State-of-play: Mapping the demand side
The purpose of the study
In a first draft report an investigation has been done into research related to the demand side of the Baltic maritime heritage, present and potential. This is a brief summary of the report, intended to form part of the basis for the Viabal project.
A huge but diversified coastal tourism
The coastal tourism and visitor volume is huge. Available data from 2006 suggests some 175 million overnights stays. Germany, Sweden and Denmark being the dominant travel goals, Polish coast area and Finland about third of those countries, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania about a tenth.
A basic characteristic of the Baltic Sea tourism is its broad variety and diversity in nature. There are many segments and large variations between geographical areas. The differences in balance between domestic visitors and visitors from abroad are considerable in the coastal areas, with Germany being extremely low on visitors from abroad (4%), while eg in Poland and Sweden visitors from abroad has an over 20% share, in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania around 50%.
Studies related to Baltic Sea heritage tourism in 2011rates the age group 65+ highest in interest in the maritime heritage, with a 30% share of the EU visitors spending their time for these subjects. For ages 15-34 this figure was 16% .
Expectations and opportunities for the future
There is a considerable growth in demand for visiting the Baltic Sea coastal areas, with estimated 3% per year for the first years of the 2000s in Sweden and Germany, less in other Baltic countries.
Available research indicates a considerable potential for Maritime tourism and Culture and events tourism. The expected future development for these two travel topics are among Top 5. In an online survey from 2011, 73% of the respondents expected Maritime tourism to be a top travel topic, 60% expected Culture. Of special interest is to note the highest ranking topic Active tourism (78%), an indication of possible future profiles of the ways to make accessible and visible the maritime heritage.
Studies on the present profile of the Baltic Sea maritme heritage indicate some interesting opportunities for the future.
- There is still a huge potential of visitor not yet having discovered the maritime heritage
- There is a potential of attracting maritime heritage interested away from the cities out to the actual heritage sites in the rural areas
- There is a potential for creating new products and ways to attract young people.