Bavarian tourism companies not only look after the well-being of their guests, but are also important employers and a significant part of the economy. How can they maintain this economic power with a contemporary and sustainable offering? We find out.

For the Spring/Summer 2019 issue of LfA Magazine, we looked at the developments currently driving tourism in the region. Industry insiders Angela Inselkammer, President of the Bavarian Hotel and Restaurant Association, and Harald Pechlaner, Head of the Faculty of Tourism at the University of Eichstätt, talked to journalist Stefan Ruzas at Platzl in Munich about the future of tourism. Photographer Manuel Nieberle captured the conversation for us.

Portrait of Angela Inselkammer, manager of the "Brauereigasthof Aying"

Angela Inselkammer is the managing director of the Brauereigasthof Aying and was the first woman to be elected president of the Bavarian Hotel and Restaurant Association in 2016.

Portrait of Harald Pechlaner, head of the Faculty of Tourism at the University of Eichstätt

In addition to his work at the University of Eichstätt, Harald Pechlaner is also head of the Centre for Advanced Studies at the European Academy Bolzano (EURAC), author and co-editor of books and research articles.

"Tourism is like a showcase for change, but also stagnation."

Harald Pechlaner

Which mistakes should be avoided at all costs as a tourist business these days?
Inselkammer: Being fake. People can tell immediately if a host is authentic. Guests visit because they want to experience authenticity. The key factor is whether the online presentation, the ambience, the staff of the hosting company and the personal contact really go together - whether this picture is accurate.

And what would be worth a try?
Pechlaner: Every business strategy should be adapted to the radically changing circumstances. This is a major challenge in the field of digitalisation. We are actually moving very slowly. This also applies to the topic of succession. Many hoteliers and restaurateurs are dealing with this issue far too late. If you want to handle social change, look at tourism – it is like a showcase for change, but also for stagnation.

Inselkammer: Specialisation. Pursuing the question of 'what am I particularly good at'. Do I stand for peace and tranquillity, for experiencing nature, solitude or for adventure? The family-run gastronomy and hotel business has immense potential in Bavaria, but politicians have to understand that, and change basic conditions in such a way that small and medium-sized businesses can still exist. Across all sectors of the economy those businesses are going bankrupt, because there are too many regulations and obligations to keep records and controls. A small business can hardly carry that burden.

  • Angela Inselkammer and Harald Pechlaner sit on a red couch and talk
  • Harald Pechlaner talking to author Stefan Ruzas
  • Stefan Ruzas, Harald Pechlaner and Angela Inselkammer talking in the lobby of a hotel in Munich
  • Angela Inselkammer speaks in the background, while Harald Pechlaner sits in the foreground, hands folded in front of his face

Tourism in Bavaria is experiencing a record boom, with more than 17 million tourists and growth rates of 5% and more. Is the Freistaat a destination that sells itself?
Pechlaner: The popularity of Bavaria as a trademark is not enough, it's also about arousing desires. And this succeeds in Bavaria because there is a broad variety of rural and urban attractions and services that are genuine and credible. Desire is of course also international, and that is where Bavaria is competitive. I believe that we are entering a new age of tourism, much more than we have done so far. It's no longer a question of chasing records, but of considering which guests Bavaria wants to have and which ones suit its offerings.

Inselkammer: It is immensely important to include the local population. For example, with the question: What added value do these records mean for us? What infrastructure can be maintained as a consequence? We can enjoy most leisure facilities, whether cycling paths or swimming pools, because we have this income. We have 560,000 full-time jobs in tourism and a revenue of 31 billion euros. There was an interesting international study on what people associate with Bavaria. Beer was ranked first, of course, but then it's all about the possibility of participating in a traditional lifestyle. We have so many holidays and festivities where other people can participate.

Read the rest of the interview in LfA Magazine Spring/Summer 2019.

Cover of the LfA magazine spring/summer 2019
Presenting the full story LfA Magazin 01/19

Since 2016, Storyboard has produced the customer magazine of LfA Förderbank Bayern. Published twice a year, the magazine carries LfA news and funding opportunities. A variety of narrative perspectives as well as large-format infographics and service elements bring to life complex content on the topic of business development. The Spring/Summer 2019 issue focuses on trends and developments in tourism.