Managing director thorn ploger emphasized: "rhon has the chance to become better than allgau and the black forest." rhon gmbh wants to achieve this ambitious goal with a customized destination management system that is causing a stir throughout germany.
Almost ten months ago, on 1. February, rhon gmbh with managing director thorn ploger started its work. Since then, there has been a lot of organizing to do, legal issues to clarify, structures to create, and the foundations for a successful future for destination rhon to be laid. Thorn ploger and his team gave an audience of representatives from the municipalities, the district and the tourism industry information on how rhon gmbh is now set up in detail and what common goals are being pursued with the local players.
New tasks for ARGE rhon
First of all jurgen metz (district office, economic demand) reminded of the development, also to prevent rumors that the ARGE rhon (regional working group rhon) would be dissolved. The joint beginnings of the five counties and three states to unite under one roof in the ARGE rhon date back to around 2000/2001. The merger seemed to make sense in order to cooperate on common issues such as tourism. One result of this cooperation is the premium hiking trail "der hochrhoner". But the loose association also brought disadvantages, for example in the filing of applications, since the ARGE rhon is not a legal entity in its own right. In addition to the ARGE, there were separate tourist companies and the umbrella brand rhon. "Things didn't always go optimally, we didn't always present a uniform picture", metz looked back self-critically.
With the founding of rhon gmbh, a new foundation has now been laid. The ARGE rhon will not be dissolved, but it will be necessary for the participants to think about which tasks should be covered.
Bringing together institutions in three countries and five counties, including the umbrella brand, requires patience, he said. Ploger spoke about the major challenge facing rhon gmbh, saying that the legal issues had been worked on behind the scenes with great pressure, while at the same time the day-to-day business had been run and the concept for the future had been worked on.
Urgent need for cooperation
What is important in all these projects is that they can only be achieved together. Full of passion and commitment, the managing director pointed out the urgent need for cooperation in order to achieve the common goal. In the future we will no longer speak of the hessian, bavarian or thuringian rhon, but only of the rhon: "we are the rhon, we are the future."
Nationwide guest card
Future strategies were presented: a "rhon card" guest card is intended to provide nationwide benefits, but will not yet be available in 2018. Too many things still need to be clarified. Trade fair appearances, a rhon-wide host directory and an online booking system are some examples.
There will be three competence centers: in bad neustadt, in geisa and on the wasserkuppe mountain. The headquarters of rhon gmbh is located in the information center "haus der schwarzen berge" in oberbach. Ploger emphasized the preservation of the tourist information on the kreuzberg in the bruder-franz-haus. In addition, a tourist information center is to be set up in bad kissingen, and negotiations are already underway with fulda.
Ploger reported in detail on the steps taken in the past ten months: the first step was taken on 1. February the foundation of the rhon gmbh with the takeover of the roof brand and the employees. On 1. April, the tourism section of the rhonforum e.V. Thuringia into rhon gmbh, on 1. May followed the takeover of the employees of the tourism gmbh bayerische rhon, with the exception of the managing director michael pfaff. The tourism gmbh is currently being managed by thorn ploger, who has been appointed as liqudator. Rhon gmbh has taken over all areas of responsibility, with the exception of the "frankens saalestuck" initiative, which is now in the hands of the district of bad kissingen.
The takeover of rhon tourismus& service gmbh of the district of fulda could not be made in whole. Planned for the 1. January 2018 the transfer of most employees to rhon gmbh, the company will not be dissolved and will be dedicated to the topic of service. Managing director roland frormann will not join rhon gmbh.
The rhon gmbh consists of the shareholders' meeting, which is formed by the five county councils, all of which have the same voting rights regardless of the size of their counties. The steering group, consisting of the five economic representatives of the five counties, is responsible for the preparation of the resolutions. The management is in the hands of thorn ploger, his deputy is jennifer rother. Four departments are under the management: product development, communication, umbrella brand, and service and sales. The "umbrella brand" department will be managed by the previous managing director of the umbrella brand rhon gmbh barbara landgraf, the service and sales department anja schuchert (previously rhonforum). The advisory board of rhon gmbh includes partners such as the biosphere reserve, the rhonforum and nature park associations, and the state tourism associations.