Tourism Data Management North Rhine-Westphalia – Open, Linked, Digital
Today’s guests are digitally on the move. The smartphone and other mobile devices have become a constant companion for people. They communicate via social media, get their information on a wide variety of platforms and book their restaurant visit, museum tour and accommodation wherever they happen to be. This change in people’s information and travel behaviour, along with the diversification of output channels and new developments in the areas of Big Data, the Internet of Things or Artificial Intelligence, is one of the major challenges facing the industry today.
This is where the project “Tourist Data Management North Rhine-Westphalia – Open, Linked, Digital”, funded by the state of North Rhine-Westphalia and the EU, comes into play. With this project, Tourismus NRW e.V., together with its regional partners and the support of the Fraunhofer Institute for Software and Systems Engineering (ISST), wants to ensure that North Rhine-Westphalia is fit for the future as a travel destination – and thereby implements central requirements of the state tourism strategy.
Making NRW more visible as a travel destination by way of high-quality data of its own
Data must be processed in such a way that it is machine-readable and can be played out on all conceivable output devices, from smartphones to smart speakers, in a target-group-oriented and personalized manner within the respective travel contexts. The prerequisite for this is coherent data standards and also the opening up under licensing law. A continuous content flow between all system levels of tourism and its service providers as well as quality data are indispensable for meeting the needs of new generations of guests – and at the same time serving as breeding ground for innovative ideas, which in the end also benefit the guests.
Technically, a state-wide data hub was therefore created for NRW tourism, which enables the exchange and linking of data within NRW (as well as beyond).
The NRW Data Hub
The Data Hub controls the tourism data flows in North Rhine-Westphalia. Data is integrated into the Data Hub via interfaces and the most diverse data types are united on one platform. To make it possible for the data to be played out equally everywhere, the data must be made machine-readable. This means that they must be structured according to a coherent standard and, if there is content worthy of protection, must be provided with a valid licence.
© Tourismus NRW e.V.
Through central management and coherent quality criteria, we in North Rhine-Westphalia will jointly increase data quality and its usability in the future. Thus, we not only strengthen our digital presence, but the cooperation and networking between partners as well. Once managed, put out everywhere – added value for everyone!
On the output side, a wide variety of players will be able to access and play out the data in the future. Guests thus easily receive information via all information channels, when, how and where needed. Thanks to its open structure, the North Rhine-Westphalia Tourism Data Hub enables new, innovative service providers to enrich their products directly with high-quality tourism data: All players in the state are thus part of new apps, portals and other relevant channels from day one.
Networking and Agility are Important Prerequisites
In order to achieve said goals, important prerequisites are needed, such as systematic linking at various levels: The indenting of the North Rhine-Westphalian regions with the state tourism association is just as important as the exchange with the active players in German tourism, because the development of a state-wide data hub must ultimately be compatible with other solutions, for example the planned Knowledge Graph of the German National Tourist Board (GNTB).
Further important steps of the pilot project are the realization of a comprehensive change process by switching from sheer marketing to management and administration of data, the introduction of agile organizational principles in view of shortened product and innovation cycles as well as the conversion to new Sinus target groups and their changed travel and booking behavior. The project also explicitly includes corresponding market research activities.
First implementation steps have already been taken
At the start of the project in September 2019, an initial inventory of the data system landscape in NRW was carried out. In addition, workshops were held with the regional partners of Tourism NRW with regard to developing a state-wide content strategy. In the first phase of the project, the main focus is on building up the competence of the project partners involved. For this purpose, an appropriate qualification programme has been developed. The Data Hub NRW and the associated project website were launched at ITB 2021. At datahub.touristiker-nrw.de you will find extensive information about the project, the current implementation status and knowledge content.
In this project, the aforementioned challenges are to be mastered and the goals are to be met together with the repsective project partners. By way of the model implementation (real-lab) of measures on site, in the regions, findings are to be gained that will then serve to make adjustments and create a nationwide solution from the pilot phase in the future.
The new state tourism strategy recommends a data and content strategy for NRW which is to be organised in a decentralised but nevertheless linked manner. For this purpose, a qualified partner structure will be established along the new tasks. Tourismus NRW e.V. and its tourist regions stand for this association.
Further information can be found at datahub.touristiker-nrw.de.