The people of Bayreuth erected a statue to commemorate their first great patron of tourism in 1705. The Margrave Christian Ernst, former successful commander in the war against the Turks, proved during his lifetime his acumen as far as transport matters were concerned. Today a larger-than-life-size statue on top of the fountain in front of the New Castle reminds him. He ensured that the first mail coach service from Nuremberg to Leipzig in 1648 travelled via Bayreuth. As a crossing of two important trade routes Bayreuth obtained an "imperial post station".
When at the beginning of the 19th century individual tourism developed more and more, the bourgeoisie found its way to Bayreuth. Real tourism however didn’t begin until the time of Richard Wagner. In order to channel the stream of visitors for the first festival in the summer of 1876, the town appointed an official accommodation agent.
Richard Wagner remains even now the focal point of tourism in Bayreuth. There are, however, a number of reasons why tourism
has become one of the most important flagships and significant economic factors for the region. Its renown as a popular conference town was internationally widened thanks to the University.
With the construction of new hotels the number of beds has almost doubled over the past few years. With a capacity of 4,000 people at the multiple-purpose-hall (Oberfrankenhalle) the town has
become host to many important sporting and cultural events.
The list of events for the whole year is long: from the small district fair to a series of concerts to large open-air festivals. The construction of the thermal baths – the Lohengrin Therme in immediate proximity to the baroque garden of the Hermitage, provided a further impulse for tourism in Bayreuth.
The Bayreuth Marketing & Tourism is operated as an independent economic enterprise. The DERPART-travel agency in the city centre, the theatre box-office, the fairground and the majority of public bill-postings fall within its remit. The office provides a range of services and activities, for example tours of the historical Margraves sites, or weekends on the trail of famous Bayreuth personalities like Jean Paul or Richard Wagner. As well as providing the standard promotional literature, lists of events, guides for hotels and museums, The Bayreuth Marketing & Tourism also offers an all round service for promoters, visitors and inhabitants.