Nuremberg city has launched a new mobile tourist info facility. The so-called “ibike” TI operates Fridays and Saturdays between 10 am and 3 pm at various points around the city by a team of multilingual employees. The ibike shouldn’t be confused with “I bike NBG”, which is a pressure group promoting the interests of cyclists in and around Nuremberg.
As well as useful tips for tourists, the ibike service provides knowledge, free maps and pamphlets about the city’s sights and advice for getting around with the local public transport network. In addition, hotel rooms, city tours, rides can be booked at the ibike (card payment only). The NürnbergCard can also be purchased.
There are several sites where the ibike will regularly be located, including near the Handwerkerhof in Königstraße, in front of Lorenzkirche, at the Mauthalle, the castle, the Kornmarkt and the Trödelmarkt. The ibike will also be present when special events are taking place around the city.
The new service was officially launched on Wednesday 30 June by the First Mayor of Nuremberg, Marcus König, Yvonne Coulin, CEO of Nuremberg’s Convention and Tourist Office and Dr Michael Fraas, Head of Nuremberg’s Office for Economics and Science.
The pandemic has hit tourism in Nuremberg severely, especially when it comes to international visitors. The number of overnight stays in the city has been decimated. For example, in December 2019, there were almost 344,000 overnight stays (38.5% of which were from international guests) compared with less than 32,000 in December 2020. Combine this with Nuremberg’s pre-pandemic boom in hotel construction, and there is understandably enormous pressure to rebuild visitor numbers. Hotel capacity has increased by more than 10% from the 18,000 beds available in 2019 and continues to rise. By 2022 there will be a 22,000 bed capacity in the city’s hotels. The resulting overcapacity will undoubtedly push prices down, possibly leading to an increase in cheaper city break offers and short stay deals to attract tourists. This may help ease the situation until the city can rebuild its year-round, season-busting cycle of attractions and trade fairs, bringing in visitors from around the world.
With cities and regions worldwide now wanting to regain international footfall and rebuild their battered economies, Nuremberg will not be alone in requiring innovative ideas to position itself in the market. Big concepts such as air taxis at Nuremberg’s Albrecht Dürer Airport, which we reported on last week, as well simple ideas like the ibike are a good start along this path. Let us hope many more are on their way.