Minister President Hendrik Wüst visits the Sauerland region

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The Minister President of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, Hendrik Wüst, visited Südwestfalen yesterday and also met with representatives of Sauerland-Tourismus e.V.. He and his delegation around State Secretary Dr. Bernd Schulte were able to experience the proverbial Sauerland hospitality at a lunch in the Romantikhotel Haus Platte in the Repetal near Attendorn. He was welcomed by the chairmen of Sauerland Tourism, Frank Linnekugel and Philipp Scharfenbaum, and the hotelier couple Christof Platte and Gaby Platte.

Hendrik Wüst showed great interest in the tourist development of the Sauerland, especially after the challenges of the Corona pandemic. Dr. Jürgen Fischbach, the Managing Director of Sauerland Tourism, emphasized the special economic importance of tourism in the Sauerland in his conversation with the Minister President. With annual gross sales of around three billion euros, the hospitality industry makes a significant contribution to value creation in the region.

However, the challenges currently facing tourism were also addressed. The literal crisis ABC "Autobahn-Borkenkäfer-Corona" weighs heavily on the industry, reported Frank Linnekugel. It will be particularly important for the future to maintain an attractive landscape in the Sauerland. Philipp Scharfenbaum emphasized the importance of forest restructuring in the Sauerland as a result of the forest calamity, especially the restoration of forest roads for forest farmers and the forestry. However, tourism is also directly affected, since the many forest paths are the basis for outdoor activities such as hiking and biking, on which the demand in the Sauerland depends quite considerably.

In addition to forest conversion, the topic of wind power also plays a role. Hotelier Christof Platte gave a representative account of his concerns that an uncontrolled expansion of wind power could have on tourism demand in his business and in the Sauerland. Minister President Hendrik Wüst took this concern very seriously and reaffirmed the responsible actions of the state government in this context.

An intensive exchange also took place on the topic of labor/specialist shortages in the hospitality industry. Christof Platte reported on the successful integration of Ukrainian refugees and workers from various countries of origin in his company. In this context, Philipp Scharfenbaum appealed to the head of government for a more flexible legal framework for the local foreigners authorities in order to enable well-suited migrants to be integrated quickly and successfully into the labor market and thus into the local society. This issue, not only in relation to tourism, is taken very seriously by the NRW state government, which is working on it with great commitment.

Dr. Jürgen Fischbach thanked Minister President Wüst for the support provided by the state government. This was because the government had set up support programs to help overcome the problems during and after the Corona pandemic. With these funds, tourism has also realized important projects. Dr. Fischbach expressed his hope that the region would continue to benefit from subsidies in the future.

Minister President Wüst thanked him for the interesting one-hour exchange and then continued his visit program in the direction of Attendorn.

Contact for the press:
Anna Galon, Sauerland-Tourismus e. V.
Johannes-Hummel-Weg 1, 57392 Schmallenberg
Tel.: 02974-969850, e-mail:


Ministerpräsident Hendrik Wüst (Bildmitte) besuchte Südwestfalen und war zu Gast im Ro-mantikhotel Haus Platte im Repetal. Hier sprach er mit den Tourismusfachleuten aus dem Sauerland über die Herausforderungen und Chancen im Sauerländischen Gastgewerbe. Mit im Bild: Dr. Bernd Schulte, Staatssekretär und Amtschef der Staatkanzlei des Landes Nord-rhein-Westfalen (ganz links), das Hotelier-Paar Christof und Gaby Platte (Zweiter und Dritte von links) sowie die Vertreter des Sauerland-Tourismus (von rechts) Frank Linnekugel, Phi-lipp Scharfenbaum und Dr. Jürgen Fischbach.

Foto: Sauerland-Tourismus e.V.

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