ETN publisher Thomas Steinmetz is attending the members of the American Tourism Society (ATS) gathering being held at the historic 5-star Grand Hotel Heilgendamm in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany, which began today, Monday, October 26, 2009. A busy agenda is planned for the next 2 days. Sylvia Bretschneider, president of the tourist board of the North Eastern German State Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and president of the Parliament, addressed the American delegates at the opening evening reception, and German Luv un lee Shantychoir entertained delegates over dinner.
Bretschneider and Ricarda Lindner, head of the German National Tourist Board in New York, underlined the enormous potential this region has. The retirement market and health tourism are some of the areas this state wants to promote for itself.
David T. Parry, chairman of the American Tourism Society and executive of VP Tauck World Discovery, is a long-time fan of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and travels to Germany five times a year. This former East German resort was the jewel of tourism for the former German Democratic Republic. Parry pointed out that while ATS has its 20th anniversary, so does east Germany. It was liberated and united 20 years ago.
Mecklenburg-Vorpommern enjoys more tourists than any state in Germany and is succeeded only by Bavaria as the number one tourist destination with most visitors being domestic visitors or from the EU. For Americans wanting to relax, this seaside location with its many 4- and 5-star resorts, is ideal with its clear air, wide-open spaces, and historic places. It is situated between Hamburg and Berlin on the southern end of the Baltic Sea and is often referred to as the “holiday country.”
There are plenty of opportunities to enjoy water activities such as swimming, sailing, and surfing in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern with its 1,900 km of beaches, 2,000 sparking lakes, crystal clear rivers, and steep coastlines. Here, the clock runs a bit slower, and one can tune out, relax, and simply breathe deeply and enjoy the peacefulness. For the more active, there are quaint villages, elegant seaside resorts, monumental brick churches, and fairy-tale castles that transport you back to the time of the Romantic Era and the legends of the Middle Ages just waiting to be explored. The numerous treasures of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern await you.