Transformation of agricultural land into a tourism landscape: German Wadden Sea area

In my last blog, I have described factors and policies that led to the transformation of the German Wadden Sea area. In this blog, I will unravel some facts about the tourism development in the coastal mainland area of the German Wadden Sea.

Easily accessible coastal area

A considerable part of the German mainland villages in the Wadden Sea area are located directly at the sea. And therefore, most of these villages now acquire their earnings from tourism-related businesses. Furthermore, this area is also accessible by wide-range modes of transportation, for example, the high-speed ICE train to Norden-Norddeich is the best example that shows how public transportation has developed on the German mainland part of the Wadden Sea area.

Development of small-scale tourism facilities

Traditionally, Norden-Norddeich was used as a transit port for tourists visiting the islands of Norderney and Juist. These islands have developed in terms of tourism in the 18th and 19th centuries by creating the first facilities relating to spa tourism. However, visitors had to travel to Norden-Norddeich to make the crossing to the islands. Therefore a few hotels, boarding houses and other small-scale facilities were built in this mainland village to accommodate and entertain travellers before their travels to the islands continued.

Transformation of a stop-over location into a tourism destination

In addition to the small-scale facilities that initially functioned as a stop-over for tourists visiting the islands, a bathing culture increasingly developed in Norddeich in the 19th century. Nevertheless, agriculture and fishing remained the most important source of income for the region for many decades. It was until an economic decline in these sectors prevailed and the necessity to change became apparent. This lead to the fact that sectors transitioned from traditional sectors to a tourism sector. A wide range of facilities was created for tourism purposes such as holiday homes, hotels, campsites, swimming pools, a golf court and restaurants, along with different activities, such as mudflat hiking.

Sustainable tourism development

In view of future developments, Norden-Norddeich is constantly looking for updating and improving its tourism facilities, and where necessary develop new ones. However, the vulnerability and uniqueness of the area where Norden-Norddeich is located is always taken into consideration, as it is very important to preserve the Wadden Sea are for future generations.

Do not miss my next blog, where I will describe the tourism development of the Dutch Wadden Sea area.