Hildegard von Bingen-Boom
The recent sanctification of Hildegard of Bingen (1098 – 1179) and her nomination as Doctor of the Church has invigorated the churches, museums and tourism-agencies in the region around Bingen on the Rhine. With a location at the gateway to the World Heritage site: The Romantic Rhine Valley”, the local Museum – Museum am Strom – already receives more than 100.000 guests each year of which many visit in order to see the exhibition about Hildegard as well as take a walk in the nearby “Hildegarten” with more than 23 plots covered in herbs, vegetables and flowers- all carefully described in the “Physica”, a medical handbook, which Hildegard wrote.
Already in May, when the first buzz about the saint was finding its way on the grape-wine, managers began to see a growth in the number of visitors to Bingen. However, a real tourist-boom is not expected, explain Rolf Wölfert who is manager of the local tourist-office: “Only 6 % of all our visitors are dedicated Cultural Tourists. But we wish to offer high-quality packages to trekkers and cyclists with a certain add-on”.
It is the opinion of local managers and developers that Hildegard of Bingen offers a possibility for world-wide marketing. A few years ago this resulted in a very informative website, “Land der Hildegard” with high quality content. Here tourists may book both packages and guided tours as well as get an overview of the life and work of the saint.
However, whether it will – as has been discussed – lead to a proliferation of more tacky offers like Wellness-& Spa Tourism a la Hildegard is still an open question …