Stuttgart’s Target Markets at ITB Berlin

Cars, bars, buses, art – These are a few of Stuttgart’s favourite things

Stuttgart, Germany’s sixth largest city, endeavoured to make its presence felt at ITB Berlin 2017, with a wide range of products, innovations and attractions to appeal to travel buyers.

Most prominent among the city’s tourism portfolio were two new ways of unlocking the city itself – the StuttCard and the STUTTGART Citytour. The Stuttgart-Marketing GmbH StuttCard is a discovery pass designed in a practical bank-card format and gives free admission to all of Stuttgart’s museums and a wide range of leisure facilities in the Stuttgart Region, available as a 24-, 48-, or 72-hour ticket. On the STUTTGART Citytour visitors can get to know the city’s highlights with the hop-on/hop-off system, on different colour- coded routes aboard red, open-top, double-decker Mercedes-Benz buses, taking in Stuttgart’s main places of interest including Palace Square, the Mercedes-Benz Museum, the vineyards, the Weissenhof Estate, and the Stuttgart Television Tower.

Aside from these, the main tourism themes embraced by the combined Stuttgart tourism authorities at ITB Berlin 2017 and for the year ahead were automobiles, art, wine and festivals. With the invention of the universal engine 130 years ago, local resident Gottlieb Daimler laid the cornerstone for today’s mobility. Stuttgart’s two large automobile museums aim to keep automotive history alive. The Mercedes- Benz Museum documents the development of the automobile from 1886 to the present day. The Porsche Museum, meanwhile, allows visitors to trace the unique brand history of this sports car manufacturer. Along with the Motorworld in Böblingen, these tourist flagships have long been crowd-pullers, attracting international guests to the city. To enrich the experience, visitors can get a glimpse behind the scenes of car-production during a factory tour of the Daimler AG in Sindelfingen. It begins in the pressing plant, where the parts are formed, and continues with the ‘ballet of the robots’ – a real chance for tourists to see German industry at its leading-edge.

Culture is an important draw for international tourists to the Stuttgart Region, so there was a focus on promoting key upcoming events. In the Reformation anniversary year 2017 the Stuttgart State Gallery is devoting for the first time a comprehensive monographic show to the Master of Messkirch in a major state exhibition. The Master of Messkirch – the anonymous German Renaissance painter – is one of the finest Early Modern artists, notably as a colourist. More outward- looking, Stuttgart Museum of Art presents the first museum show in Germany dedicated to the work of the American painter Patrick Angus. In addition to still-lifes, landscapes and portraits, he painted strip shows, bathhouses and sleazy bars which reflect loneliness and the search for love and recognition. Displaying a real range of cultural opportunities in the region for 2017, there is a major interactive exhibition about medieval civilisation called ‘Knights: Life at the Castle’ at the Württemberg State Museum, as well as a presentation about Hawaii at the Linden Museum.

With the imminent double jubilee year – 2018 will represent 200 years of the Cannstatt Beer Festival, one of the biggest beer festivals in the world, and the hundredth Agricultural Show – the groundwork is already being laid to capitalise on the region’s rich wine and beer traditions. The Stuttgart Museum of Viniculture has a state-of- the art exhibition with 12 themed areas illustrating the development of viniculture and the work of the vintners, and providing information on wine events in Stuttgart. Wines can be sampled in the adjoining Vinotheque, the museum’s showpiece: each month there is an alternating choice of more than 20 regional wines on the list. On top of this, every year many traditional festivals are held in the Stuttgart Region: the Stuttgart Wine Festival, which this year will take place for the 41st time, has some 500 regional wines on offer. At the end of November the Stuttgart Christmas Market will transform the city centre with its atmospheric fairy lights, which regularly enthrals millions of international and domestic visitors.