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Digitization: The New Strategy For Recovery Of Inbound Tourism in Germany

Revitalization of German incoming tourism - next steps Open Data project - strong presence for the travel industry via virtual formats - increased use of smart services (e.g. AI, VR, MR).


Typical German traditions The German National is focusing its evidence-based recovery strategy in incoming tourism on digital tools for intensive customer communication. Brand awareness and inspiration are the focus here. In various stages of its customer communication, from empathy campaigns during lock-down phases in international markets, digital events and workshops with the travel industry, and targeted product to campaigns, conversational interfaces are used, applications of artificial intelligence (e.g., chatbots), machine learning, and predictive analytics.

Together with the tourism marketing organizations of the federal states and many other project partners, the GNTB is pushing innovative and responsible data use and the expansion of efficient data infrastructure, thereby increasing the data competence of German tourism. The project reflects all fields of action of the new data strategy of the Federal Government.

Petra Hedorfer, Chairwoman of the GNTB’s Executive Board: “Analysts agree that the recovery of international tourism from the Corona crisis will begin in 2021. The task now is to strengthen brand awareness for Germany as a travel destination and to use anti-cyclical marketing to direct demand to our offerings. Digital formats and technologies open up additional Digital formats and technologies open up additional opportunities for us to expand our customer dialogue with pinpoint accuracy, intensify our contacts in the international tourism industry, and share new insights with our partners in the German tourism industry. We have already used the 2020 crisis situation to sharpen our digital profile. Together, we will help German incoming tourism out of the Corona crisis stronger.”

Open Data/Knowledge Graph project enters the application phase

In order to meet the growing technological and commercial challenges posed by a global platform economy, tourist offers from Destination Germany must be able to be found on all digital channels, also with the help of AI-supported applications, and be played out to customers in a targeted manner. This means that the data content must be completely recorded by all participants along the tourism value chain, semantically structured, and made accessible at the various interfaces. And made accessible at the various interfaces. This also opens up additional opportunities for new business models, including in the start-up sector. In order for service providers and destinations in the competition with global players, the GNTB is driving the Open Data/Knowledge Data/Knowledge Graph project for the German tourism industry. The first use cases 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 will be exhibiting with all of its foreign representatives at ITB Berlin NOW from March 9 to 13. The GNTB will be networking with top tourism experts from all source markets to develop recovery strategies from the Corona crisis and projects for joint international market development in 2021 and to develop future prospects in dialogue.

As part of its sustainability strategy, the GNTB is organizing Accessible Travel Day on March 12 in parallel with ITB NOW. To mark its 10th anniversary, this event is being held for the first time as a virtual format.

Due to the current developments in the Corona pandemic and the positive experiences from last year, the largest incoming workshop for Germany as a travel destination, the Germany Travel MartTM (GTM), is also going online again as virtual GTM online. The date is April 25-27, 2021.

Digital applications intensify customer contact

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

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