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Writing Workshop

Boxberg/O.L. “Bärwalder See”: a case study in municipal marketing

Marketing and public administration – does that fit? Why marketing in public area, where no “real” products are offered anyway? What should be marketed at all? These questions are normally in the room, when you are dealing with the topic of marketing in the area of in the commune. Nevertheless, it was precisely a sector that the municipalities should more attention, as this is playing an increasingly important role.

Especially in a municipality where tourism plays an important role. The municipality of Boxberg/O.L. is located in a brown coal area and lives from it. Due to the withdrawal of coal, tax revenues also decrease and a different type of income has to be sought. This problem should be solved by tourism. The focus is on marketing. 

Tourism in Boxberg/O.L.

The municipality of Boxberg/O.L. offers numerous tourist attractions. The commune comprises a total of 18 districts and has an area of 218 m². Another characteristic of the municipality are the two active opencast mines and an opencast residual hole. Through numerous measures of recultivation an extensive tourist offer could develop here. Among other things, the Nochten boulder park, which is the largest rock garden in Europe, and the “Ear” were created. The “ear” is the largest man-mad image of a human ear. In the middle of it is an amphitheatre. The biggest highlight is the “Bärwalder See”. This lake is a flooded opencast mine and has been open for swimming since 2008. Saxony’s largest lake, with three beaches, offers the largest and most varied range of tourist attractions in the entire municipality.     

Definition of marketing

„Marketing is the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large. “(https://www.ama.org/the-definition-of-marketing-what-is-marketing/) 

In addition, marketing can be described in such a way that marketing “Consistent alignment of the entire company with the needs of our customer of the market. Nowadays, it is undisputed that on highly competitive markets the needs of demanders at the centre of corporate management have to stand. Marketing thus represents an entrepreneurial mind-set. In addition, marketing is an entrepreneurial task, to which the most important challenges include recognizing market changes and shifts in needs in order to achieve competitive advantages in good time to build. In addition, there is another central task of the marketing management in order to increase the opportunities for increasing the benefits of and to sustainably increase the benefit for customers.” (https://wirtschaftslexikon.gabler.de/definition/marketing-39435)

In short, marketing is an activity of the company, which is targeted at attractively offers a product or service on the market. Thereby the needs of the demanders are to be addressed in order to increase demand and thereby generate maximum sales. Marketing has to be adapted, because the needs of the market are and therefore the methods of marketing must also change, to adapt to change.

Current marketing of the lake

Currently, the lake is mainly marketed by the municipality of Boxberg/O.L.. The heart of the project is the tourist information centre at the Boxberg/O.L.  On the “Bärwalder See”. Here over the summer season the tourists are advised over all important things. The most important role plays here the information over overnight accommodation, cycle ways, footpaths, bathing at the lake, boat rental and the port in Klitten. Another way of marketing is to display flyers in other tourist information offices and at various tourism fairs. Where, of course, new tourists should be attracted.  The last way of the momentary marketing takes place over the Internet. A website is made available, which revolves only around the “Bärwalder See”. In addition, the “Bärwalder See” enjoys an internet presence in the context of the Lusatian Lakeland. However, there are also other sights in the focus.

Problems for marketing in the future

This raises the question of how the lake can be further marketed in the future. Due to the increasing competition in the surrounding area, it is particularly important to remain active here. The municipality could provide apps where the lake is the focus. With this app, all gastronomic facilities, overnight accommodation, cycle paths, hiking trails and other sights of the municipality could be connected and thus offer tourists the optimal range of information. In addition, the municipality must invest money in marketing abroad and in other parts of Germany.  This should solve the problem that the lake is still too unknown in many parts of Germany and abroad. However, the problem with the whole thing is that tourism is a voluntary task and therefore financing is difficult. Here the state could support the community with subsidies in the context of the coal exit.

Conclusion

In the end, it has to be said that marketing plays an important role. I think that the state has to support the small communities much more. Be it through financial means or other help. In my opinion, this should be more important in this region. The community should no longer be seen as a simple administrative object, but should be seen in a more versatile way. I am still convinced that tourism is the future of the community of Boxberg/O.L. and that this should be further promoted through marketing. Especially in the digital area, one should become even more active with marketing.