Zukunftsfit für NRW – Touristische KMU bei den Bergischen Drei (Fit for the Future for NRW – Tourism SMEs in the Bergisch Three)

Qualification and funding for regional tourism service providers

Small and medium-sized tourism enterprises together with the tourism infrastructure form the most important part of the “Bergish Three” tourism region. The service providers have to cooperate well together so the value creation chain in the region is not interrupted. The guest should leave having had a relaxing experience that they would gladly repeat or recommend to others.

Already in the Master Plan 2009 the most important tourist strategies for the city triangle have been defined. In addition to the related marketing of new tourist products such as the Brückenpark Müngsten or the new cycle paths on the disused railway lines, further public investments have been initiated, such as the renovation of Schloss Burg, the landmark of the region.

In order to achieve real economic effects at these companies in addition to the image effects and to do so sustainably, it has been shown that tourism SMEs, especially businesses in the gastronomy and accommodation sectors, have to be more heavily involved and supported as beneficiaries in this development. Because of the advertising disadvantages compared to large companies such as system gastronomy, a structure has to be created for SMEs that allows strategic and sustainable company management to be established in order to be more competitive and future-oriented.

The project: "Zukunftsfit für NRW – Touristische KMU bei den Bergischen Drei" (Fit for the Future for NRW – Tourism SMEs in the Bergisch Three), funded by the EU, was initiated to give smaller companies the chance to make up for this deficit.

The objective is for the companies, together with the impulses given in the project, to learn to identify and develop their strengths. They are supported in using their existing resources efficiently and sustainably and in supplementing these with regional resources in order to increase their value creation.

Targeted marketing and corresponding adaptation to current digitalisation is intended to ensure competitiveness on the market. In particular, the challenges of demographic change/barrier-free access and digitalisation have to be taken into account here. But the requirements of target groups in regard to service quality and the needs of foreign guests are not necessarily matters of course for companies who often do not see themselves as tourism service providers.

Certifications such as “Barrierefreiheit” (barrier-free accessibility), “Service Q” und “Bett + Bike” not only strengthen the individual businesses but also serve the entire region and the state as a seal of quality.
Based on the immense flow of information currently on the tourism market, otherwise important, essential features would be lost and clear decision-making criteria would no longer be visible. This is also a great relief for foreign guests and guests with special requirements.

Facts and Figures:

Term: 2016 - 2019

Project Sponsor / Leadership
Bergische Struktur- und Wirtschaftsförderungsgesellschaft mbH 

Project Partners
Bergische Industrie- und Handelskammer Wuppertal-Solingen-Remscheid
Bergisches Land Tourismus Marketing e.V.

The “Zukunftsfit für NRW – touristische KMU bei den Bergischen Drei” project is funded by the European Regional Development Fund.