Felicity Long
Felicity Long

Marketing a European destination by focusing on an important anniversary is a tried and true strategy. France is highlighting the 500th anniversary of da Vinci's death, for example; Turkey is touting the Year of Troy;  the U.K. and the Netherlands are promoting the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower sailing.

Germany is no stranger to putting an important historical event front and center in its tourism marketing efforts, most recently via last year's 500th anniversary of the birth of the Reformation and the upcoming Oberammergau Passion Play in 2020, just to name a few.

Travelers looking for something to get excited about next year can take advantage of events surrounding the centenary of the birth of Bauhaus, an influential architectural, art and design movement that gained traction during the period between the two world wars. (Its name comes from the Bauhaus school, located at various points in Dessau, Weimar and Berlin, where the design ethos was nurtured; Modernist masters associated with the school include Walter Gropius, Wassily Kandinsky and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe.)

Describing the movement as "the most effective export of 20th century German culture," Ricarda Lindner, regional manager of the Americas and director of the foreign representatives office USA, said: "To mark the centenary, Destination Germany is inviting culturally minded travelers to explore the birthplace of Modernism in 2019 and beyond."

A menu of themed exhibits and activities will be on tap throughout the region.

For example, the Bauhaus Association will launch the centenary celebrations with a festival in Berlin Jan. 16 to 24, which will include a variety of performances, music events and film.

Meanwhile, a Grand Tour of Modernism: 100 Years, 100 Sites route is a new itinerary designed to introduce travelers to 100 places in Germany, including classic Bauhaus locations and Unesco World Heritage sites, that reflect a century of bauhaus design influence.

The tourist office offers information on these destinations as well as relevant contacts on its site. A trade manual also is available with specifics on where and when celebratory events are taking place.

Of special interest are new bauhaus museums in Dessau and Weimar, as well as a museum in Berlin that is being revamped for the celebrations.

To further stoke interest in bauhaus, a documentary film called "The Future is Now" showcases the history and relevance of the movement today, and a traveling exhibit called "Bauhaus Imaginista," offered  in cooperation with the Goethe Institute and the House of World Cultures, is currently traveling to Rabat, Kyoto, New York, Moscow and Sao Paulo, winding up next summer in Berlin.

The 100 Years of Bauhaus will also be the focus of the German National Tourist Board's second Incoming Brand Summit, to be held at the end of October in Weimar. Organized in association with the Thuringer Tourism board, the summit is expected to attract 120 international media representatives and social media influencers from 20 countries.

Additional highlights of the bauhaus campaign will include a video project with media partner CNN and a virtual reality project in cooperation with the Bauhaus University Weimar.

The tourist board will also use traditional public relations and social media activities, using #CelebratingBauhaus, throughout various markets worldwide, to promote the bauhaus theme and its significance for Germany as a travel destination. For more information, a new campaign landing page about bauhaus is now live online at www.germany.travel/bauhaus in English, German and French.

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