Innovations in Destinations in Upper Bavaria and Salzburg

The EU-INTERREG-project „Innovations in Destinations in Upper Bavaria and Salzburg“ aims to boost the innovative strength of the tourism industry at the level of individual enterprises as well as destinations as a whole.

The project comprises six tourism regions in Bavaria and Salzburg: Chiemgau, Berchtesgadener Land, Tegernsee Valley, Holiday Region Tennengau, Holiday Region Lungau and Flachau. Especially in the tourism industry, the speed of innovation cycles is accelerating: Today comfortable market niches may not exist anymore tomorrow, because guests demand new services or simply because competitors in other destinations can offer the same at higher quality but lower prices. The University of Applied Sciences Salzburg, Salzburg Research and ITG – Innovation and Technology Transfer Salzburg GmbH joined forces in order to support the six participating tourism regions in their vision of becoming highly innovative destinations. For this purpose, the project consists of a number of activities, e.g.

  • Innovation-Coaches: The University of Applied Sciences provides an academic training course for so called Innovation-Coaches, who provide consulting services in innovation issues for tourism practitioners in the destinations, afterwards.
  • Innovation-Workshops: The project consortium organises innovation workshops in all six participating regions, which can be attended by entrepreneurs free of cost. The aim is to elaborate together a number of practical ideas for improvements and further development in the respective destination by the end of the first three workshops.
  • Innovation-Destination-Simulation: Stakeholders of every destination meet and take part in a realistic destination simulation, where they get to know the need for co-operations between enterprises in order to establish a destination that can be really successful in competition with other destinations.
  • Innovation-Symposia: In 2014, two symposia will take place – one with focus on innovations for summer holidays and the other one for the winter season.
  • Innovation-Potential-Analysis: The analysis of the innovation potential of participating tourism regions is conducted by Salzburg Research. It shall answer the following question: “How can innovation activities be pursued closer to the market and the needs of potential guests – at the level of individual enterprises as well as the whole destination?” In general, the tourism industry as a service sector works very close to, often even with their customers. It knows the needs of guests quite well and sometimes it is successful in picking up on hints of tourists. This is the starting point of our work: By means of two workshops, that took place in spring 2013, as well as further extensive desk research, we develop a voluminous catalogue of customer needs. Then, these needs shall be assessed and analysed with a dual online survey targeted at tourists as well as tourism experts in the regions. The main outcome will be an analysis of innovation potentials tailored for the six participating destinations.

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