The German SPOT study area „Lieberose/Oberspreewald“ is situated in the South of Brandenburg (about 100 km from Berlin in south-east direction towards Cottbus) and represents a typical part of the north German glacial lowland. It includes first an almost dry woodland-dominated former military training area called “Lieberoser Heide”. Second, the study areas’ southwest part contains partly the well-known floodplain “Spreewald”, which is also a UNESCO biosphere reserve. Third, there is a well-developed tourism area around lake “Schwielochsee” with marinas, campgrounds and beaches.
Some inhabitants are descendants of the Sorbs and Wends, Slavic tribes which were the first permanent settlers in the region. They could preserve their traditional language, homes and clothing and maintain their traditions. Many inhabitants of the Spreewald depend on tourism. Tourists like exploring the manifold branched river network there by paddle boats and punts. Agriculture, forestry and fishery delivering well-known regional products are other important sources of income.
Large military training sites are often home of a rich fauna and flora including wilderness areas. As a result, the Lieberoser Heide is a unique landscape that is almost free of construction and traffic areas. On about 25,500 hectares, there is a high biological diversity. The surrounding regions are challenged to find new economic development paths. Thus, it is necessary to identify and implement strategies for the protection and valorisation of the natural as well as cultural treasures as a contribution to sustainable regional development (tourism, land use, handcraft, and service).
Surveys of visitors (105) and residents (85) were conducted in the study area from August to October 2020. The activities were caught up with the COVID-19 pandemic. For this reason, some questions how travel behaviour changed during the pandemic were added. A result of the survey is the research report „Cultural Tourism in Rural Areas: Results of a Visitor and Resident Survey in the Lieberose/Oberspreewald (Brandenburg) District in the Corona Year 2020", which is available in German language.
The German study area is the „Amt Lieberose/Oberspreewald“, an administrative association of eight municipalities in the cultural region “Niederlausitz” and belongs to the federal state “Brandenburg”. The „Amt Lieberose/Oberspreewald“ consists of the municipalities Alt Zauche-Wußwerk, Byhleguhre-Byhlen, Jamlitz, Stadt Lieberose, Neu Zauche, Schwielochsee, Spreewaldheide, Straupitz (Spreewald).
Website of the Amtsgemeinde (only available in German):