Photo: Federal Ministry of the Interior
2006 World Cup - Schily at 8th 'tourism summit' in Berlin: "Germany should aim to be a world champion in the competition of ideas and in hospitality"
Tuesday, September 21, 2004
Germany's tourism sector is busy making preparations for the 2006 World Cup. Today (September 21) Interior Minister Otto Schily gave a speech at the 8th 'tourism summit' in Berlin under the heading "The eyes of the world will be on Germany in 2006 – opportunities and challenges in connection with the World Cup". The conference was organized by the German Tourism Industry Association (BTW).
"The eyes of the world will, indeed, be on the Germany in 2006. But we also want much of the world to come to Germany," Schily said in his speech. "Millions of people from around the world will come to Germany to see the games up close. More than three million fans will fill the stadiums. They will be guests in our country. We want to make sure they feel comfortable here. We want our guests to be able to look forward to a hospitable and interesting stay in Germany, as well as to a well organized and inspiring soccer tournament. The World Cup, involving teams from thirty-two nations, is a unique opportunity for Germany, and one we all want to take advantage of. There will be particular opportunities for the tourism sector in their role as professional hosts."
Schily noted that according to information provided by the German Tourism Industry Association the 2006 FIFA World Cup will bring an additional five million hotel bookings and around three billion euros in additional revenues. He added that based on past experience the number of tourists who come to visit after major events of this kind is also higher than average.
He indicated that success in this regard will require solid planning and good management: "If we want to take advantage of this opportunity and use it for momentum into the future then we can't simply go back to 'business as usual'."
Schily praised German national coach Jürgen Klinsmann as a good example of an active and courageous approach to the challenges posed by the 2006 World Cup: "He doesn't create a negative atmosphere about his team, he believes in their strengths. He is open for new ideas that will help realize the dream of winning the World Cup at home. Only those who have the will to win can become champions. This piece of popular wisdom also applies in the business sector."