Gstaad Saanenlad Tourismus (GST) has long been considering whether its tourism office is still up-to-date. Its is now launching an interactive study in to determine where exactly to increase development efforts.
"What does the tourist office of tomorrow look like in the age of digitization?" This is what the interdisciplinary project "Tourist Office 3.0"—sponsored by the federal government and performed by Gutundgut GmbH of Zurich/Rotterdam and usability experts—is asking. According to a media release, GST states there is a great need for action in Switzerland, an opinion shared by many tourism experts in the country. Travel portals such as Tripadvisor and Google's classic tourist information are based on specific ranking systems, and the tourism office must take this into consideration.
"Our tourist offices are currently at a good quality standard, but we have to look to the future and develop ourselves steadily," says Andreas Zoppas, vice-director and responsible area manager for the tourism offices of Destination Gstaad. However, Zoppas promised that digitization would never replace personal contact between guests and tourism employees.
New cooperation concept
Recently a project has been launched in which 19 Swiss tourism regions cooperate and describe their experiences. GST is also active in the analysis and innovation process as a partner—company management believes exchange between colleagues can contribute to suggestions for future development of service offers.
"The Swiss-wide project is aimed precisely at our efforts to offer guests a high-quality and up-to-date consultation," explains Zoppas.
Project sequence with exciting extras
The media release also states that in the completed analysis phase, data from the destinations and from various research was evaluated and supplemented with results from usability studies. The next phase will be particularly exciting: An innovation workshop will take place and at the end of October, and the Opendata.ch club has invited the public to "Open Tourism Data Hackdays.”
More than 50 programmers, designers, tourism professionals, and interested parties are expected to develop innovative ideas for specific offers, services, and digital tools. In the subsequent validation phase, the implementation possibilities will be determined by spring 2018.
"After that we will come to a conclusion for Gstaad," says Zoppas, looking to the future.