After years of preparation, eleven european spas submit their joint application for world heritage status to unesco in paris next tuesday. The czech state is the leader, so the czech spa town of karlsbad has an important role to play. Shortly before the important date in paris, petr kulhanek, the mayor of the city for many years, was voted out of office (see info box). His successor is the former general manager of the grand hotel "pupp, andrea pepper-ferklova. Before the mayor of bad kissingen, kay blankenburg, sees his new colleague for the first time on tuesday, we talked to the 44-year-old about the unesco application and her plans.
Dear mrs. Pfeffer-ferklova, congratulations on your election! Carlsbad is not only an important, but THE most important partner of bad kissingen in the unesco bid. Will the city remain the leader of the bid under its leadership??
Andrea pfeffer ferklova: yes, of course karlsbad remains in the unesco application.
Will you also take over the chairmanship of the "mayor group" from your boss?, the leadership group of all mayors?
Yes, I pay to take over this position.
Was the application for unesco world heritage status a topic in the election campaign?? Are there any criticisms or requests for change?? From your point of view, points need to be renegotiated again?
Unesco was not our topic in the election campaign, but we will continue to work on this topic with all our partners and I hope that we will be successful.
They were director of the famous grand-hotel pupp. What made you switch from business to politics??
I have worked in the tourism and spa sector for 17 years. Karlovy vary is a beautiful city with history, culture, many great hotels and great potential. But you have to work with that. A lot of investment is to be made in order to be well prepared for the future. And I was of the opinion that nothing has changed in karlsbad in the past twelve years. This was my motivation for leaving the position of general manager of the grandhotel pupp.
What is the biggest challenge for the citizens of karlovy vary from your point of view??
People want to live in a city where they feel comfortable, where they can raise their children, where they have all the conditions for a safe and peaceful life. They want to see the city develop, they have the opportunity to enjoy it in their free time. The basic functions expected from the city – safety, cleanliness and so on – must be fulfilled.
Which topic do you want to tackle first in your new office, what are you doing now??
It's not just about one issue, we need to work on everything – seniors, new investments, traffic in the city, ….
Back to tourism: what can the politicians in the town hall, but also the government in prague do for tourism in karlsbad??
We should invest more here. There are buildings in the city that need to be done quickly, for example elisabethbad and kaiserbad. But it's not just about renovation or reconstruction, it's above all about a function that the buildings should continue to fulfill.
Who are the most important guests in your city?
Most of the guests come from all over the world. In recent years, there are more guests from taiwan and china. Unfortunately, they stay only one night and leave again. More important for karlovy vary are the guests who stay here for a long time – especially the spa guests who come to karlovy vary to improve their health.
What is a must-see when you are in karlsbad?? And vice versa: what's your secret tip if you tend to shy away from crowds??
Karlovy vary has a lot to show: moser glass factory, becherovka museum with tasting, our great colonnades, the historical center, our theater. When you come to karlovy vary, you have to see and taste our gold – it's all about our healing springs. Heiber tipp: our underground fountain must also visit or take a walk through our kurwalder.
And finally, the question: have you ever been to bad kissingen or the other partner cities of the unesco bid??
No, unfortunately not. However, I will be in office on 21. I will be going to baden-baden on january and hope to visit our other unesco candidate cities very soon.
Person andrea pfeffer-ferklova was born on 1. Born in january 1975, she grew up in chodov near karlsbad, she attended the grammar school in karlsbad. The 44-year-old is married, has no children, speaks german, english and russian as well as czech. From 2006 to 2018 she was the general manager of the grandhotel pupp in karlsbad, the inauguration as mayor was on the 13. November.
The city of karlsbad is the largest czech spa with about 50 000 inhabitants. The 110 accommodation establishments, including four funf-star and 43 four-star hotels have nearly 11 000 beds. The city's latest guest statistics show around 269,000 guests and 1.54 million overnight stays. For comparison: last year, bad kissingen had 256,500 guests and 1.59 million overnight stays.
Politics the karlsbad city council has 35 members. So far there were nine groups represented, the largest was the karlovy vary citizens' initiative (KOA) with ten seats, to which the current mayor petr kulhanek also belonged. The KOA fell from ten to five seats in the municipal elections. Your three coalition partners "the independents (5 seats so far), CSSD (also 5) and KDU-CSL (1) even flew out of the city council altogether. Andrea pfeffer-ferklova, who is not actually a party member, ran for the current czech government party ANO in 2011 and won twelve seats at the first attempt. It is supported by the local movement "the karlsbaders", which had increased from 5 to 8 seats in the election, and the "burgher democratic party" ODS, which increased one seat from 2 to 3.
The international group of applicants for the unesco world heritage list includes bad kissingen, baden-baden and bad ems from germany, franzensbad, karlsbad and marienbad from the czech republic, as well as baden near vienna in austria, spa in belgium, vichy in france, montecatini in italy and bath in the UK.