Baden-Baden’s success lies in affordable luxury; gains toehold as a niche sports getaway

Known primarily as a niche spa destination, Baden-Baden is also gaining a toehold in the adventure sports segment, we were told. Besides boasting of a numerous shopping and wellness centers in its arsenal, its fantastic connectivity to Stuttgart and Frankfurt are helping it maintain its pull.

Radhika KrishnanBad’ literally translates into bath in German. So, it would not be too difficult to guess that this cozy little town in the foothills of Black Forest is home to some of the most exquisite spa-hotels. But, beyond the luxurious hotels and world-famed wellness centers, it also boasts of some Star-awarded restaurants, cozy taverns and delightful shopping experience for travelers looking for high-end luxury escapade. “Basically, Baden-Baden is a niche spa destination known for its casinos and Spas,” says Radhika, head of sales and marketing, German National Tourist Office.

“Initially, of course, when people thought of a European sojourn they would think of Italy, Switzerland or France, but slowly, over the years, that notion is changing for good,” she tells us. Sharing that in terms of knowledge about the destination and its tourism product – there has been an increased interest for sure, she adds that, “the greatest factor for Baden-Baden is its location – which is an advantage, it is very close to France and Switzerland. So if somebody wants to do a packaged tour, they can come over to enjoy a serene getaway,” she explains.

However, she was quick to add that Baden-Baden was not only about luxury but affordable luxury. “What’s unique about Baden-Baden is, of course we talk about luxury, but its USP is affordable luxury. We call it affordable luxury because even if a traveler is spending somewhere around 700 Euros, he wants value for money,” she says.  “Whether you are spending a 100 Euros or 700 Euros – we believe that Baden-Baden gives you value for your money spent,” she further explains.

Detailing the profile of clientele, she agreed that their clientele came primarily from the leisure segment, “however, we do get some corporate and FIT’s as an overflow of the leisure segment. It has casinos and spas; so there are corporate groups who look for night time activities do come to us,” tells Radhika.

Pointing to its proximity to busy centers of trade and commerce, she shares that, “Essentially, a lot of corporate and MICE goes to the Black Forest region and Stuttgart and Frankfurt are pretty well connected, so we are also helped by these factors too,” she explained.

Besides being an undisputed spa and wellness destination, it is slowly beginning to make a mark in the realm of adventure sports, we were told. “In terms of niche sports and derby we have been able to generate some interest. Winter sports activity is a segment which is picking up slowly,” she shared.  “Activities like hot-air ballooning, paragliding are catching up. People are beginning to consider Baden-Baden as a centre for adventure sports. We have had guests who previously chose New Zealand, are now heading to our shores, although we are yet in a nascent stage,” divulged Radhika. “Also, in the region, there are a few more sports activity centers in the South-west, so we benefit from them as well,” she further added.

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