The protection and strengthening of Ostholstein as an attractive location in terms of life, work, economy and recreation is a very important development goal for the district.
The services industry, characterised by the tourism and healthcare business, traditionally constitutes the most important economic sector in Ostholstein. Many hospitals and medical prevention and rehabilitation facilities are located here, as well as an outstanding high number of aged care facilities. In Ostholstein, economic slumps are met with proactive measures to boost the economy.
Tourism, as the main pillar of the economy in Ostholstein, boosts many sectors, as for example craft and commercial activities, which have become steady economic factors. Every year, the district welcomes about 2.6 million visitors, counts about 14.5 million overnight stays and – according to cautious estimates – about 27 million daily visitors. As one of the German regions that is most visited by tourists, Ostholstein has a special responsibility with respect to this economic sector. Thanks to public funds from thefederal state, the touristic infrastructure and especially boardwalks in seaside resorts were thoroughly modernised in recent years.
The 22 marinas with about 10 000 berths and 86 campingsites with 25 000 pitches are of special touristic importance as well. The preservation and further upgrading of highquality services in both of these two areas are of specificpriority for the touristic promotion in Ostholstein.
Farming makes a significant contribution to the economyin Ostholstein as well: 1257 farms use about 67 percentof the district’s surface for agricultural purposes. The primary cultivated crops are barley, wheat and rape. The manufacturing industries as the food and luxury foodindustry (e.g. „Schwartauer Werke“), the electrical engineering and electronics industry or medical engineering include about 174 companies. The percentage of the producing industries in Ostholstein amounts in total to 17percent.
Since several years, the district also examines the possible consequences of the demographic change very closely. Inabout 15 years, more than 40 percent of the populationin Ostholstein will be older than 60, whereas the percentage of children and teenagers is decreasing noticeably.The issue currently under consideration refers to the consequences, which these changes will have on the economic and social life in Ostholstein and how for example kindergartens,schools, vocational training institutions and companies in the region can cope with these different demographicstructures.