Cross-Border Tourism

3 december 2009

This thesis is a case study of the border region of Northwest Germany and Northeast Netherlands. The partner cities of Oldenburg (D) and Groningen (NL) are in focus of this research and cross-border tourism between the cities is investigated. The geographic location and the similar structure of both cities create a very particular situation for cross-border tourism.

Based on a wide range of destination image and cooperation theory described in the literature, primary research has been conducted to explore the particularities of cross-border tourism in this case study region.

As the focus is on destination image, the desired image and the pursued promotional activities of the involved stakeholders are elaborated. All research is been done for both sides and thus, expert interviews are conducted with tourism officials and stakeholders of each city to emphasise the interplay of promotional strategy.

Further, extensive data collection is realised by short interviews or questionnaires with the citizens of each city. As the citizens of the partner city are potential tourists the perceived image is investigated.

The promoted and the perceived images of each city are compared to show similarities and deviances.

These gap analyses are the basis for conclusions and recommendations on how to improve mutually beneficial tourism development and on how to exploit the full potential of already existing positive images and of cooperation synergies.