Corona pandemic at our back, energy crisis in front of us

Rüthen Tourismus / Press / Corona pandemic at our back, energy crisis in front of us

Where does tourism in the Sauerland currently stand? How is the region developing? What challenges does the industry currently face? These and other questions were the focus of the annual general meeting of Sauerland Tourism on October 27 at the Kurhaus in Bad Fredeburg, chaired by Frank Linnekugel. In this context, Dr. Jürgen Fischbach was also introduced as the new managing director, who succeeded Thomas Weber at the head of the tourism association at the beginning of the month.

"I am looking forward to the new task and thank my predecessor once again for his many years of work, which has significantly shaped the region and tourism through his commitment," Fischbach emphasized. "Together as a team, we want to build on the successful work of the past years and consistently continue on the path to becoming an outdoor region that inspires throughout Germany." Fischbach is no stranger to the tourism industry in the Sauerland. Because since 1991 the graduated geographer has already been active as a formative player for the region. First for five years as managing director of the Arnsberg tourist office, then from 1994 to 1996 as head of the SGV nature conservation center and as deputy managing director of the southern Sauerland district association from 1996 to 2004. Fischbach has been active for Sauerland Tourism since its founding in 2004. In his role as brand manager since 2009 and then also as deputy managing director since January 2020, the native of Olpe has played a not insignificant role in the realignment of the association and its strategic development in recent years.

Guest numbers in the region normalize steadily
The view of the guest arrivals and overnight stays of the first eight months of the year 2022 is quite positive. Here, "Germany's inspiring outdoor region" is still below the values from 2019, the last year before the Corona pandemic, with 1,536,846 guest arrivals and 4,926,293 overnight stays in the period from January to August, but the figures are steadily normalizing and show that the Sauerland continues to be a popular vacation region. However, major unknowns remain the still acute Corona pandemic and the energy crisis in Germany, which are being received with concern in the hospitality and accommodation industry.

REACT-EU funding program shapes the work of the tourism association
Particularly formative for the work of the tourism federation was and is up-to-date the conversion of the country wide promotion program REACT-EU for the cushioning of the past cuts and reduction of coming effects in the tourism. In cooperation with the Siegerland-Wittgenstein e.V. tourism association, the focus is on the aspect of digitalization. A total of 26 project modules in fields of action such as content production, content marketing, initiation of new communication formats, creation of new services or digital infrastructure are to achieve a sustainable effect and strengthen the two destinations in their work in the long term.

Jannik Müller new deputy managing director
There has also been a change in the position of deputy managing director. This will be occupied in the future by Jannik Müller. The graduate tourism manager is also no stranger to Sauerland and initially worked intensively on the further development of the region's cycle tourism from November 2015 to March 2020 as project manager of Sauerland-Radwelt and since January 2020 as contact person for marketing and market research as well as for IT at Sauerland Tourism. "Our goal must be to make the region palatable to the milieu-specific target groups in a targeted manner through extensive marketing measures and to further highlight our advantages," Müller emphasizes.

Continuity in the board work
There was no change however in the executive committee of the tourism federation. The chair lies 2023 for a further year in the proven hands of Frank Linnekugel, director of the specialized service regional development with the high sour country circle and managing director of the restaurant promotion company of the high sour country circle. His deputy remains Philipp Scharfen-baum, district director of the Olpe district. "I would like to thank in this context also once again expressly with the executive committee and all members for the good and trusting Zu-sammenarbeit, naturally also with Thomas weber for its enormous merits for our tourism region", so Linnekugel.

Contact for the press:
Rouven Soyka, Sauerland tourism registered association.
Johannes Hummel way 1, 57392 Schmallenberg
Tel.: 02974-969830, e-mail:


PI_Mitgliederversammlung 2022

Dr.Jürgen Fischbach (3.v.l.) als Geschäftsführer und Jannik Müller (2.v.l.) als stv. Geschäftsführer bilden das neue Führungsduo des Sauerland-Tourismus - hier gemeinsam mit dem Vorstandsvorsitzenden Frank Linnekugel (1.v.l.) und seinem Stellvertreter Philipp Scharfenbaum (4.v.l.).