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Welcome to the BASTIS-Newsservice! This blog keeps you updated with new developments within BASTIS and points out interesting findings relevant for heritage tourism in the Baltic Sea region. You can follow the BASTIS-News via RSS-Feed by clicking on Follow Blog in the toolbox to your left!

BASTIS – A Baltic Innovation as Best Practice for Digital Marketing

BASTIS, the Baltic Sea Heritage Tourism Information Service, has been selected as a best practice example by the The Digital Tourism Think Tank, a global initiative which aims at providing thought leadership to the tourism industry in digital marketing best practice (

New: Figures on Cruise Tourism in the BSR

We are happy to tell you that you can now also find data on cruise tourism in the BSR on BASTIS. All data in this new Cruise-Chapter was collected and analysed by Cruise Baltic, a network of 27 cruise destinations in the Baltic Sea:

The main findings of their 2013 report are: The cruise business in the Baltic Sea has seen a year with positive growth rates in 2012. Overall passenger numbers, calls and turnarounds have all increased.

  • The number of passengers increased by 5.6% in 2012
  • The number of calls increased by 7.1% in 2012
  • The number of turnarounds increased by 10.4% in 2012

[Click here for direct access to recent cruise statistics, cruise reports and cruise passenger surveys!]

New: BSR Heritage Tourism Image Analysis

In the Destination:BSR_Total section we added a study on the Heritage Tourism Image of the BSR. The study's leading question was: Is there a common image of the Baltic Sea Region overall and what is it like, especially regarding its natural and cultural heritage?

This image analysis should provide useful information for tourism suppliers in the Baltic Sea Region for successfully marketing their products. The analysis is based on desk research or secondary research, i.e. no primary research was carried out. Therefore, existing studies, papers and other available material have been reanalysed in order to answer the above stated research question.

The reviewed literature clearly shows that there are different common traits that can be considered as characteristic for the BSR, especially with regard to the natural and cultural heritage of the region, but that these common traits do not amount to a shared image or identity of the BSR.

Here you can download the whole paper

BASTIS presentations in Spring 2013

17th-19th April 2013 - TTRA Europe Conference; Dublin, Ireland
Ulf Sonntag (NIT) will talk about BASTIS in his presentation about "Adapting to New Challenges - Better Decisions through Better Information: Lessons learnt in the Baltic Sea Region" during the 2013 TTRA Conference on "New Directions: Travel and Tourism at the Crossroads". More Information

Better Life Index and UNESCO World Heritage Sites covered in BASTIS

We have improved the information content of BASTIS and added new indicators to the Source Market and the Destaintion Sections:

  • You now find the OECD Better Life Index for all available countries in the Source Market Section (e.g. Source_Market:Italy#Economy)
  • You now find the number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites (and the link to the respective sites) in the Destination Section (e.g. Destination:Finland#Heritage_attractions). It is also one of the benchmarking indicators (see: Destination:Benchmark_Report_3). We also included at the same place direct links to all available BASTIS heritage sited for each country.

New Helpful Dokuments Online

Copenhagen Business School, Center for Tourism and Culture Management, has produced three publications in the EU project AGORA 2.0. These publications are now online on BASTIS:

  1. Booklet for creating attractions – Tools from the AGORA 2.0 workshops.
  2. AGORA 2.0 Attraction Analysis - Case analyses, product development andrecommendations including the VIPER study.
  3. Strategy and Framework for Tourism in the Baltic Sea Region.

Enjoy reading!

New BASTIS Section: Helpful Dokuments

We just added a new section of BASTIS: Helpful Documents. Here you find now different hopefully helpful documents concerning sustainable tourism development concerning:

Enjoy reading!

Final Agora 2.0 Conference in Sopot, Poland

The final Agora 2.0 conference is coming up later this week. It will take place in Sopot/Poland. Here, the latest developments of BASTIS will be presented and discussed.

NEW: Total figures for the destination BSR

For the year 2011 the official tourism statistics (Source: Eurostat) show a total of 72 million tourism arrivals in the Baltic Sea Region. In the past decade since 2002 this figure grew by 33%. These 72 million tourists accounted for a total of 190 million overnight stays in 2011. Since 2002 this figure grew by 20%. On the supply side there are almost 20.000 tourism establishments (up 5% since 2002) with 2.5 million beds (up 8% since 2002.

Demand Capacities.png
Note: These figures represent tourism supply and demand in collective tourism accomodation in all NUTS1-Regions with Baltic Sea access in the EU-States of the BSR (DK, DE, PL, LV, LT, EE, FI, SE)

In 2011, the total contribution of tourism to the GDP of the BSR was EUR 267 billion (Source: WTTC; exchange rates of Oct. 2012). Within the BSR countries, the share of total contribution of tourism to the GDP differs between 13% in Estonia and 4% in Lithuania. The total number of jobs in tourism in the BSR is 7.8 million. This represents between 12% of the workforce in Estonia and 4% in Lithuania.

Economic Dimension.png
Note: These figures represent the economic dimension of tourism in all countries of the BSR (DK, DE, PL, LV, LT, EE, FI, SE + Russia + Belarus)

Click here to access the BASTIS section that reports about the destination BSR in total.

NEW: The Economic Dimension of Tourism in BASTIS

Within the destination section of BASTIS we now added the economic dimension of tourism for all the destinations at country level. Here we cover the the direct/total contribution of Travel & Tourism to GDP and the direct/total contribution of Travel & Tourism to employment for all countries in the BSR. The currency exchange rates are from October 2012.

Please have a look at this overview: BSR Economic Dimension.PNG

Click here to find an example how this information is included in the destination profiles.
And click here to see the benchmark report that shows the key economic figures for all destinations.

BASTIS presentations in Autumn 2012

14th September 2012 - ETC/UNWTO Seminar on Key Performance Indicators for Destination Marketing; Vienna, Austria
Ulf Sonntag (NIT) will talk about "Performance Measurement with the Baltic Sea Heritage Tourism Information System (BASTIS)” on the ETC/UNWTO Seminar on Key Performance Indicators for Destination Marketing. More Information

14th-16th November 2012 - 11th Global Forum on Tourism Statistics; Reykjavik, Iceland
Ulf Sonntag (NIT) will talk about BASTIS in his presentation about "Curse and blessing – How to make use of tourism statistics for SMEs in the Baltic Sea Region, despite limitations in coherence and comparability of the data?" 11th Global Forum on Tourism Statistics. More Information

Information Update of the BASTIS Heritage Tourists Section

By re-analysing the results of the 2012 Flash Eurobarometer 334 "Attitudes of Europeans Towards Tourism" we could also update the Heritage Tourists Section of BASTIS. Here you can now find brand new findings on the 2011 overall demand of BSR nature and cultural tourism on the European market. You also find detailed profiles on the European nature and cultural tourists who visited the BSR in 2011.

As the questionnaire has changed quite a lot since our last analyses based on the 2010 edition of the Flash Eurobarometer 291 "Attitudes of Europeans Towards Tourism", it is not possible to compare the heritage tourists' profiles of 2012 and 2010. Still we did not delete our "old" findings but rather moved them here.

Enjoy your reading!

Information Update of the BASTIS Destination Section

Finally, Eurostat has published the official 2011 tourism accommodation statistics for almost all EU countries in the Baltic Sea Region. The Destination Section of BASTIS has now been updated with these figures and supplementary data from the national statistical offices. This means for almost all countries and all variables the 2011 data are now available. We also integrated the figures of the 2012 Flash Eurobarometer 334 "Attitudes of Europeans Towards Tourism". The benchmark reports now all work with the reference year 2011!

Please have a look yourself in the BASTIS Destination Section!

Visitor Survey in Different Languages

We are happy to provide you with different language versions of the Agora 2.0 visitor survey. The following versions are available for download in MSword:

For all Heritage Sites in the Baltic Sea Region: Get to know your Visitors and compare them with other Attractions!

Go ahead and use the Agora 2.0 questionnaire of the Baltic Sea Region Heritage Sites Visitor Survey!

During the summer of 2012, the Heritage Sites engaged in the Agora 2.0 project are conducting visitor surveys, using a common questionnaire which you can downloaded here. The aim of these surveys is to receive comparable results of all participating sites concerning visitor structure, visitor behaviour and visitor satisfaction. Soon, you will also find different language versions of this questionnaire in BASTIS.

As a project partner, all you have to do is print it, hand it to your visitors and collect it back. For the processing and analyzing of the results, you can send the filled in questionnaires to the Center for Tourism and Culture Management at the Copenhagen Business School until September 1, 2012:

Center for Tourism and Culture Management
Mads Willemoes Hjardemaal
Solbjerg Plads 3, D 2. sal
2000 Frederiksberg Danmark

They also offer you support with all questions you might have concerning this survey. Just send an e-mail to Mads Willemoes Hjardemaal at: During the fall of 2012 your will be provided with the results of your attraction in neat excel sheets and you can compare key findings of all participating heritage sites in BASTIS.

Even if you are not a project partner of Agora 2.0, please feel free to use our questionnaire in your attraction! After processing your results (Excel is very useful), you can compare your results for free with other attractions in BASTIS.

If there are any doubts just contact us at the NIT!

BASTIS presentations in April and May 2012

15th May 2012 - Kaliningrad Region Tourism Delegation; Kiel, Germany
Ulf Sonntag and Wolfgang Günther (NIT) presented BASTIS to a high ranked tourism delegation of the Kaliningrad Region, Russia, visiting Schlewig-Holstein on invitation of the Schleswig-Holstein State Chancellery

9/10/11th May 2012 - NECSTouR Annual General Meeting and Regional Conference; Brussles, Belgium and Middelburg, Netherlands
Ulf Sonntag (NIT) gave short insights into BASTIS and the Agora 2.0 project in the context of the 2012 meetings of the Network of European Regions for a Sustainable and Competitive Tourism NECSTouR

26/27th April 2012 - Agora 2.0 Project Meeting; Kaliningrad, Russia
Ulf Sonntag (NIT) introduced the new features of BASTIS and showed examples how BASTIS can help tourism practitioneers with their day-to-day decisions. Also the BASTIS-Advisory-Board met and discussed ideas for the future marketing and a long lastig concept of BASTIS.

Benchmarking of Castles' Visitor Survey

The results of the 2011 visitor survey in the three Agora 2.0 partner castles Häme (Finland), Narva (Estonia) and Skokloster (Sweden) have been processed and analysed by the Center for Tourism and Culture Management (TCM) at Copenhagen Business School (CBS). These results are now available in BASTIS for each of the castles:


Key findings of the visitor surveys were included into the BASTIS benchmarking tool. Here, you can now compare key indicators for visitor structure, visitor behaviour and visitor satisfaction of all participating castles at one glace: Heritage Sites:Benchmark Report Visitors of Castles 1 and Heritage Sites:Benchmark Report Visitors of Castles 2


New "Start" pages for all BASTIS segments

In order to make BASTIS even more user friendly and the orientation within the wiki easier, we introduced new pages explaining the content and purpose of each of the BASTIS sections (Destinations, Source Markets, Heritage Tourists, Heritage Sites)


These pages offer one glimpse orientation for each segment on:

  • What's in it?
  • How is it organised?
  • Which year do the data represent?
  • Are there benchmark reports available?
  • How can I help?

Meet BASTIS at the ITB in Berlin!

A lot of the BASTIS protagonists will attend the ITB, International Travel Fair, in Berlin next week (March 7 until March 11).

  • Come and visit BASTIS and the AGORA 2.0 project at the stand of Greifswald University (hall 5.1, stand 216).
  • Please also have a look at the stand “Baltic Sea Cultural Heritage” of the AGORA 2.0 project partners from the Association of Castles and Museums around the Baltic Sea, from the European Route of Brick Gothic and from West Estonia (hall 10.2, stand 104).

It would be great to meet you in Berlin!

BASTIS benchmarking tool online and working

With the introduction of the benchmarking tool, the development of BASTIS took a further giant step ahead:

  • During the summer of 2012, the concept of the a standardized benchmarking tool was refined and implemented
  • In a first step the tool aggregates important and comparable information on each destination, source market and heritage site using the content of the info-boxes.
  • In a second step and only one "click" away you can benchmark the information you are researching for one destination, source market and heritage site with all its competitors in BASTIS. Here you can see an example for the heritage site section:
BASTIS Example Infobox2.PNG
  • The benchmarking itsself is taking place by using neat sortable tabulations, generated automatically by using the innovative Semantic Mediawiki software. Here is an example for the demand in terms of bednights in the different destinations:
BASTIS Example BenchmarkReport.png
  • The tool was presented at the project meeting followed by a life practice test with instant feedback by the tourism practitioneers of Agora 2.0.
  • After minor adjustments the final version of the tool was published in October 2011.

So far the tool works very well for the destination and source market section, where a lot of informtion for the benchmarking is available. In the heritage site section the tool is implemented but at present, there is a need for more data to base the benchmarking on. As more and more sites report their visitor numbers and more and more results of the heritage site survey of summer 2012 become available, the possibilities to benchmark the heritage sites according to different factors will increase dramatically.

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