Hamburg News: Tourism - one of the highlight events: the event Blue Port is shown with Elbphilharmonie during night time.
Professor Norbert Aust: „Wir leben vom Tourismus“ - © Jörg Modrow

"We live from tourism," says Professor Norbert Aust

Elbphilharmonie proving global visitor magnet and raises quality of life in Hamburg

Britain’s “Economist” has ranked Hamburg among the world’s ten most liveable cities in its Global Liveability Report 2017. A total of 140 cities worldwide were rated in terms of quality of life, security, health services, education and infrastructure for the report. The Elbphilharmonie is a tourist magnet, which is drawing ever more attention to the city as well. Professor Norbert Aust, CEO of the Tourismusverbandes Hamburg e. V., noted: “The Elbphilharmonie is in the first instance a concert hall, but of course a landmark which is changing our city visibly. This landmark illustrates Hamburg’s aspiration to be a city of music – and we must live up to this claim.”

The present interest in the spectacular building will abate in time, but the appeal of first-class music will not subside. “Therefore, we must continue to bring outstanding artists to Hamburg to broaden our good reputation as a city of music in the long-term.“ Building a concert hall with outstanding acoustics is not enough, Aust stressed. Attention must be drawn to the entire music location. Hamburg, after all, stands for a vast range of music such as pop and rock, classical music and musicals, a vibrant club scene and the Reeperbahn Festival, which attracts more visitors every year and is gaining importance. Music education in schools and nursery schools must also be part of this overall music strategy.

Elbphilharmonie attracting tourists and new residents

Aust stressed the importance of the Elbphilharmonie as part of the whole and not as a solitary building. “A lively, attractive city interests both tourists and new residents. I am always delighted to hear: 'Hamburg is a great city.’ And I am even more pleased when someone tells me: 'Hamburg is a great city and I want to live here.'“ Hamburg needs qualified new residents to continue developing, Aust believes. And if the city can attract clever minds through the Elbphilharmonie’s magnetic draw, this will boost the economy, which ultimately means more cash in municipal coffers. Those monies can then be used to promote Hamburg as a centre of culture, science and commerce. “The ultimate aim is to improve the living conditions for everyone in our city,” said Aust.

Developing tourism carefully

Thanks to significant tourism, the city avails of more money. “Tourism is a key economic factor in Hamburg and its dimensions are comparable to the port,” Aust noted. Tourism has created over 100,000 jobs – for low-skilled workers to university graduates and generates EUR 6 billion in annual turnover for Hamburg. “We live from tourism and must develop it carefully,” Aust explained. The Elbphilharmonie is drawing tourists to Hafencity and the city centre. “But we must send a message that there is plenty to discover in other parts of Hamburg – from the Treppenviertel in Blankenese to the Sternenwarte in Bergedorf right up to the Wildpark Schwarze Berge in Harburg. And we cannot stop raising the attractiveness of Hamburg simply because the Elbphilharmonie has triggered interest from all over the globe, Aust warned. “Even with the Elbphilharmonie, we are still in immediate competition with other attractive global cities. We cannot rest on our laurels.”

Michael Otremba: Elbphilharmonie “stands for an unrivalled experience”

This also resonates with Michael Otremba, Managing Director of Hamburg Tourismus GmbH and Hamburg Marketing GmbH. “We have to focus more on the question of how we can make the local experience even more meaningful and pleasant for guests,” he stressed. Visitors’ demands are rising because of the Elbphilharmonie alone. It stands for an unrivalled experience in the city. We want to meet this high demand on quality throughout a stay.” Hamburg can deliver, Otremba believes because “unlike the Brandenburg Gate or the Eiffel Tower, the Elbphilharmonie has a life of it’s own – indoors. And we want these 'inner values’ to put it among the world’s top ten concert halls.” Otremba is delighted by the international brilliance of Hamburg’s new landmark and which has put the city on the list of must-see destinations for tourists from all over the world.

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