Statements of the managing directors of the state tourism organizations on the going-live of the Knowledge Graph

“The rapid progress of artificial intelligence has highlighted how fast technology is evolving and changing our lives. AI applications are also an example of how important digitalisation and structured data are to our industry. The onus is on tourism organisations to tackle this development at all levels to ensure that they do not get left behind. At TMBW, we are stepping up our work in this area, establishing a team for data management and digitalisation, and pressing home the importance of this topic with our destinations. After years of demanding preparation, the launch of the Knowledge Graph is a milestone for tourism in Germany.”

Andreas Braun
Managing Director of Tourismus Marketing GmbH Baden-Württemberg

We are on the cusp of a fundamental change in the existing commercial dynamics and models, and there is no reason to believe that this change is still some years away. That is why the digitalisation of destination must become a mindset, starting with the service providers and the tourist information offices all the way to the destination management organisations. Properly structured data, data management, well-equipped tourist information offices and a digitalisation budget are the essentials for the future. To this end, we have formulated an open data strategy for the whole of Bavaria and developed our own technology platform, BayernCloud Tourismus. In this context, the most valuable asset is not access to a lot of data, but to a semantic data pool such as the one offered by the GNTB’s Knowledge Graph. Companies and destinations have to make the move to open data and AI in time if they want to be successful in the future.

Barbara Radomski
Managing Director of BAYERN TOURISMUS Marketing GmbH

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The GNTB’s Knowledge Graph is very important to Berlin. As an organisation that is establishing a municipal tourism data hub, we know how crucial it is that data is available and linked. Structured data, to which the project is facilitating access, plays a major role in providing tailored information for travellers. visitBerlin firmly believes that technology can enhance the visitor’s experience on the ground.

Burkhard Kieker
Managing Director of visitBerlin

“The Knowledge Graph is the central source of all tourism-related data sets from across Germany. Together with the data standards, which the tourism industry has agreed on for the first time, the graph establishes a common ground for a free digital market. It also offers huge potential for the development of artificial intelligence. We know from experience that structured data is key to the kind of clear and reliable information that users of AI tools expect. We are delighted to have been part of the process and to have had the opportunity to add our own expertise.”

Dieter Hütte
Managing Director of TMB Tourismus-Marketing Brandenburg GmbH

“The digital transformation has had a profound impact on tourism, and AI is adding previously unimaginable dimensions to the possibilities of digitalisation.
The availability of open data allows travellers and tourism companies to customise their trip and enhances the travel experience. It also increases efficiency in the tourism sector. We are merely at the beginning of a very interesting development. Our task is to put all our effort into supporting it and, where appropriate, implementing it. It is too early to say where the journey will take us, in no small part due to the rapidly evolving nature of AI applications.”

Oliver Rau
Managing Director of WFB Wirtschaftsförderung Bremen GmbH

WFB Wirtschaftsförderung Bremen GmbH

“The world is facing rapidly evolving challenges. Digitalisation and AI are making processes more efficient and changing the way we work, live, and receive and share information. It is crucial that we learn to understand these vast volumes of data and derive knowledge from it. But ultimately, it is about what motivates us: our desire to be exceptional hosts and to give people wonderful memories.”

Michael Otremba
Managing Director of Hamburg Tourismus GmbH

“It is essential to tourism in Hessen that we engage with artificial intelligence. We are joining the digital revolution with our content hub, which is a module of Tourismus-Hub Hessen. Processing the data is essential to our ability to increase value creation across our region through groundbreaking digital projects. Together with the content hub, the Knowledge Graph is a key channel for raising the international profile of tourism offerings in Hessen.”

Herbert Lang
Head of Hessen Tourism, HA Hessen Agentur GmbH

“The current debate around AI shows that building up our open data technology and expertise as part of the GNTB’s Knowledge Graph project is the right way to go. It also shows that we are merely at the beginning of a new development. The insights gained from ‘Modernisierungssprint’, a major digital project in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, show that – in addition to the much-discussed use scenarios for visitors – these systems have considerable potential to help the industry to meet the challenges it is facing, such as the shortage of staff. Over the coming years, we hope to give more service providers and tourism partners the skills to make the most of these digital possibilities, and we have identified great potential when it comes to automating services.”

Tobias Woitendorf
Managing Director of Tourismusverband Mecklenburg-Vorpommern e. V.

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“The Niedersachsen Hub already contains more than 12,000 open data sets, and that number is steadily growing. The first applications are already online and accessing this data, for example NaturTrip Niedersachsen and UmweltNAVI Niedersachsen. We are delighted to have worked so closely on the development of the Knowledge Graph over the last few years, and that we can make structured, quality-optimised open data content from the Niedersachsen Hub available. We are also looking forward to the developments in the realm of open data and ChatGPT, as a structured data header without any human input highlights the importance of providing uniformly structured and open content.”

Meike Zumbrock
Managing Director of Tourismus Marketing Niedersachsen GmbH

“Inbound tourism to Germany now has an overarching data management system in the shape of the GNTB’s Knowledge Graph. This sounds simpler than it is. After all, this achievement is based on the switch from content marketing to content management, on the construction of a coherent data infrastructure for a complex stakeholder landscape, and on the opportunity to shape – at domestic and international level – what we want to say about the destinations in our federal states. From AI to the coexistence of green transformation and digitalisation in a smarter form of tourism, we are now able to take the next steps together.”

Dr. Heike Döll-König
Managing Director of Tourismus Nordrhein-Westfalen e. V.

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“Our actions at all levels are based on data. Working with real-time data, we hope to gain more and more knowledge about our visitors and use it to efficiently reach them and provide value-adding services along the customer journey. That is why we consider the use of AI as a great opportunity to generate knowledge, simplify workflows and provide innovative services for visitors. The GNTB’s Knowledge Graph project gives us a platform through which we can test these innovations and offer services.”

Stefan Zindler
Managing Director of Rheinland-Pfalz Tourismus GmbH

“The go-live of the Knowledge Graph represents an important milestone that enables global players and start-ups to use the data and create invaluable use cases. It will allow us to make Destination Saarland more visible online, and it will encourage our partners to continue to manage and improve their data, and to make it available. The final point is particularly important to us, as this will enable us to meet the growing expectations people have of digital offerings by leveraging the power of AI applications, for example.”

Birgit Grauvogel
Managing Director of Tourismus Zentrale Saarland GmbH

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“Tourism is undergoing constant change brought on by the digital transformation. Data is the gold of our times, and AI applications are the key technology in mining and refining it. Working in partnership with the destinations in Saxony, we have created a platform for innovative data management in the shape of SaTourN (Sachsen Tourismus Netzwerk), the state-wide digital architecture for tourism data.
The Knowledge Graph is one of the key use cases for SaTourN. We hope the go-live will provide a considerable boost to data management across our region. This is a huge incentive for our partners to categorise their data even better.
We expect the Knowledge Graph to be a big draw for global players, who will use existing and new applications based on the open data to raise Saxony’s profile as a travel destination around the world.”

Veronika Hiebl
Managing Director of Tourismus Marketing Gesellschaft Sachsen mbH

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“The launch of the GNTB’s Knowledge Graph is an important step in preparing the marketing of Germany as a tourism destination for the future, and places the focus on the interests of visitors to Germany. Saxony-Anhalt is part of this network, and the SAiNT open data portal we launched in 2022 provides structured data from our federal state. SAiNT is ready for AI-based assistants and digital visitor management, and appeals to an even broader target group by integrating location data that could potentially be commercially valuable.”

Dr. Robert Franke
Managing Director of Investitions- und Marketinggesellschaft Sachsen-Anhalt mbH

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“The GNTB’s Knowledge Graph open data project collates, categorises and dynamically links data that is standardised across the region. This makes using data more efficient for our agency too. The graph database is laying the foundation for the development of applications for our visitors and for the tourism industry as a whole. This will lead to an improved travel experience for all. Only by working together will we be able to shape the rapid development of technology, and thus boost the competitiveness of Destination Germany and of Schleswig-Holstein.”

Dr. Bettina Bunge
Managing Director of Tourismus-Agentur Schleswig-Holstein GmbH (TA.SH)

„Digital technologies are playing an increasingly important role in the future of tourism in Thuringia. The rapid pace of development and the related change in customer behaviour are requiring us to rethink how we deal with tourism-related content. Data is being generated, stored, analysed and linked with new information on an almost continual basis.
Our Thuringian Content Architecture for Tourism, or ThüCAT for short, was a first step toward managing this, and so it made complete sense for us to contribute our experience and our expertise to the Knowledge Graph project. After all, only by integrating our data into this centralised resource can we work together to drive digital tourism forward, showcase the diversity of our region in innovative ways, provide visitors with customised, up-to-date information and thus hold our own in the global market.
The Knowledge Graph will add real value to the tourism experience in Thuringia and across Germany and help develop tourism on a sustainable basis. Let us harness the potential of the digital revolution and use these innovative technologies to position Thuringia and all other federal states as attractive places to visit.”

Christoph Gösel
Managing Director of Thüringer Tourismus GmbH

Thüringer Tourismus GmbH