If someone asks you to give information on the Baltic Sea Tourism Industry, what would you say? Maybe you could name the countries bordering the Baltic Sea and give some numbers on overnight-stays and arrivals in your region. Nevertheless, whenever it comes to the Baltic Sea region as a whole, facts and figures are missing. In the past, this circumstance has made it difficult to see and discuss touristic developments, direct tourist flows and plan future directions for tourism destinations in the BSR. In comparison to other macro regions, such as the Mediterranean or Caribbean, that can provide reliable tourism data for a group of countries and regions, the lack of data for the Baltic Sea region is a long discussed issue not just for tourism projects and Destination Marketing Organizations, but also for national and international politics.
The tourism industry in the BSR is an important driver for the sustainable economic development in Northern Europe. This is why the Baltic Sea Tourism Center has made it its goal to work towards the collection and interpretation of tourism data. The first milestone was the publication of the tourism market report "State of the Tourism Industry in the Baltic Sea Region" (Edition 2018) during the Baltic Sea Tourism Forum in November 2018. The University of Applied Sciences Stralsund, project partner in the BSTC project and head of the Expert Group "Market Research", worked on the development of a platform for data collection, which enables the BSTC to source, analyse and present tourism-related statistics for the Baltic Sea region in annual reports.
The latest report does not only define the BSR geographically and provide facts for the years 2014-2016, such as overnight stays (227 million), arrivals (88 million) and the number of people being employed directly in tourism related industries (638,400+). It also gives a detailed analysis of strengths and weaknesses of the Baltic Sea region as a tourism destination, and a detailed overview on individual BSR countries with contributions of politicians and DMO’s.
In 2019 the BSTC Expert Group „Market Research“, chaired by Prof. Dr. Björn P. Jacobsen (University of Applied Sciences Stralsund), will work on the development of the 2nd tourism market report as well as a first report on “Trends of the Tourism Industry in the Baltic Sea Region – 2019 Edition”. Both reports will be published at the Baltic Sea Tourism Forum 2019 in Pskov/Russia. The trend report provides tourism stakeholders with qualitative, structured trend data and supports them in making better informed decisions. Thus, the paper aims at enhancing the competitiveness of the BSR tourism industry. If we want to keep up with other macro-regions, we need to intensify cooperation, implement joint activities and pool our strengths to increase the visibility of the BSR on EU level. Facts and Figures are the first step to get information on the status quo, help positioning the BSR within the EU and to identify our next steps for further tourism development.
The report "State of the Tourism Industry in the Baltic Sea Region" (Edition 2018) can be downloaded here. For further information regarding the BSTC Core Competence “Insights” or the Expert Group “Market Research”, go to www.bstc.eu/insights/market-research or www.bstc.eu/insights/exg-market-research.
If you would like to become an active member of the permanent Expert Group "Market Research", please contact:
University of Applied Sciences Stralsund
Prof. Dr. Björn P. Jacobsen
Management Studies & International Management
Phone +49 3831 456681
[Members of this permanent working group should have a thematic connection to travel and tourism in the Baltic Sea region and should belong to tourism professions and politic areas, respectively administrative bodies.]