Making the Dutch fit for the German market


A touristic workshop with many tips and best practices

In its role as “Tourismusbüro Limburg” COMPASS had organized a workshop for Dutch entrepreneurs in Klimmen (near Maastricht). Under the title “Fit for the German market” around 60 participants from restaurants, hotels and leisure attractions followed our invitation to the charming Villa De Proosdij in the South of Limburg. The focus of this day was lying on the questions “How can I reach German guests better?”, “What do they expect?” and “How can I adjust my products to specific target groups’ needs?”

Travel behaviour & expectations from German guests

The programme started with a general introduction from our project manager Henriette Stieger about the travel behaviour of German tourists, their expectations on travel services and about which communication channels to choose. Particularly the differences in mentality were pointed out as German guests expect – among other things – German (or English) information, fast response times, cleanliness and good service.

Sales, public relations & product development

After a typical Dutch lunch with sandwiches and time for getting to know the other participants, three equally strong groups were formed, that then participated in three different lectures by rotation.

David Loozen, marketing director of IKEA Heerlen, introduced the company’s sales activities targeting German clients. He emphasized the importance of a German customer service, German information materials – by the way IKEA Heerlen is the only IKEA in the Netherlands which produces a German catalogue (!) – as well as the large economic significance of the German market in general.

Torsten Thönis from the PR agency “Detail Zeitgeist” described his experience in public relations. He had already worked for many Dutch businesses on the German market, such as for the GaiaZOO or the World Music Contest in Kerkrade.

COMPASS staff member Jana Kärcher focused her presentation on the process of product development. With many practical examples and current German travel trends, she pointed out different product ideas and the importance of service orientation.

The instructive day was ended with a final round where the participants could get together in the cosy Brasserie at Villa de Proosdij.


Guideline “Fit for the German market”

Following this event, the presentation materials as well as the guideline “Fit for the German market” were sent to every participant. This practical manual (for the first time also in Dutch) provides useful information about the market entry to Germany, especially focused on North-Rhine-Westphalia, as well as lists contact details and summarizes all important facts.

Subsequently, a survey confirmed the great benefits of this workshop for all participants. Some of them now want to begin with the translation of their website and information materials first, while others want to intense online marketing and start targeted PR activities. Still others want to better adapt their products to the German target group or develop new touristic products.


Some participants may have already been aware of some of the contents, but the workshop gave them the impetus to take (with the right tips at hand) the initiative to put their ideas into action.


Das Team von COMPASS widmet sich in diesem Blog inhaltlich den übergeordneten Themen Marketingbüro, Europa, Tourism & Peace, Nachhaltigkeit und Marktforschung.

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