Quedlinburg as a Designated Resort City
The purpose of the visitors tax is to maintain and improve the citys infrastructure for vacation offerings.
On November 3, 2008, Saxony Anhalts Minister of Finances Dr. Haseloff accorded Quedlinburg the designation of Officially Recognized Resort Site. The awarding of this designation takes into account more than the expansion of the touristic infrastructure in Quedlinburg. It acknowledges that the possibilities for recreation and creative stimulation offered by a city consist not in its outdoor offerings but are based as well on the numerous and varied cultural offerings of high quality to be enjoyed in a city. In the case of Quedlinburg, offerings of both sorts are available to the visitor.
Much has been spent in recent years in the revitalization of the citys green spaces. To be cited in this respect are the extensive restoration of the historical park grounds of the \"Brühl. The results of investment can also been seen in the area of the Carl Ritter Straße as well as in the former garden of the abbesses to the south the castle-hill. In comparison to other cities, Quedlinburg offers its guests a particularly rich and varied palette of cultural offerings. Along with the museums (Castle Museum, Klopstockhaus, Half-Timbered Museum) that it maintains, the city contributes as well to the financial support of the Lyonel Feininger Gallery and of the Nordharzer Städtebundtheater in its three tier programming of drama, music and dance productions. It provides in the tourist season a weekly offering of programs in the Blasiikirche with music, cabaret, etc., and, as owner of the collegiate church St. Servatius, it finds itself confronted with great financial obligations for the structural maintenance of this edifice with such symbolic significance for Quedlinburg. Already in the mid 1990s, the city of Quedlinburg began paying a yearly, substantial contribution to the running of the Harzer Small Gauge Railway, even though this train has only had Quedlinburg as its destination since 2006. The city has also invested much money in maintenance of the sidewalks, streets and parking locations. Although there has been in part considerable grant support for these investments, the maintenance of the cultural institutions and the park grounds, etc. are borne 100% by the city alone.
These broadly based offerings should not only be maintained but also further enhanced through additional investments, for example, new orientation signs throughout the city. Such improvements, however, are possible only through funding beyond what the city has to offer. For this reason, the Quedlinburg city council arrived at the decision to introduce a visitors tax as of April 2009 of 1,50 per person and night. The amount of this charge is, on the one hand, not excessive and, on the other, represents a modest contribution from every individual profiting from what the city has to offer.
In a purely legal sense, a guest paying the visitors tax has no right to reductions of prices in the city. Nevertheless, indirectly, there will be such reductions. In the Harz there already exists the Harz-Guestcard, not to be confused with the new HarzCard. In the Harz-Guestcard is issued in many localities at the payment of the visitors tax. This will also be the case in Quedlinburg in the future. Included in the Harz-Guestcard are hundreds of offerings in and around the Harz with deductions for card holders. All these offerings are to be found listed in a small booklet given out along with the card. Two offerings in Quedlinburg included in the Harz-Guestcard can be put to immediate use by guests paying the visitors tax in Quedlinburg:
- 0.50 reduction in the price of the open city tours of the Quedlinburg Information Center
- 0.50 reduction in the ticket price for entry to the Train and Toy Museum.
In this course of the year 2009, further local additions to these offerings on the Harz-Guestcard will be taken into consideration.
In accordance with the laws for communal expenditures in Saxony Anhalt, the monies collected from the visitors tax can be spent solely for the purpose of maintaining and improving the touristic infrastructure. The guests of Quedlinburg can be assured in this respect that their visitors contribution will be used only for their own future benefit and for that of other tourists.
Collectively seen, there are many relevant factors for the introduction of a visitor tax in Quedlinburg. It is always preferable, of course, for guests to be able to make use of the local offerings without paying an additional contribution. The UNESCO World Culture city of Quedlinburg is, however, no longer in the position to continue to assume, along with the ever present costs for the restoration and maintenance of numerous houses, streets, and town squares, the additional long-run expenses of sustaining all of its outdoor and cultural offerings Here the visitor tax will help provide a measure of assistance.
Dr. Eberhard Brecht
Mayor of Quedlinburg