IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

Essen and the Ruhr Area - The European Capital of Cultural 2010: Development of tourism and the role of SMEs

Listed author(s):
  • Lutz Trettin


  • Uwe Neumann
  • Guido Zakrzewski

The city of Essen is located at the centre of the Ruhr area, one of the largest urban and industrial agglomerations in Europe. Like many places in the German federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia Essen had to deal with tremendous structural changes due to the downturn of coal mining and the steel industry since the 1960s. Nevertheless, in the meanwhile the city succeeded in creating a comparatively favourable starting position as an important centre for services, culture and new forms of tourism. Traditionally the headquarters of some of the largest German public companies are located here. Furthermore, the city has become an internationally renowned place of commercial fairs, conferences, and has a university. Essen hosts internationally acknowledged cultural institutions. And recently the building complex of the coal mine "Zollverein" became enlisted by the UNESCO as a World Heritage Memorial. In May 2006 the Ruhr area with Essen as its leading city was finally nominated as European Capital of Culture 2010. Taking all these factors together, a boost of the local tourism sector can be expected. In this context we discuss how the cities economy can gain from this development in the long run. We are interested in the related approaches of the tourism policy and the role of small firms and entrepreneurs in the process of developing a sustainable tourism infrastructure. It is of particular interest how public initiatives of tourism promotion and entrepreneurship support will be combined with the aim to use "industrial heritage tourism" and "cultural tourism" as a mode to economically revive the old industrialized Ruhr area. Thus, central questions of the papers are: Which policy strategies and support measures are appropriate in order to compete with success as an old industrialized area in the field of city and cultural tourism? Who tends to govern the newly establishing value chains? What position remains factual for local young firms therein? What role can public institutions play in order to ensure a high degree of value addition by local economic actors?

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by European Regional Science Association in its series ERSA conference papers with number ersa10p357.

in new window

Date of creation: Sep 2011
Handle: RePEc:wiw:wiwrsa:ersa10p357
Contact details of provider: Postal:
Welthandelsplatz 1, 1020 Vienna, Austria

Web page:

No references listed on IDEAS
You can help add them by filling out this form.

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wiw:wiwrsa:ersa10p357. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Gunther Maier)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.