Good practice destination Biosphärenreservat Bliesgau

Contributor DiegoNunez
Country Germany
  • Bundeswettbewerb awards
  • Excellence 2016/17
  • awarded
  • ecoact
Organisation Biosphärenzweckverband Bliesgau
Postal address Paradeplatz 4, 66440 Blieskastel, Germany
Phone +49 -68 42- 9 60 09 - 0
Release date 30/03/2018
Landscape type Protected
  • Destination Management
  • Certification & Marketing
  • Natural Heritage & Biodiversity
  • Travel, Transport & Mobility
  • Cultural Heritage, Life Styles & Diversity
GSTC Criteria for Destinations
  • A: Sustainable management
  • B: Socio-economic sustainability
  • C: Cultural sustainability
  • D: Environmental sustainability
Marketplace category Destinations Destinations
Type Best Practice Destination (Best Practice Destination)
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Finalist of the Bundeswettbewerb Nachhaltige Tourismusregionen 2016/17

Good Practice Innovation Sheet
Items Description
1. WHO
Key people and organisations (initiator, leader, partners)  Saarpfalz-Tourism Organisation and Bliesgau Biosphere Reserve Administration in Homburg (Saarland/ Germany)
Key Figures Surface Inhabitants Tourism arrivals Tourism nights
 337 km²
2. WHY - 3. HOW

Reason for taking the good practice action/ Issues and challenge

Methods /steps / tools used (to develop the good practice)

Biodiversity and outdoor experience

The destination as a whole is protected as a biosphere reserve. Destination managers support a variety of projects whose aim is to protect ecosystems, such as the development of the European Culture Park Bliesbruck-Reinheim, an archaeological park and open-air museum on the French-German border, and work by tourism sector Partner enterprises in a meadow orchard. There is a strong regional commitment to offering an experience of biodiversity. Certified nature and landscape guides run regular tours of interest to visitors keen to find out more about aspects of the landscape. A range of tourism offers focusing on the biosphere, nature and environmental education, a calendar of events dedicated to species diversity and project-specific visitor management systems guarantee a high-quality holiday experience close to nature.

Specific/measurable results, benefits   

Finalist of the Federal Competition Sustainable Tourism Destinations in Germany (2016/2017)

Recognitions (e.g. awards)

Lessons learned,

Challenges met,

Critical success factors


Commitment to sustainable tourism

Sustainable tourism has featured as a strategic element of the region’s tourism policy, with specific targets, since 2011. The region has consistently pursued a sustainable development pathway since then. For example, in 2016, Bliesgau Biosphere Reserve was assessed by the international Green Destinations initiative and was included in the Global Top 100 Sustainable Destinations. All of its certified sustainable tourism businesses are included on the Green Travel Map Germany. Starting this year, the Biosphere Reserve is participating in the process for Saarland’s certification as a sustainable destination.

Promoting networking

Stakeholder networking facilitates joint and coordinated tourism engagement. The Biosphere Association and Saarpfalz-Touristik share office premises and have thus established a close working relationship, consulting each other on all major projects and programmes. Networking also takes place in a variety of forums with Saarland’s destination marketing organisation and nature conservation associations. Biosphere Reserve Partners are drivers of sustainable tourism development in the region and offer added value for guests and customers. Every Partner acts as an Ambassador for the Biosphere Reserve concept, provides quality and a high level of service, promotes environmental conservation and sustainability and is committed to regional engagement.

The sustainability offer

Starting in 2016, nature tourism offers are designed with reference to the DTV’s Sustainable Development Criteria for German Tourism Destinations. In developing the tourism offer, efforts are made to prioritise  businesses which have joined the Partner initiative. The region’s tourist attractions should be accessible to everyone. The Barrier-Free Tourism in Saarland project  therefore develops amenities, such as the accessible hiking trail in Kirkel and Netzwerk Hören (Hearing Network), for people with disabilities.

Green mobility

The Biosphere Reserve makes it easy for guests to leave the car at home. With the Saarland Card, launched in April 2017, overnight guests benefit from free bus and rail travel throughout the region and enjoy free entry to more than 60 attractions. The region has joined Destination Nature (Fahrtziel Natur – a sustainable mobility scheme involving Germany Railways and major environmental organisations) and is committed to green mobility at the local level. For example, the Biosphere Bus won a Fahrtziel Natur Award in 2014 as a model of good practice in the Sustainable Mobility category.

6. MORE 
web-references, documents

The text above has been taken from the Report “Sustainable Tourism Destinations in Germany”:

Lighthouse project: WaldKultUrlaub

National marketing:

Contact for further information: