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Kickstarting Germany’s Tourism Recovery through Digitization

February 12, 2021 Visit Europe No Comments Email Email

With its evidence-based recovery strategy in incoming tourism, the German National Tourist Board (GNTB) is targeting digital instruments for intensive customer communication, focusing on brand awareness and inspiration. The GNTB has been using digital opportunities in various stages of customer communication: From empathy campaigns during the lock-down phases in international markets to digital events and workshops with the travel industry to targeted product campaigns, conversational interfaces, and applications of artificial intelligence (e.g. chatbots).

Together with the regional tourism marketing organizations and many other partners, the GNTB is promoting innovative and responsible data use and the expansion of a high-performance data infrastructure, thereby increasing the data competence of German tourism. The project includes all fields of action of the federal government’s new data strategy.

Petra Hedorfer, CEO of the GNTB Executive Board: “Analysts are unanimous in predicting that international tourism will recover from the corona crisis in 2021. Now it is important to strengthen brand awareness for Germany as a travel destination and to use anti-cyclical marketing for direct demand. Digital formats and technologies open up additional perspectives for us to expand the customer dialogue, to intensify our contacts in the international tourism industry and to share new knowledge with our partners in tourism in Germany. We have already used the crisis situation in 2020 to sharpen our digital profile. Together we will lead German incoming tourism out of the corona crisis.”

Open Data / Knowledge Graph project is entering the application phase

In order to meet the growing technological and commercial challenges posed by a global platform economy, tourist offers in Germany have to be found on all digital channels with the help of AI-supported applications targeted to customers. This means that the data content has to be completely recorded by all those involved along the tourism value chain, semantically structured and made accessible at the various interfaces. This also opens up additional opportunities for new business models, including in the start-up area. In order to support service providers and destinations in the competition among global players, the GNTB is running the Open Data / Knowledge Graph project of the German tourism industry. The first usage will be implemented in the second quarter of 2021.

Virtual events ensure continuous industry contacts

Digital formats will continue to shape the dialogue with the international travel industry in 2021. That is why the GNTB is presenting itself as an exhibitor with all foreign representations at ITB Berlin NOW from March 9th to 13th, 2021. It connects top tourism professionals from all source markets in order to develop recovery strategies from the corona crisis and projects for joint international market development in 2021.

As part of its sustainability strategy, the GNTB is organizing the Barrier-Free Travel Day on March 12th, 2021, parallel to ITB NOW. For the 10th anniversary, this event will take place as a virtual format for the first time.

The largest incoming workshop for Germany as a travel destination, the Germany Travel Mart(TM) (GTM), is also online again as a virtualGTM due to the current developments in the corona pandemic and the positive results from last year. The date is April 27-29, 2021.

Digital applications intensify customer contact

In the virtual space, the GNTB is also initiating additional formats for dialogue with end customers. The integration of AI-supported chatbots offers more service quality for potential guests as early as in the inspiration and planning phase. In social media marketing, the GNTB is focusing on virtual reality, augmented reality and mixed reality, among others, and on gamification in order to reach younger people in particular and to get them excited about Germany as a travel destination.

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