerning the derived factors, it has primarily to be thought of the suprastructure facilities like accommodation and catering as well as touristic leisure and service offers.34 The special emphasis on the accommodation and catering supplies is based on the fact that these elements are having a particular meaning for tourists besides the natural offer.35

3.2.1 The natural services supply

The natural services offers of Kuhlungsborn are extremely various and are arranged as follows. The location and natural environment

One of the most important prerequisites for attracting tourists is the beauty of the natural environment.

The vacation area Kuhlungsborn lies at the Baltic Sea coast, in Mecklenburg- Western Pomerania. The town, which is a strung-out place with two town centres (Kuhlungsborn West and Kuhlungsborn East), has about 7,400 inhabitants. In the middle of both districts there is a 133 hectare tall town woods with comfortable created trails and ways.36

The seaside resort is the biggest bath and spa of the area and lies directly at the Mecklenburg bay. Here the longest promenade of Germany with 3,150 meters length is offering paths for walks and the broad sandy beach with more than six kilometres invite the tourist.37

According to its good location Kuhlungsborn is particularly well suitable for excursions to the nearer surroundings (numerous small and large towns) and offers a variety of entertainment possibilities. The climate and weather

The weak bracing climate, which is determined by the interaction of sea and woods, forms the basis for Kuhlungsborn as a climatic spa.38 75 per cent of the ruling winds are pure sea breezes, which cause a typical island climate with particularly clean air. The wind mostly blows side-shore from westerly direction.39 The landscape

The cooling is a landscape, which partly reaches a limit of up to 128 meter over the sea-level arisen during the last ice age. The unique change of mountains and ravines within the cooling let it look like a low mountain range. The nature protectorate is divided by many creeks and offers a wonderful look above the adjacent fields and the azure blue Baltic Sea.40 Gentle hills surround the place and invite to walks. The unique landscape Kuhlungsborn is also venue of the 104th German wandering day in September 2004.41

The town is surrounded by an untouched coastal landscape, which is ideal for cycling and walking tours. Numerous interesting places in the nearer surrounding attract the visitor’s attention: Churches, cloisters, manor houses, and Hanseatic towns.42 Kuhlungsborn itself impresses with numerous, professional redeveloped villas from the turn of the century with their special seaside resort architecture. Typical lay-out elements are gables, balconies, turrets, bays and flower decorating elements. In 1991 Kuhlungsborn was equipped with the 240 meters long sea bridge, which can be used as a landing stage by passenger boats.43 The Socio-cultural conditions

Kuhlungsborn (and its citizens) has some typical features of the North German character traits. Like along the whole North and Baltic Sea coast line the people speak various variants of the local dialect, Low German. Even the high-German has elements of the dialect. The people are mainly Protestant. Since the Middle Ages the region is architecturally characterized by the style of the brick Gothic. The epoch of the town foundations in the 13th and 14th century and the following heyday of the Hanseatic League led to the formation of gigantic churches and secular buildings along the Baltic Sea.44 The general infrastructure

This paper does not aim at giving a detailed representation of the general infrastructure (supply and waste management with water, energy, telecommunication etc.). Statements regarding this can be drawn from corresponding plans (e.g. developments schemes and development plans), which show the general infrastructure. Since the traffic infrastructure and shopping possibilities are having special importance for tourists, these conditions shall be examined closer.

Traffic connections of Kuhlungsborn

Kuhlungsborn is located a two to three hour’s drive between the North German centres Hamburg and Berlin - a great catchment area and two international airports. The connection to the European motorway net is reached in twenty minutes. The destination is linked with the main-line service net over the long-distance station in Rostock. From there on the guest changes into a regional train which reaches Bad Doberan in approximately thirty minutes. After that the unusual part of the journey, a drive with the "Molli" (a steam driven narrow-gauge railroad) starts. Kuhlungsborn itself offers three stations (Kuhlungsborn Ost, Mitte and West).

A journey on the sea way is also possible. The boat port lies 24 sm east of Poel/Wismar and 12 sm west of Warnemunde, with place for approx. 440 boats.45 The regional airport Rostock-Laage is within reach of good 90 minutes, the ferry connection to Scandinavia from Rostock is about an hour away.

The situation of the streets in general can be describes as satisfactorily. A great deficit is surely the number of parking lots, which are scarce articles in the summer. A park conducting system in town shows the parking lots, which are partly at no cost. The hotels have own parking spaces, free of charge at the guests' disposal.

Altogether it can be stated that the supraregional connections of Kuhlungsborn are insufficient for foreign guests. Particularly the journey without a car is arduous and long. Above all an air route to the region is needed in regard of travellers from Switzerland. At the moment this consideration is taken into account by the tourism association of Mecklenburg Western Pomerania and a Swiss tour operator. To operate a flight connection from Zurich to Rostock-Laage a so-called risk pool is necessary. That means that the tour operator looks for partners who will intercept the risk of an insufficient exploitation of the flight connection together with him. These partners will take on the costs for unsold plane tickets and by that make a more or less venturesome project safer. Such a risk pool has been established successfully on the island Usedom in 2003. The three seaside resorts Bansin, Ahlbeck and Heringsdorf operated such a risk pool for one season, without additional costs for the hotels of the region. According to Mr David from the tourism association Mecklenburg Western Pomerania there are however no concrete statements possible concerning the translation into action of such a risk pool for the airport Rostock-Laage.46

Shopping facilities

Kuhlungsborn offers numerous shopping possibilities. The offer varies from a department store and several food shops (e.g. fruit and greengrocer, 8 supermarkets, various bakers, butchers and fishmongers) to boutiques (maritime fashion and well known fashion labels) as well as specialist shops (photo shops and so on) and gift and jeweller stores. Comparing the two districts of the town, Kuhlungsborn West offers obviously more shopping facilities than the eastern part of town. The "Kolonnaden", an inviting shopping centre with an excellent branch mix and demanding specialist stores, are surely a small highlight in Kuhlungsborn West. The seaside resort itself is not really qualified for shopping tours. However the nearby cities (Rostock and Wismar) offer good possibilities for extensive shopping sprees.

3.2.2 The derived services supply

Not only the natural services supply of Kuhlungsborn, but also the derived supply is various in Kuhlungsborn. An abundant number of legally independent touristic suppliers offer a wide spectrum for touristic infra- and suprastructure. The touristic infrastructure

The attractiveness of the touristic infrastructure represents the basis for every touristic development. Regarding this Kuhlungsborn has much to offer. The central focus is clearly put on culture: Classic concerts, jazz, blues, Shanty sounds and much more. Attractive event places are the concert garden east (Konzertgarten Ost) and the art gallery, which are both offering high-carat exhibitions. Exhibitions of international artists and historical backgrounds of the seaside resort are shown at the “Heimathaus Rolle" (museum of local history and culture). With respect to conversation and culture there are also various offers for children: doll stages and playgrounds .

Besides swimming at guarded beaches sporting activities in the following areas are offered: sailing, tennis in the Lindenpark, golf in Wittenbeck, riding on the rider court Boldt, crazy golf as well as surfing, diving and fun sports at the beach. Extended trails and cycle tracks along the beach invite to do all kinds of sport like hiking, riding a bike, inline skating and Nordic Walking. In addition to that, Kuhlungsborn is venue for the annual Beach volleyball Masters tournament. Furthermore tourists may use the services of the "Touristik-Service-Kuhlungsborn GmbH", which proceeds as the local tourism information and makes hotel and leisure time offers.47

In the evening hours, offers especially for the younger target group are missing. There aren't any facilities like discotheques in Kuhlungsborn apart from the dance bar "Koralle" in the "Europa Hotel" and the evening events in various hotels. A cosy meeting point is offered by the "Ostseebrauhaus", where live music takes place on Fridays. The touristic suprastructure The housing supply

The seaside resort has more than 80 hotels and pensions as well as one youth hostel. Hotels are fare ahead of all types of accommodation and the hotel segment is traditionally very strongly distinctive. Kuhlungsborn offers above-average many houses with four stars classification.48 Hotels and apartment houses are located predominantly in beach proximity. It is also possible to spend the vacation on the camping site, whose exploitation was very good within the last years. In 2003 75,000 overnight stays were recorded while the number of guests was 15,600. This means an increase of approximately 25,000 overnight stays and 2,600 guests in comparison to the previous year.49

According to the statistical administrative office of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania the guest-bed capacity in Kuhlungsborn is 7,760 beds. Since the statistics does not include the privately offered accommodations with fewer then nine beds it does not represent the actual housing supply situation.

Within a period of five years (1995-2000) an enormous development has been recorded concerning the accommodations within Kuhlungsborn:

- steady consolidation of the guest-bed capacity (+94 per cent)
- clear raise of the guest arrivals (+77 per cent)
- more than doubling of the overnight stays (+120 per cent)
- continuous prolongation of the length of stay (+27 per cent).50

This trend went on during the following years as well. In 2002 an increase of about 10 per cent concerning the overnight stay numbers in comparison with the previous year was reached. This development is connected with the completion of some large hotels in best location. For the coming years no essential increases of these numbers are expected, since no new hotels are planned.

Much of the hotels in Kuhlungsborn are listed in the host catalogue, which is published and given out by the TSK. However, a deficit of this list is, that the classifications of the single businesses are partly missing. This fact makes it difficult for the guest to find suitable accommodations.

The catering supply

The offer of the catering facilities in Kuhlungsborn is broadly diversified. With almost 100 bars and restaurants an extensive spectrum of culinary offers is available for the most various tastes. There are small snack bars and family restaurants as well as exquisite restaurants with up to two stars. Not only local kitchen is represented in Kuhlungsborn but also foreign gastronomies. In addition, there are several comfortable bars and pubs and even a port restaurant.51 Except from sea buckthorn specialties and fish in most different variants Kuhlungsborn bribes also as gourmet location. Every year in the off-season (for example 26th Nov. - 4th Dec. 2004) the "gourmet days” offer a culinary highlight in a quite special way: finest menus and unusual culture actions.52 Every year this event experiences a high resonance (350 sold maps in 2003), although it is not that cheap with prices between 49 and 99 euros per ticket.53

3.3 Summarized assessment of the destination Kuhlungsborn

Since its foundation the destination Kuhlungsborn has visibly developed into a respected tourism place. Well equipped hotels and facilities of the touristic infrastructure make the destination very attractive. However, bad weather alternatives are missing. As soon as these will be offered Kuhlungsborn can represent and distinguish itself even better as vacation destination.

Kuhlungsborn must still safeguard its present market areas and use the chances in these areas. To achieve this it is of special importance to improve the touristic infrastructure. Particularly with respect to teenagers changes are needed.

The broadly diversified touristic services supply potential makes Kuhlungsborn a popular vacation region. Many different kinds of housing places (camping site, vacation dwellings, pensions and hotels of the most different classes) are represented in the seaside resort and make the destination attractive for numerous target groups. Concerning the offers and possible changes of these the knowledge gained in the guest surveys should be taken into account. In this context one has to keep in mind that the nature and relaxation represent essential journey motives. Up till now wellness has a subordinate role. Nevertheless general trends of the travel industry54 show that the potential in this segment can not be underestimated. This means to enlarge the offers with concrete package deals.

Special attractions and visitor magnets are events like the "gourmet days”, numerous concerts and other cultural offers. There is a variety of different events for all the different guest groups. However, these attractions must specifically be commercialised/made public, so that more guests can be acquired in future. Finally it can be said that Kuhlungsborn offers a variety of services supply, which has adapted very well to the tourism. Nevertheless this fact does not have to be accepted as given. The interests and demands of the guests may change quite fast, which will lead to the fact that the destination will become less attractive and popular. That is why continuous improvements and market research are necessary to keep on track.

4. Analysis of the touristic services demand - the Swiss travellers

Knowledge about the customer structure plays a central role for every enterprise and essentially determines the company’s politics. Therefore the marketing of a destination must primarily orientate itself at the wishes and needs of the guest.55 According to this chapter four deals with the demand analysis of the Swiss travel market.

4.1 Analysis of the demand side

The touristic services demand concept shows certain differences in comparison with the conventional demand concept as counterpart to the offer in the economic market model.

"The touristic demand, seen from the economic theory side, represents the willingness of the tourist to exchange different definite sets of touristic goods to different definite money supplies i.e. the purchase of them."56

The demand for tourism performances focuses on a variety of various aspects. The challenge for the interested guest, in the context of his/her journey decision, is the selection of a destination, as well as the type of accommodation and a definite organization form (individual or package vacation).57

4.2 Analysis of the Swiss source market

To find out in what way the destination Kuhlungsborn is of interest for Swiss tourists, a detailed examination of the travel behaviour for the Swiss population is required.

Resulting from the findings obtained in this analysis conclusions about how the marketing concept has to be formed can be drawn.

4.2.1 The purpose of journeys for all trips abroad

In 2002 the Swiss citizen altogether went on 12.6 million trips abroad. 75 per cent of these were vacation trips, 12 per cent business trips and 13 per cent were visits at friends and relatives and other journeys. Of the 9.5 million vacation trips 15 per cent were short vacations (1-3 nights) and 60 per cent longer vacation trips (4 nights and more).58 In comparison to the previous year this means an increase of the vacation trips abroad. A decline has been recorded regarding the number of business trips and journeys to friends and relatives as well as other journeys.59

4.2.2 Travel intensity and travel frequency

The travel intensity paraphrases the travel behaviour of the population. The net travel intensity indicates which share of the complete population (older than 14 years) has done one or several vacation trips with a duration of journey of at least five days within a year.60 Due to numerous criteria (accident, illness, age etc.) the net travel intensity will never be 100 per cent. However, those persons who take part in the tourism are always ready to do not only one but two or several journeys per year. According to this the total number of the journeys grows more strongly than it would be suspected due to the net travel intensity. This fact is taken into account by the measurement of the gross travel intensity, which indicates the number of the complete population put in relation to the total number of journeys (journeys per 100 inhabitants).61

Switzerland belongs to the countries with one of the highest net travel intensities in worldwide comparison. Already at the beginning of the seventies almost 70 per cent of the inhabitants took part in the vacation traffic. However, in the average it was "only" 1.6 journeys per travelling person at this time. At the end of the nineties journeys with four and more overnight stays accounted for a net travel intensity of 70 per cent which means a travel frequency62 of approx. 2.0.63

The examination of the travel intensity according to socio economic features sets the general coherences for Switzerland. The following groups show the highest travel intensity:

- People with high income
- People in free professions, businessmen, directors, conducting employees (educational level)
- Resident of big cities (urbanization)
- Age layers between 36 and 45 years as well as people between 65 and 75 years
- Persons from small households (gross travel intensity) as well as families with children attending school (net travel intensity)64

The income and the profession primarily influence the travel intensity. E.g. persons with a monthly per head income of over 3,400 Swiss francs reach a net travel intensity of 86 per cent and a gross travel intensity of 222 journeys (per 100 inhabitants). That corresponds to a travel frequency of 2.57 journeys per travelling person. However, not only the economic and professional conditions are important for the travel intensity, also the standard of education as well as the demographics and settlement have an important influence on this index. Generally, these connections can be represented as follows:

- The travel intensity increases in dependence of the height of the (household-) income.
- The travel intensity increases in dependence of the educational level.
- The travel intensity increases in dependence of the professional position.
- The travel intensity sinks in dependence of the age.
- The travel intensity increases in dependence of the size of the place of residence.
- The travel intensity increases in dependence of the level of urbanisation of the place of origin.65

Numbers can also verify these thesis’s. The inhabitants of the five cities (Zurich, Basel, Berne, Lausanne, Geneva) are the most diligent travellers in Switzerland (2.66 journeys per inhabitant). In communities with less then 2,000 inhabitants its only 173 journeys per 100 people. Regarding the professional position a very high net travel intensity (more than 90 per cent) can be recognised for directors, members of the top management, executive officials, independent people in the field of trade as well as persons in free professions. Concerning independent farmers the lowest net travel intensity (61 per cent) is recorded. Coherent with this the town-country-grade is of greater meaning than the culture and language differences within Switzerland. The German-speaking people living in the middle of the country are averagely travelling approximately as often and intensively as the inhabitants of the French-speaking region. Whereas the persons living in the Alps are less fond in travelling.66

illustration not visible in this excerpt

In 2002 the Swiss spent 112.4 million nights on their altogether 12.6 million trips abroad. With that the average duration of journeys abroad was 8.9 nights.67 In the average that means 1.0 million trips abroad per month, what corresponds to a travel intensity to foreign countries of 173 per cent.68

4.2.3 Duration of trips

Concerning the duration of trips changes can be recognised in the course of the past years. In 1998 it was obvious that time seemed to become scarcer, since those persons who took part in the holiday traffic travelled less often than before. In addition to that, the share of the persons, which were going on more than one holiday, was slightly sinking.69 Since 2001 this trend of shorter trip durations seems broken. The individual time budget for journeys seems to be rather exhausted. This phenomenon can be illustrated in a stabilization of the multiple journeys and multiple travellers.70

Illustration 4: Duration of trips of the Swiss population

illustration not visible in this excerpt

Source: BfS (2003) Schweizer Tourismus in Zahlen 2002, Bern, p. 30; IDT-HSG (n.d.) Reisemarkt

Schweiz 1998: Kurzbericht, p. 6

In 2002 the average duration of Swiss trips abroad was spread as follows:

- Vacation trips: 9.9 nights
- Visits at friends and relatives: 6.0 nights
- Business trips: 4.6 nights71

Referring to the length of stay of the Swiss vacation trips to Germany the average was 4.4 nights. In 2002 56.5 per cent of the travels to Germany were short trips (maximum 3 nights) and 43.5 per cent were journeys of at least 4 nights duration.72


1 cf. Kirchhoff, M., Moller, A. (2000) Servicequalitat in Tourismusinformationsstellen in ausgewahlten Destinationen, in: Haas, H.-D., Meyer, A. (ed.) (2000) Jahrbuch fur Fremdenverkehr 1999, p. 40

2 Definition see chapter 2.1

3 cf. Bieger, Th. (2002) Management von Destinationen, p. 55

4 cf. Luft, H. (2001) Organisation und Vermarktung von Tourismusorten und Tourismusregionen, p. 16

5 cf. Bieger, Th. (2002) Management von Destinationen, p. 55

6 cf. Mundt, J.W. (2002) Einfuhrung in den Tourismus, p. 288

7 cf. Luft, H. (2001) Organisation und Vermarktung von Tourismusorten und Tourismusregionen, p. 64

8 Bieger, Th. (2002) Management von Destinationen p. 56

9 own translation

10 cf. Bieger, Th. (2002) Management von Destinationen pp. 55

11 cf. Freyer, W. (2001) Tourismusmarketing, p. 22

12 cf. Hill, W. (1993) Marketing Management

13 cf. Bieger, Th. (2002) Management von Destinationen, p. 157

14 cf. ibid, p. 165

15 cf. ibid

16 cf. Kotler, Haider, Rein (1993) Marketing Places, p. 33

17 Becker, J. (2002) Marketing-Konzeption, p. 5

18 own translation

19 cf. Becker, J. (2002) Marketing-Konzeption, p. 4

20 cf. ibid, p. 5

21 cf. Kaspar, C. (1995) Management im Tourismus, p. 145

22 cf. Ostseebad Kuhlungsborn (n.d.) Tourismus, online available:, 22.03.2004

23 cf. ibid

24 cf. Ostseebad Kuhlungsborn (n.d.) Geschichte des Ostseebades Kuhlungsborn, online available:, 22.03.2004, NN (n.d.) Ostseebad Kuhlungsborn - Die Geschichte, online available: 22.03.2004

25 cf. ibid

26 own translation, cf. Ringstorff, H. (n.d.) Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, p. 21

27 The guest interview has been carried out by the TMV from April to October within the whole federal state of Mecklenburg Western Pomerania.

28 cf. TMV (2003) Gastebefragung Sommer Kuhlungsborn

29 cf. ibid

30 cf. ibid

31 cf. TMV (2003) Gastebefragung Herbst/Winter Kuhlungsborn

32 cf. Kaspar, C. (1991) Fremdenverkehrslehre im Grundrifi, pp. 63

33 cf. Freyer, W. (2001) Tourismusmarketing, p. 292

34 cf. Kaspar, C. (1991) Fremdenverkehrslehre im Grundrifi, pp. 62, Kaspar, C. (1993) Das System Tourismus im Uberblick, in: Haedrich, G. et al. (1993) Tourismus-Management: p. 28

35 cf. Kaspar, C. (1991) Fremdenverkehrslehre im Grundrifi, p. 66, Kaspar, C. (1993) Das System Tourismus im Uberblick, in: Haedrich, G. et al (1993) Tourismus-Management: p. 28

36 cf. Touristik-Service-Kuhlungsborn GmbH (ed.) (n.d.) Urlaubskatalog, p. 38

37 cf. ibid

38 cf. Reyer-Gunther, A. (2004) Touristik-Service-Kuhlungsborn GmbH: Tourismus in Kuhlungsborn, email: (19.04.2004)

39 cf. Ostseebad Kuhlungsborn (n.d.) Ostseebad Kuhlungsborn: Fakten und Zahlen, online available:, 02.02.2004

40 cf. NN (n.d.) Ostseebad Kuhlungsborn - Ausfluge, online available:, 22.03.2004

41 cf. Reyer-Gunther, A. (2004) Touristik-Service-Kuhlungsborn GmbH: Tourismus in Kuhlungsborn, email: (19.04.2004)

42 cf. Reyer-Gunther, A. (2004) Touristik-Service-Kuhlungsborn GmbH, expert interview (25.05.2004)

43 cf. Ostseebad Kuhlungsborn (n.d.) Ostseebad Kuhlungsborn: Fakten und Zahlen, online available:, 02.02.2004

44 cf. StaLa MV (n.d.) Lander an der Kuste, online available:, 29.04.2004

45 cf. Bootshafen Kuhlungsborn (2004) Neuer Bootshafen an der Ostsee, online available:, 26.04.2004

46 cf. David, H. (2004) Tourismusverband Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, telephone interview (17.06.2004)

47 cf. Reyer-Gunther, A. (2004) Touristik-Service-Kuhlungsborn GmbH: Tourismus in Kuhlungsborn, email: (19.04.2004)

48 cf. Reyer-Gunther, A. (2004) Touristik-Service-Kuhlungsborn GmbH, expert interview (25.05.2004)

49 cf. ibid

50 cf. Kurverwaltung Kuhlungsborn (n.d.) Tourismusbericht 2000, p. 8

51 cf. Ostseebad Kuhlungsborn (n.d.) Gastronomie in Kuhlungsborn, online available:, 26.04.2004

52 cf. Touristik-Service-Kuhlungsborn GmbH (ed.) (n.d.) Urlaubskatalog, p. 13

53 cf. Reyer-Gunther, A. (2004) Touristik-Service-Kuhlungsborn GmbH, expert interview (25.05.2004)

54 cf. chapter: 5.1.4

55 cf. Boddeker, S. (1999) Destinationsmarketing im Tourismus, p. 52

56 own translation, Kaspar, C. (1991) Die Struktur der Tourismusnachfrage unter besonderer Berucksichtigung der Bundesrepublik Deutschland, in: Storbeck, G. (ed.) Moderner Tourismus: Tendenzen und Aussichten, p. 279; Kaspar (1991) Die Tourismuslehre im Grundrib, p. 117

57 cf. Mazenec, J. (1979) Voraussetzungen rationaler Entscheidungsvorbereitungen im Fremdenverkehrs- Marketing unter Rucksicht auf neuere Analyse-Methoden, in: Der Markt, Heft 7/79, p. 191 quoted in: Frombling, S. (1993) Zielgruppenmarketing im Fremdenverkehr von Regionen, p. 10

8 cf. DZT-Auslandsvertretung Zurich (2004) Marktinformation Schweiz 2004, p. 5

59 cf. ibid

60 cf. Roth, P, Schrand A. (2003) Touristikmarketing, p. 49, Schmidhauser, H.P. (1973) Nettoreiseintensitat, Bruttoreiseintensitat und Reisehaufigkeit, pp. 145, quoted. in: Kaspar, C. (1991) Die Tourismuslehre im Grundrib, p. 47

61 cf. Kaspar (1991) Die Tourismuslehre im Grundrib, p. 48

62 The travel frequency indicates how often someone is doing a journey of at least five days duration. cf. Roth, P, Schrand A. (2003) Touristikmarketing, p. 49

63 cf. Laesser, C. (2002) Der Fall “Reiseveranstalter Schweiz”, in: Pompl. W./Lieb, M.G. (2002) Internationales Tourismus-Management, p. 168

64 cf. Kaspar (1991) Die Tourismuslehre im Grundrifi, p. 48

65 cf. Kaspar (1991) Die Tourismuslehre im Grundrifi, p. 50

66 cf. Leasser, C. (2002) Der Fall „Reiseveranstalter Schweiz“, in: Pompl. W./Lieb, M.G. (2002) Internationales Tourismus-Management, p. 169; IDT-HSG (n.d.) Reisemarkt Schweiz 1998 Kurzbericht, pp. 4

67 cf. DZT-Auslandsvertretung Zurich (2004) Marktinformation Schweiz 2004, p. 6

68 cf. ibid, p. 8

69 cf. IDT-HSG (n.d.) Reisemarkt Schweiz 1998 Kurzbericht, p. 6

70 cf. BfS (2003) Schweizer Tourismus in Zahlen 2002, p. 30

71 cf. DZT-Auslandsvertretung Zurich (2004) Marktinformation Schweiz 2004, p. 6

72 cf. ibid, p. 15

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Marketing the destination Kühlungsborn in Switzerland: A marketing concept
Stralsund University of Applied Sciences
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Simone Weinert (Author), 2004, Marketing the destination Kühlungsborn in Switzerland: A marketing concept, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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