Germany celebrates Beethoven anniversary

Music to our ears … 2020 is the year of Beethoven

The German National Tourist Board (GNTB) is launching its worldwide Discover Beethoven theme campaign just in time for the start of the anniversary year marking Ludwig van Beethoven's 250th birthday.

"With 21.8 million cultural travellers, we are the number one cultural destination in Europe," explains Petra Hedorfer, chairwoman of the GNTB Executive Board. "To strengthen Germany's outstanding position as a nation of music, we are setting further digital priorities with the Beethoven campaign. In addition to the central points of interest in the Bonn region, the campaign will also include activities throughout Germany to strengthen the demand for cultural tourism in general, and the basic theme 'Musikland Deutschland' in particular. Because of the anniversary, Lonely Planet has ranked Beethoven's birthplace, Bonn, number 5 among the cities worldwide to be visited in 2020.”

The GNTB has signed a cooperation agreement with Beethoven Anniversary Society to market the anniversary abroad jointly. The subsidiary of the Beethoven House Foundation is responsible for organising, promoting, and coordinating the anniversary year as an event with international appeal and regional roots. By integrating the GNTB's global networks, the joint activity is going to be communicated even more efficiently internationally and will open up new markets.

In all source markets, the GNTB uses modern digital forms of communication to present Beethoven's classical heritage in a contemporary way. A virtual reality application, for example, offers international guests at GNTB events a unique opportunity to "play" Beethoven excerpts from the 9th Symphony live on piano with four hands. Also, an augmented reality application produces "live photos" with Beethoven. A microsite in German, English, French, Chinese, and Japanese bundles information on the anniversary and cultural tourism offers. The GNTB also organises social media campaigns and influencer trips worldwide. Five films in the "Great Big Story" series are produced with the international media partner CNN and played out in the worldwide Turner network.

Based on market and benchmark analyses, the GNTB develops more than 200 campaigns each year to promote the brand core of Germany as a travel destination. Annual highlight themes, which are event- or event-related, draw attention to previously unknown facets of Germany as a travel destination and complement the brand communication.