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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!

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.

BASTIS improvements

In the past months we were rapidly improving and optimising BASTIS in a number of aspects:

  • First and probably most noticable the BASTIS was moved to a better and much faster server, improving the speed and performance of the website manyfold.
  • Infoboxes at the top of all pages in the sections "destinations", "source markets" and "heritage sites" make the most important information of each destination, source market and heritage site visible at the first glance:
BASTIS Example Infobox.png
  • In the "heritage site"-section maps were included to display the location of each heritage site. The map can be "switched on an off" with the "show/hide button" next to the name of the site.
BASTIS Example Map.png
  • Thanks to a lot of contributors we now have an ever growing number of heritage sites presented in the heritage site section. We put some time in the editing of the new heritage sites to make them all follow the same structure in order to make the different sites more comparable.

Go have a look yourself and browse through BASTIS!

Presentation of BASTIS at the MOVE 2011 conference in Bilbao, Spain

On October 28, BASTIS was presented and discussed at the MOVE 2011: International Conference on the Measurement and Economic Analysis of Regional Tourism in Bilbao, Spain.

The conference was organised by the International Network on Regional Economics, Mobility and Tourism (INRouTe), a non-profit association in support of the World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), which on a global level has similar objectives as we have with BASTIS: ‘support the management of regional and local tourism destinations by providing and disseminating relevant knowledge and best practices among scholars and practitioners’.

BASTIS and the whole Agora 2.0 project can benefit from this conference in two ways:

  1. The new and innovative approach of BASTIS represents a best-practice example in the BSR, how to empower regional tourism stakeholders by bringing them the relevant data they need for strategic decision making. The conference was a opportunity to promote BASTIS in front of a global audience.
  2. We are still in the process of developing and improving BASTIS further. The discussion with and feedback of the global audience of the conference gave us further input for future improvements.

Among others, the concept of BASTIS was discussed with Hiroyuki Kamiyama, Director for Tourism Statistics and TSA at the Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transportation and Tourism, and with Antonio Massieu, former Programme Director, Statistics and Tourism Satellite Account (TSA) at the UNWTO. In addition to their valuable opinions for the future development of BASTIS, Antonio Massieu supported BASTIS by supplying us with UNWTO-statistics which will help us to bring more details into the "destination" section of BASTIS.

The new and updated BASTIS introduction is based on the Bilbao-presentation of BASTIS. There is also a full paper on the concept of BASTIS available on the Move 2011 conference website.

BASTIS-user survey online!

We care about what you think!

Our BASTIS-user survey is online now. It’s about your experiences, satisfaction and suggestions concerning the BASTIS-website. The survey will take about 3-4 minutes. We will use the information gathered here to improve BASTIS and make it even more user-friendly!

Please click here and help us with your answers!

Thank you very much :-)

Lots of BASTIS-news to come!

You may have noticed that this BASTIS-blog has been unusually quiet in the past few months. This is due to the facts that at first we had been very busy in improving content and usability of BASTIS. The second big development in these times was the technical moving of BASTIS to a much more powerful and thus faster server. BASTIS today is much faster and much better than it used to be! In the coming days this blog will indtroduce the new improvements step by step in more detail. Of course you are always welcome to browse and already have a look yourself!

New BASTIS wiki start page

Have a look at our new wiki start page
We just restructured, updated and relaunched the entry site into the BASTIS wiki! Especially newcomers who are interested in using BASTIS should now have a smoother start into their search for information by getting the right information in a nice layout and look!
Go, have a look yourself by clicking here

Heritage Site Visitor Survey: Questionnaire as word-document

To make handling and use easier for you, we put up the word-document of the Heritage Site Visitor Survey questionnaire

The questionnaire adressing visitor structure, visitor behaviour and visitor satisfaction of the Heritage Sites in the Baltic Sea Region can be downloaded here as a word-document, so you can easily process it according to your needs.

If there are any questions just contact us at the N.I.T.!

Baltic Sea Region Heritage Sites Visitor Survey

Feel free to use the Agora 2.0 questionnaire of the Baltic Sea Region Heritage Sites Visitor Survey in YOUR Heritage Site!

This summer, all Heritage Sites engaged in the Agora 2.0 project are conducting visitor surveys at their sites, using a common questionnaire. The aim of this surveys is to receive comparable results of all these sites concerning visitor structure, visitor behaviour and visitor satisfaction. All results should be published in BASTIS and we are working right now on a benchmarkting tool which will allow the comparison of the Heritage Sites within BASTIS with respect to the results of this visitor survey.

If you represent a Heritage Site in the BSR and are interested in the possibility to compare yourself with other sites in BASTIS, please feel free to use our questionnaire which you can download here.

By September 2011 the latest, our benchmarking tool will be running, so that you can publish your survey results within BASTIS and it will provide the possibility to compare!

If there are any questions just contact us at the N.I.T.!

Report on target groups for heritage tourism in the BSR is online

A report on target groups for heritage tourism in the BSR is now available in BASTIS.
This report analyses tourism target groups for the Baltic Sea Region and its heritage assets, i.e. the natural and cultural heritage of the region. It should in turn provide useful information for tourism suppliers in the Baltic Sea Region for successfully marketing their products. In order to develop profiles of the relevant target groups that can easily be adopted for marketing purposes, the following questions shall be answered:

  1. Which regions within the BSR are most interesting for EU 27-citizens? Who shows interest in the BSR? What motivations do they have and which attractions have most influence on their choice of destination?
  2. Which target groups for BSR Heritage tourism can be defined? How big are the target groups for BSR Heritage Tourism?
  3. Are there any differences between nature and culture-orientated BSR-prospectives? How did these people travel in the past? What holiday plans do they have for the following year? Which information sources do they use? Do they prefer traditional or emerging destinations? How can they be described socio-demographically? Where do they come from?

Now have a look yourself and download the report.

More BASTIS presentations in May and June

28th May 2011 - Tourismustagung "Zukunftsfähiger Tourismus - Innovation und Kooperation"; Stralsund/Germany
Bente Grimm (N.I.T.) will give an introduction into BASTIS - "an innovative tool helping to market tourism in the Baltic Sea Region" during the session "The Baltic Sea Region - the new star on the sky of destinations?" of Prof. Steingrube at the Tourismustagung "Zukunftsfähiger Tourismus - Innovation und Kooperation" in Stralsund/Germany.

16th June 2011 - XXI General Assembly Association of Castles and Museums around the Baltic Sea; Skokloster Castle, Sweden
Ulf Sonntag (N.I.T.) will introduce and discuss BASTIS with the members of the Association of Castles and Museums around the Baltic Sea at their XXI General Assembly in Skokloster Castle/Sweden. There will also be a workshop to show und practise how and why to enter the information about Heritage Sites into BASTIS.

More presentations of BASTIS to come in May

18th May 2011 - IV Baltic Sea Tourism Forum Sopot/Poland Knut Hänschke - Honorary President of the BTC - will have a keynote speech at the IV Baltic Sea Tourism Forum in Sopot/Poland 18th May 2011. The speech will give an overview about tourism potential in the Baltic Sea Region and also talk about BASTIS.

20th May 2011 - Hanza Kaunas 2011 Thomas Mielke (BTC) will have a presentation about tourism in the Baltic Sea Region and BASTIS at the International Hanseatic Days in Kaunas/Lithuania 20th May 2011.

Time to promote BASTIS

After the positive feedback concerning BASTIS in Tallinn and some technical issues we had to solve in the meantime, NOW is the time to start bringing BASTIS to the people it was designed for: The tourism stakeholders in the BSR dealing with culture and nature tourism.

It would be great if all readers of this blog could spread the news in their networks, that BASTIS is up and running.
The link is: and here is some teaser text which you might find helpful to use (in parts or in total):

BASTIS, the Baltic Sea Heritage Tourism Information Service, is now online and running! BASTIS aims to provide everybody dealing with heritage tourism in the Baltic Sea region (e.g. SMEs, tourism authorities and associations) with tailored market information, free of charge and easy to access! Have a look at! Here you can find, well-structured and at one glance, statistics, market research results and analyses on all Baltic Sea destination countries, on the most important source markets for the Baltic Sea Region and a segmentation and analysis of different cultural and natural tourists in Europe interested in holidays in the Baltic Sea region.
You, the user, can add and update information within BASTIS – this is especially important for the section about heritage sites: If you are a heritage site within the Baltic Sea region, it would be great if you could include your site in BASTIS. To get started please have a look at the help section and if there are questions please feel always free to contact the N.I.T.
In the next developing step of BASTIS the focus will be to make the information of different destinations, source markets, segments and heritage sites comparable at one glance. Especially, the benchmarking of heritage sites will be made possible.
To receive all news about the progress of BASTIS please follow the blog by clicking on “follow blog” in the blog section of BASTIS.
BASTIS is part of the Agora 2.0 project, part-financed by the EU within the Baltic Sea Region Programme 2007-2013. It is hosted by the BTC (Baltic Sea Tourism Commission) and was conceptualized by the N.I.T. (Institute for Tourism Research in Northern Europe).

THANK YOU very much for your help!

Successful presentation of BASTIS at the Agora 2.0 meeting in Tallinn

Time is running and it is already one month ago since the Agora 2.0 Meeting in Tallinn!

The feedback of the Agora 2.0 partners on the live presentation of BASTIS was very positive. The discussion resulted in a few suggestions for improvement, which will be implemented into BASTIS in the next months.

In the BASTIS workshop, the project partners of Work Package 5 (Pilot Solutions) each started to include the informations about one heritage site into BASTIS. Within the 90 Minutes of time all participants did very well, so that after the workshop there are already 11 different heritage sites within BASTIS. There was not enough time to include all information available, so all of the heritage sites are still "building sites" which the respectiove persons need to complete in the future.

Workshop for Heritage Sites: How to include a Site into BASTIS

On Friday, March 25, at the Agora 2.0 meeting in Tallinn, we offer a workshop for the project partners in work package 5: Pilot Solutions: How to include a new Heritage Site into BASTIS.

In the workshop we would like to show the participants how easy you can contribute this important information to BASTIS. Our aim is, that during the course of our workshop each of the participants enters as much information about their Heritage Site as possible.

BASTIS about to be lauched

Exciting news: the BASTIS-website is about to be launched. At the Agora 2.0 project meeting in Tallinn later this week, a live presentation of the website and its contents is planned. We are very happy with how far we have come with BASTIS, with its contents and its look. We are very excited to receive feedback - in person in Tallinn and on all sorts of other channels - in the Forum, by e-mail, by phone - whichever suits you best!

We very much hope that all users find BASTIS helpful and by editing BASTIS themselfes make it even more helpful in the future!

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