Senate: Promotion of tourism and culture with 8 million euros

Hamburg

Senate: Promotion of tourism and culture with 8 million euros

Euro banknotes are laid out on a table.

Euro banknotes are laid out on a table.

Source: Patrick Pleul / dpa-Zentralbild / dpa / Illustration

Tourism and culture are particularly affected by the coronavirus pandemic – and are still far from their pre-crisis levels. Hamburg’s Red and Green Senate now wants to help them with an additional €8 million. But this does not suit everyone.

hThe Red and Green Senate of Amburg wants to use Corona’s money to support tourism, which has been hit particularly hard by the pandemic, and culture, which has also been hit hard. Eight million euros will flow back in, half in culture and the other half in tourism, Economic Senator Michael Westgamann (Independent) said Tuesday after a Senate hearing. However, not everyone likes it. Instead of distributing money according to the principle of irrigation, it would be better to pay off the debt, according to the Taxpayers Association.

Westhagemann said that after the massive stagnation of 50 to 60 percent in tourism during the Corona pandemic, the goal now is to create additional travel opportunities, but also to persuade today’s visitors to visit Hamburg. “We promise a lot.” Specifically, 2.35 million euros are available for tourism marketing, 1.15 million euros for the promotion of tourism business trips such as conference visits and 500,000 euros for the promotion of tourism events.

Culture Senator Carsten Prosda (SPD) confirmed that sales in Culture have collapsed in some cases by as much as 90 percent because many facilities have simply had to shut down completely temporarily during the coronavirus pandemic. That is why it is now especially important to enable the cultural sector to restart.

The focus of funding in the cultural sector is on outdoor events. Prosda said 3.3 million euros is due for this alone. Support requests can be submitted from June 15 to August 31 for events through the end of October. “That means we’re taking a somewhat longer definition of summer in Hamburg, but we think even in October, as a weather-hardened Hanse, you can still experience the culture abroad.”

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The remaining €700,000 has already been allocated to culture in the budget. For example, the Hamburg History Museum will be subsidized with €200,000 to celebrate its 100th birthday and €170,000 set to flow into Hamburg’s artistic inclination. €100,000 each is set aside to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Hamburg Ballet John Neumeier and the Speicherstadt Illumination. The Hamburg Art in Public Space Funding Program and the Hamburg Film Festival will each receive €50,000. The Senate would like to give Kunsthalle another €30,000 for guided tours of the highlights.

Senator for Finance Andreas Dressel (SPD) said no industry has been hit as hard as culture and tourism. Accordingly, a large amount of three million figures has already been poured out of federal funds. At the same time, Dressel warned against accelerating federal funding programs. “Anyone who still wants to apply for assistance again, temporary assistance – the deadline is June 15.” Dressel confirmed that the eight million euros came from Corona funds and will be distributed for the last time.

On the other hand, criticism came from the Taxpayers Association. Petra Ackmann, head of state, said that instead of just distributing the eight million euros, debts could also be paid off. The bed tax introduced in 2012 is also used to support projects selected by the Senate. Akman stressed that “tourism, sports and culture must be financed from the utensils designated for them.”

Michael Cruz, head of the Free Democratic Party in Hamburg, supports the Senate’s plans, but is critical of the timing. “Hamburg is late in launching its tourism initiative. The season has started a long time ago, and many flights have already been booked.”

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