Fronte Lamotte, Weißenburger Gate. Photo: Britta Hoff
Fronte Lamotte, Weißenburger Gate. Photo: Britta Hoff

Fortification site Weißenburger Tor

Centre for tourism and multiple-stakeholder marketing

The Weißenburger Tor is part of the well-preserved fortification buildings in Germersheim, a small city situated in the beautiful Palatinate in the south-western part of Germany.

The Weißenburger Tor has been used as an administration building by the armed forces, until the organisation left about 15 years ago. Due to its prominent status within the region and the quality of the location the building is qualified to act as a management centre forming the focus point of management and marketing actions. It will be developed into a facility for stakeholder gatherings, public relation events, instruction and training courses and working space for preparation and implementation of campaigns. Furthermore, it will be the focus point of tourism with a local tourism office, a home to the virtual presentation of the fortification, the town and the region and the assembly and starting point for various sightseeing activities. Preferably within the Manage+ project an upgrade to regional significance is being pursued as it shall be developed as formal gateway to the region. 

The new centre will be the seat of a small management team which will develop extended public-private partnerships for coordinated area operation and marketing, with new services, events and other offers for users of the area arranged by private businesses and citizen groups. The management & marketing centre will support citizen groups to present their various activities and to expand these. Identity and further social activities (in fields such as environmental, cultural, sports) will be promoted by involving these stakeholders in the management structure (appropriate form to be identified in the project); by letting them support new activities by voluntary in-kind contribution (maintenance work, staff for visitor activities, preparation of events). The centre will enhance economic benefits by modern marketing and information for the regenerated complexes. It will not replace existing marketing organisations, but serve as a coordination place for different, so far isolated promotion actions.

“Multiple-stakeholder marketing” goes beyond traditional marketing. It adds a more complex dimension by using involved stakeholders as multipliers and contributors. The City of Germersheim will develop a concept for broad public-private local-regional marketing partnerships, also requesting structured contributions from the other project partners. Germersheim will develop a strategy and action plan for implementation at its management centre, to serve as an example for the other regions and compile a comparative documentation (how to identify and to interest different stakeholders as contributors to marketing – public, business, citizens; how to jointly design a marketing plan, how to arrange shared responsibilities for implementation and funding, how to monitor the effectiveness). The partner regions will analyse strategies and action plans adapted to regional circumstances (kind of stakeholders involved, marketing actions taken by other bodies, form of corporation with these bodies). Concepts, actions and their integration into the management organisations will be discussed by the transnational team on the occasion of their meetings.

The concept for a management centre which promotes multiple-stakeholder marketing and user information in combination with professional area management will be highly relevant for many other regenerated areas across NWE. Similar to the other prototypes, the concept for this specific type of management centre (multiple-stakeholder marketing) will be developed in transnational cooperation led by the City of Germersheim, with contributions from all other partners. A transnational design panel helped to improve the concept by giving advice for the translation of functional into physical concepts, and for an environment friendly construction and area operation. The transnational cooperation helps to disseminate this experience.

As the other management centres, this specific centre represents a new approach for which no suitable models are available. “Management” is usually limited to maintenance, being the responsibility of the existing municipal administrative structures. Different from the other partners’ centres, this particular one will combine general management with extended multiple-stakeholders marketing and visitor information. This form of marketing is quite new. Normally, marketing is a general function separated from management functions and separated from stakeholder involvement. A technical innovation as part of the investment is the interactive presentation of the town and the fortification, presently only used for sophisticated and temporary historical or cultural exhibitions.

Following an intensive planning and implementation phase the new management center at Weißenburger Tor is in operation since May 2013. New local touristic services and a joint marketing with private and regional partners could be successfully implemented since then. The renovation of Weißenburger Tor has caused a positive side effect. Adjacent a new city development has started with investment in streets and places and a new shopping mall in a listed building (see detailed information in final documentation chapter 1.4).

Contact and Information

City of Germersheim
Franz Dehof

Kolpingplatz 3
76726 Germersheim
Tel.: +49 (0)7274.960 261
Fax: +49 (0)7274.960 11261