In the 2023 season, North Sea vacationers can find out online about the utilization of beaches, car parks, museums and swimming pools in many places along the Lower Saxony coast. The digital visitor management system launched last year will be available for the first time this year at all planned locations, as the tourism company Die Nordsee announced on request. “From Otterndorf to Greetsiel, all shareholders are on board,” said Tim Schönfeld, digitization manager at Wangerland Touristikgesellschaft.

Overall, the system should be available for around 50 excursion destinations from the start of the season in April. Data for dozens of destinations can already be viewed online. There are occupancy displays, for example, for the beach car park in Schillig, the Norsee Lagoon in Butjadingen or the port in Greetsiel. The information can be called up via a so-called digital travel guide in the form of a web app for smartphone browsers or via digital information steles that are set up at tourist locations. A traffic light system shows how high the occupancy rate is and provides guests with alternative excursion destinations when occupancy is high.

The system, which works with laser sensors, for example, was launched in May last year in Butjadingen, in Wangerland in Friesland and in Wilhelmshaven. For other places, delivery problems with the technology and official requirements had recently delayed the start a little further, said Schönfeld. The system was originally announced for summer 2021. In 2023, the technology should now be available everywhere – an introduction is also being worked on in Bremerhaven, it said.

“Things are already going very successfully in the towns of Butjadingen and Wangerland. The 2023 season will show us even more insights,” said Sonja Janßen, Managing Director of Die Nordsee GmbH. According to an initial evaluation for the previously participating locations, the 2022 system had actually equalized the rush to tourist hotspots and also created attention for otherwise less frequented destinations. Since the occupancy displays in Butjadingen and Wangerland have been online, the number of website hits has increased by up to 300 percent.

At other coastal locations in northern Germany, the number of guests has been registered and processed for a long time. In Scharbeutz in Schleswig-Holstein and five other places in the Bay of Lübeck, for example, there has been a beach traffic light since 2020 to control the number of visitors.

Visitor numbers on the Lower Saxony North Sea coast