Digital Service Technologies in Tourism - Increasing Digital and Service Competence at SMEs in the Tourism Industry through Technology Innovations
The aim of the project is to strengthen regional tourism with a focus on small and medium-sized enterprises in Lower Bavaria. For this purpose, support structures are to be created to develop suitable digitization strategies and implement technologies.
Bavaria considers to be the most popular vacation region in Germany. Especially the two administrative districts of Lower Bavaria and Upper Palatinate are important destinations here. Bavaria's most important tourist destinations include the Bavarian Forest and the Bavarian Golf and Spa Region. In addition, tourism plays a key role in the regional economy. With 12 million overnight stays by guests in 2017, tourism in Lower Bavaria continues its successful course and thus guarantees jobs and training positions that are secure and close to home (IHK Niederbayern 2019). In addition to value creation and jobs, a high-quality tourism infrastructure ensures an attractive location that makes it easier for companies to retain or attract talented professionals to the region.
As in other industries, the constant expansion of value-added structures to include various service offerings is also central for tourism service providers (e.g. lodging establishments, experience providers, travel and leisure service providers and travel companies). One driver in the context of regional development and strengthening of competitiveness is digitalization, which is gaining strongly in importance for the tourism value chain and offers enormous potential. Digital possibilities are changing the general range of services as well as information, demand, booking and communication behavior. A wide range of tourist information and service offerings are shifting to mobile devices, for example. On the one hand, digitization opens up new opportunities for transparency of offers, and on the other hand, it can create unique experiences that bind customers to destinations and companies in the long term. The key here is to understand the tourism customer journey and to design it in the best possible way. In order to make appropriate and targeted use of the potential offered by digitization, companies in the tourism sector must adapt to these changes. The increasing complexity and dynamics of digitization and thus of the technical possibilities still pose major challenges for tourism players. While large, nationally and internationally operating tourism companies and players are much better able to exploit the potential of digitization, there are enormous challenges here, especially for smaller and medium-sized tourism service providers.
The DIGITOUR project is divided into four phases: In the first phase, the current state and the needs of regional tourism service providers in the area of digitization are analysed. The results will then be compared with other regions and approaches known from research.
In the second step, a network of tourism businesses and other partners will be established. When dividing the subprojects, special attention will be paid to the previously identified needs in order to exploit existing potentials and to analyse value-added solutions. Subsequently, the tourism service providers are accompanied in the experimental implementation of adapted strategies and technologies. The third project phase concludes with the analysis of implemented measures and their effectiveness. The knowledge gained will be summarized in a final project step. The elaboration of guidelines, recommendations for action and training offers will enable a sustainable technology transfer.
The strengthening of regional tourism with a focus on small and medium-sized service providers in Lower Bavaria is the central goal of the project. The counteracting of the mentioned challenges is to be created with the help of support structures in order to develop suitable digitisation strategies and to implement technologies successfully.
Project Duration: 10/2019 - 10/2022
Project Amount: 1.300.000 €
Project Website: www.uni-passau.de/digitour/
Further participating Institutions: