These and other questions were the focus of the Comparative Visitor Monitor, in which Bad Mergentheim has been participating since 2018. We presented the central results from three years of visitor monitoring at a meeting of the advertising advisory board on 21 May 2021. The comparison with other participants, such as Bad Aibling, Bad Neuenahr, Bad Pyrmont, Bad Salzuflen, Bad Steben or Bad Zwischenahn, was particularly exciting.
Praise and criticism
The guests had a lot to say. Especially the open questions were used intensively to articulate praise and criticism, but also concrete suggestions for improvement. For us, it was a matter of sifting through and evaluating the numerous feedbacks. There was praise above all for the spa park, selected hosts in the hotel and restaurant business as well as the service of the tourist information. The main criticism was the traffic and parking situation and the lack of opportunities for mobility by public transport or bicycle. This criticism was also confirmed in the evaluation of the tourist offerings. Here, the mobility offer, the family and bad weather offer as well as the quality of the offer for older people received below-average scores. The service of the tourist information centre and the price-performance ratio were rated very well.
Recognisable need for action
Overall, the results of the detailed evaluation correspond with the values for overall satisfaction (grade 2.4 compared to 2.1 in the comparison group), the intention to visit again (score 2.7 compared to 2.2 in the comparison group) and the probability of recommendation (2.2 compared to 1.9 in the comparison group). It shows pressure for action, but also where exactly to start in order to develop the quality of the tourism offer. "We are grateful for the well-founded analysis and the concrete indications of existing need for action," says Kersten Hahn, tourism officer of the city. "We will face the existing challenges".
"Mobility" thematic focus of the VGM 2021
One important challenge will be to make mobility in Bad Mergentheim more sustainable. This is a complex challenge in which several specialist areas are required and the needs of different stakeholders - tourists, residents, workers - must be taken into account. For a fact-based dialogue and the search for solutions, those responsible for tourism have included specific questions on the mobility behaviour of visitors in the ongoing comparative visitor monitor. In addition, a survey is being conducted to find out which concrete measures the guests would like to see in order to reduce traffic in Bad Mergentheim. The results will be available in March 2022 and will certainly provide interesting impulses for further development.