“I believe we’ll now see a swing towards outdoor and nature-focused incentives, says Florian Gerdes, Marketing Manager Conventions at Hamburg Convention Bureau. “Our enforced break from modern life has been a chance for us to rediscover the power of nature and reconsider our environmentally damaging way of life. span>
“Outside our windows, in our own streets and cities, the natural environment has thrived. My hope is that people have now experienced first-hand the benefits of this contact with nature and want this to be a long term fixture in their daily lives.”
Whether it’s kite surfing, picnicking in Europe’s biggest orchard or even mud-flat hiking, Hamburg’s Metropolitan Region is a hub for unusual and exciting outdoor incentive activities.
Bored of the usual?
Here are some highlights for planners to consider when looking ahead to future incentives:
• Journey to Neuwerk Island (home to 40 inhabitants) by walking across the mudflats or by taking a Wattwagen – a horse-drawn carriage especially adapted to travel the 12km distance across the mudflats of the Wadden Sea, a UNESCO World Heritage site.
• Fehmarn, one of Germany's most popular Baltic Sea islands, has made a name for itself as a kite and windsurfing mecca, even hosting the Kitesurf World Cup. Delegates can try their hand at the sport at the kite surf school. There are also dedicated areas for stand-up paddle boarding, surfing, and sailing all around the island.
• With more than 15 million apple, cherry and plum trees blossoming each year, the Altes Land region is described as Europe’s largest orchard for good reason. More than 10,000 hectares are given over to fruit growing, predominantly apples, but also cherries, pears, plums and berries, all of which find their way into Germany's greengrocers. Delegates can relax with a picnic – including freshly picked fruit and juice of course – in this picturesque area.
• The Elbe cycle path follows the great river from its source to where it joins the North Sea at Cuxhaven, covering some 1,200 kilometres. Delegates can take to two wheels and discover why the path has been named Germany’s most popular cycling route eleven times (by the German Cyclists’ Association)! Beach clubs and restaurants along the Elbe beach can be hired for events.
• Lüneburg Heath Nature Park was the first nature park in Germany and, at 107,000 hectares, is one of the largest nature parks of its kind. It’s here that delegates can try a spa experience with a difference - walking barefoot through the Lüneburg Heath Barefoot Park. From water, over stones and pools of clay, bog, peat or silt. An aromatic herb garden, a yoga forest of silence and a "saltine" for healthy salt inhalation complete the sensory experience.
Florian concludes: “If planners are looking for unusual incentive activities that enable delegates to explore outdoors and connect with nature, then Hamburg’s Metropolitan region offers a range that’s second to none. We look forward to welcoming planners and delegates to discover ‘off the beaten track’ Hamburg when it’s safe and timely to do so.”