Mobility concept for the Allgäu: The guided tourist – Bavaria

Most believe that the hiking traffic in the Allgäu is a blessing. More than 70 people from the Allgäu have tuned in to the digital start of the new financing project “Allgäu Mobility Concept”, almost 70 percent of them are happy with the day trips, but they still clog the roads and block the parking lot. Politicians, tourism experts, restaurateurs and hoteliers have long debated whether tourism is taking over, especially in the southern Allgäu hotspots. The central tourism association “Allgäu GmbH” therefore now wants to create an integrated mobility concept for the entire region as part of the funding project. Digital parking management must be the first step in this direction, in order to defuse the traffic situation in hotspots.

“It is about the well-being of the Allgäu, the culture of welcoming guests and, of course, the environment of our beautiful Allgäu”, says Maria Rita Zinnecker in greeting. Especially last year’s Corona summer, remembers the district administrator of Ostallgäu and chairman of the supervisory board of Allgäu GmbH, who showed where the region still needs to improve: “Lots of traffic jams, lots of illegal parking lots, even if it was just the case. on a few occasions in places. In fact, after the lockdown in the spring, people have pushed themselves into nature with such force that some places like Oberstdorf have had a record number of tourists. This has once again fueled the discussion about the need for a better visitor management. “The special view,” agrees Zinnecker, “has to focus on the traffic requirements.”

And that is why the project is not led only by experts from the organizations “Green City Experience”, “The Urban Institute” and “Fraunhofer IML”. That’s why Zinnecker spoke to more than 70 attendees at the opening event on Monday: Mobility experts, representatives of ministries and authorities, mayors of hotspots from Schwangau to Lindau, should all contribute their know-how to better manage the flow. of visitors. The program is ambitious: three to five major Allgäu hotspots will be identified by the end of April and immediate measures will have to be taken. An integrated mobility concept for the whole region should therefore be implemented by the end of the year.

The first step is an analysis of local data, followed by expert interviews with affected people from the holiday regions. Sybille Wiedenmann, Managing Director of the Allgäu Association of Grand Hotels, asks that guests also be asked for their point of view. “We have to make sure that the people who come to participate also participate.” An in-depth analysis of traffic and visitor flows is therefore envisaged: source-destination traffic, also to Austria, but also the situation on access roads and in parking lots in front of travel destinations such as Neuschwanstein Castle must be accurately recorded, partly using cell phone data. The desired parking management should therefore be designed in such a way that it can reach as many people as possible: among other things via the app, but also via radio announcements.

According to the calculations of the German Economic Institute for Tourism, more than 58,500 people are employed in tourism in the Allgäu – in 40 different professions. According to the Federal Employment Agency, the project managers explain, tourism is the fifth largest employment sector in the region. This shows why the topic of visitor management is treated so well in the Allgäu with the generic term “over-tourism”. And not only in the Allgäu: most of the holidaymakers are German, their share of visitors is almost 90 percent in normal years, in the Corona summer of 2020 it was even higher than 90 percent.

Tourists come for nature, but they also find problems there. At the start of the event, tourism and mobility participants were asked to interactively list the region’s strengths and weaknesses: experts praised the mountains and tourist attractions, as well as the good network of cycle paths and hiking trails. Above all, though, they criticized the strong focus on the car, the lack of bicycle transportation on the train, and the lack of a comprehensive ticketing system. All of these are points that will play a role in the design of an integrated mobility concept. The tourism industry would like to see the needs of locals and guests intertwined and some of the attendees even spoke out in favor of the “climate protection priority”.

Visitor management concepts have been tested at Allgäu for years. Just last summer, a research project was presented that aims to make information on free parking, congested roads, open shelters and closed hiking trails more easily accessible in the future. The Allgäu mobility concept now wants to include all municipal initiatives. “The task is ambitious,” says district administrator Zinnecker.

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