The nine cooperating Hanseatic cities in Eastern Netherlands look back on a successful Hanseatic year 2023. For nine months, many wonderful activities were organized by nine cities to revive the 800-year-old Hanseatic ideas. Visitors and residents have been reacquainted with the Hanze DNA. The year resulted in more than 100 activities in the Hanseatic cities and four joint events. The result: great involvement with residents, visitors who visited the cities, new traditions and collaborations, knowledge and experience of the partners involved and a record number of media publications.
An important part of the Hanze year was the programming of communal activities and events, so that everything could be done in a big way. The overarching activities have been aimed at a good spread over the year – namely April/May/October/December – attractive for different target groups. By organizing a broad program of events, festivals, exhibitions, tours and experiences in nine cities for nine months, special collaborations were achieved in all kinds of ways. Of the four joint events, ’24-hour Hanze’ and ‘Kleur de Hanze’ made the greatest impact.
Highlights and challenges
In addition to the numerous activities, such as festivals, tours, exhibitions and games, the Hanseatic Year has had a much broader impact. During the Hanseatic Year, the cities not only profiled themselves strongly as Hanseatic cities, but also as attractive cities to live, work and visit. Director Evelyn Borgsteijn of MarketingOost and chairman of Hanzesteden Marketing: “The effect of the Hanze Year transcends the tourism and recreation sector, sometimes consciously, but often also unconsciously. This has contributed to the Hanseatic pride and a better living environment. The year has given a strong boost to cultural values and programming.” In various cities, a link has been made with education and education: involving schools in specific activities or developing educational programs at cultural and educational institutions. The Hanzelied and Hanzekunstwerk were surprising gems and the well-organized (cultural) institutions and organizations in particular managed to get the more successful events off the ground. But there were also challenges: such a theme year requires a lot of preparation time and therefore a budget for appealing results. This was sometimes under pressure. Involving all stakeholders in the city is also quite a task.
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