Expert exchange for smart data in tourism

17. February 2020, Verena Feyock

[Translate to English:] Smart Daten in Tourismus

"Smart data in tourism" round table – putting expert exchange and in-depth insights into practice

Over 50 top decision-makers in the tourism industry accepted the invitation from Saint Elmo's Tourismusmarketing to Ötztal, Austria, to exchange information on the current trend topic of tourism data.

Munich, February 17, 2020: In January, representatives of companies and destinations from Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Luxembourg and South Tyrol met at the AQUA DOME in Längenfeld and at over 3,000 meters in the ice Q on the Gaislachkogel to discuss the sensible use of guest data in the tourism.

At the Saint Elmo's Tourismusmarketing event, the participants also gave top-class speakers from Germany, Austria and Switzerland in-depth insights into the practice from six destinations.

  • Reinhard Lanner, Chief Digital Officer at Österreich Werbung, reported on the NETA (Next Level Tourism Austria) project and the planned data hub, which is even mentioned in the new Austrian government program.
  • Mathias Schattleitner, Managing Director of Schladming-Dachstein Tourismusmarketing GmbH and Josef Schirig, Managing Director of the Serfaus-Fiss-Ladis Tourist Association reported on their joint project of the guest loyalty program. The collaboration of two top destinations in a data innovation project is a novelty and promises new knowledge in the field of tourism data. 
  • Andreas Braun, Managing Director of TM Baden-Württemberg, presented data management in Baden-Württemberg. He explained how the recording of all POIs, events, restaurants and direct marketers is orchestrated here and pointed out the challenge of reconciling a central strategy with decentralized maintenance.
  • Sandra Zenhäusern, Head of Marketing & Sales at Zermatt Bergbahnen AG, presented the most-discussed case: The focus was on the development of digitalization tools for the Zermatt-Matterhorn destination. The newly founded Bonefire AG is responsible for this.
  • Oliver Schwarz, Managing Director of Ötztal Tourismus, presented strategies for optimizing internal and external cooperation.
  • Patricio Hetfleisch, head of the Tirol Werbung media house, focused on the topic of visibility as part of the data strategy of Tirol Werbung. The key message of the presentation: To be successful, destinations have to increase their scope for action in the customer journey. 
  • Bastian Zimmermann, General Manager of, gave insights into the use of smart data in other industries. Using examples from the aviation and finance industries, he showed how technology can be used to make personalized communication successful. His appeal here was not to be put off by the complexity and to start with small use cases.

New task for destinations: Use of guest data

One trend was particularly noticeable in the practical examples: the topic of guest data and CRM. Many destinations have already discovered the potential of data use and are increasingly using it to improve customer relationships and increase loyalty. 
Olaf Nitz, Chief Data Officer at Saint Elmo's Tourismmarketing, said of the growing importance of smart data in the tourism industry: "In our work, too, we see one of the most important development areas here, which is both a benefit for guests through personalization and an added value for businesses and destinations: Adding efficiency in communication and added value." In his closing keynote, he illuminated the entire stage of tourism data. His message was that only with a holistic approach can the use of data develop its full potential. In addition to content (open data), data also plays an important role in CRM, marketing and sales.

Workbook: Smart data in tourism

At the event, Saint Elmo's Tourismmarketing also presented the accompanying "Smart Data in Tourism" workbook. The current status of programmatic advertising, mobile data in tourism and real-time data & payment is summarized on more than 70 pages.

Expansion of the smart data business area

For Saint Elmo's Tourismmarketing, smart data is also a hot topic in tourism. The agency, which specializes in the communicative challenges of the tourism industry, responds to the growing needs of customers in this area and further expands the Smart Data business area. The range of services is continuously expanded to include consulting services and implementation measures in the field of tourism data.

Smart data in tourism is also the topic with which Saint Elmo's Tourismmarketing will be present in March at the ITB, the leading trade fair for the international tourism industry. The agency is planning another event for deepening and networking in the field of tourism data for the 25th/26th June in Salzburg.

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