For the second time, the German National Tourist Board (GNTB) is one of the champions in the TOP100 innovation competition. In this scientific selection process, the GNTB impressed the judges in size category B (51 to 200 employees) with its successful use of digital technologies in the Corona crisis.
Petra Hedorfer, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) “Right from the start of the Covid 19 pandemic, we were very quick to leverage our expertise in the digital space to maintain the existing high brand awareness for Destination Germany. Our comprehensive recovery strategy incorporates all digital marketing tools and communication channels. We are also developing new tools such as an AI-supported chatbot to answer customer inquiries and additional formats for know-how transfer between international markets and partners in German tourism. Various international studies show that Germany has gained in the appreciation of international guests as a travel destination. We are very proud that the jury recognizes our commitment as a pacemaker of the tourism industry in the digital transformation.”
Among the specific projects on which the jury’s decision was based was an international digital “empathy campaign” comprising informative content as well as interactive and virtual experience formats, which won the “German Brand Award” last year. With an AI chatbot on Facebook and the website germany.travel, travelers receive general information about the destination as well as constantly updated information about the pandemic rules in Germany. To keep international consumers engaged with Germany as a travel destination despite travel restrictions, the GNTB is creating entertaining applications such as a Facebook augmented reality filter on the popular topic of castles and palaces and is launching an interactive AR selfie app on the 250-year-old Ludwig van Beethoven.
Another initiative that is being recognized is the GNTB’s digital Market Insight webinars, which provide SME market participants with concrete know-how on how to cope with the challenges posed by the pandemic by offering market research information and expert contributions.
Talking on the occasion Mr. Romit Theophilus, Director for India, The German National Tourist Office said “Despite the ongoing travel restrictions, there is reason for cautious optimism. In view of the experiences of the past year, we expect an increase in travel from India, especially in the summer months, as restrictions ease,” “We continue to assume that private travel will recover faster than business travel, which will be increasingly characterised by hybrid formats and online events in the medium term. Based on these developments, the pre-crisis level of incoming travel to Germany can be regained by 2024. The digital transformation, innovations and a sustainable orientation of tourism in Germany remain a prerequisite for a market recovery.”