Corporate Outdooractive News

Outdooractive voted as the best hiking app by the Süddeutsche Zeitung

The Outdooractive app has once again been confirmed as the frontrunner among hiking apps, achieving a perfect score. Whether in high-alpine regions or urban exploration, the Outdooractive app has proven itself to be the most comprehensive solution for all outdoor sports. For almost 30 years, outdoor enthusiasts have relied on the numerous features offered by our platform.

Recently, the Süddeutsche Zeitung conducted a test, rigorously evaluating various outdoor apps. Under the guidance of expert Bernhard Lerner, Chairman of the Mountain and Hiking Association Harmony of 1895, a total of 10 points were awarded per app. Only Outdooractive managed to completely convince the experts.

A key factor that sets Outdooractive apart from the competition is its diverse map material. In addition to the OpenStreetMap base used by all five app providers, Outdooractive is the only provider offering six additional specialized maps. In the Pro or partially in the Pro+ subscription, topographic maps are available, as well as maps from Outdooractive, various Alpine clubs, KOMPASS, ADAC, and HARVEY. Bernhard Lerner emphasizes, “No other app in the test can offer more.” He adds, “This is ideal for the ambitious outdoor enthusiast who wants to plan everything themselves.”

Another unique aspect of the Outdooractive app is the routes, largely sourced from official channels, be it destinations, guides, or Alpine clubs. This adds real value through the knowledge of experienced staff who are particularly familiar with the region.

Empowering Your Destination with Our Expertise

Your destination stands to gain significantly from our wealth of experience. By adopting your very own white-label website and app powered by Outdooractive, you can leverage our unique technology and seamlessly deliver a market leading tourism experience to your guests.

In today’s digital era, the effective management and presentation of destinations is crucial to the success of the tourism sector. This means white-label apps and websites are more necessary than ever before – helping you to optimally showcase the uniqueness of your region and to better manage the flow of visitors. For more information, visit the Business website here.

Link to the article: Süddeutsche Zeitung

About Outdooractive:
Outdooractive is Europe’s leading digital platform for outdoor tourism. In the Outdooractive app and website, outdoor enthusiasts from around the world find over a million tour and route descriptions in 180 countries. Outdooractive provides precise global maps developed for outdoor leisure activities, a useful digital guide, and a unique routing technology that considers hazard warnings and temporary trail closures.

Outdooractive not only helps private users discover their next adventure but is also utilized and appreciated by outdoor professionals. Outdooractive Business delivers unique technology, digitization, and marketing solutions for thousands of Destination Managers (DMOs) and tourism organizations, connecting them with a global audience of outdoor enthusiasts and tourists.

Building Europe’s Best Outdoor Activities Map : New UK Map Released

Outdooractive Works with Suffolk County Council to pilot Definitive Map Data

Outdooractive, Europe’s largest outdoor tourism digital platform, has announced the release of its new UK map. Outdooractive’s new UK map is set to revolutionise the outdoor tourism experience, providing a comprehensive and detailed resource for outdoor enthusiasts and tourists alike. With its extensive data integration and intelligent routing capabilities, the map offers unparalleled opportunities for adventure and exploration.

Created by its in-house team of cartographers, the unique Outdooractive map brings together authoritative datasets from multiple data sources and suppliers. The scalable, vector map also includes a fully routable path network and specialised activity networks for hiking, cycling, mountain biking, and winter sports.
The Outdooractive map is available in the popular Outdooractive app, where consumers also have access to OpenStreetMap and Ordnance Survey maps, used to find adventure inspiration and for planning and navigating those outdoor activities.

It can also be used by tourism destinations and other business partners to embed maps, routes and attractions in their websites, or in their own-branded tourism app.

Whilst creating this first release of its new UK map, Outdooractive cartographers worked with Suffolk County Council to include data from the Suffolk Definitive Map. This pilot project has created a streamlined process that can now repeatedly be used to greatly improve the map experience rapidly across the country. Outdooractive is now inviting other definitive map data holders to work with its team.

Compared to OpenStreetMap, which is often used as the vector data source for outdoor apps, working with Suffolk County Council’s data means the new Outdooractive map has doubled the illustrated length of detailed rights of way paths, including footpaths, bridleways, restricted byways and byways open to all traffic (BOATs). As well as appearing on the map, this path network is fully routable using Outdooractive’s intelligent routing engine. More than double the number of protected areas (nature reserves, SSSIs, etc) are now marked in Suffolk on the map, whilst the number of waterways marked has also increased substantially.

All of which contributes to a better picture of the landscape for outdoor enthusiasts and tourists, and more opportunity to discover the perfect outdoor adventure.

Suffolk County Council already use Outdooractive’s Destination Pro platform to help them manage and promote outdoor tourism in their region through their Discover Suffolk campaign. This includes having their own Discover Suffolk app, built using Outdooractive’s white-label app platform, which features the new, more detailed, Outdooractive vector map, hundreds of route guides and places of interest, and is free to download from appstores.

“It is a massive investment to create our own map from thousands of data providers across Europe. We have a team of highly experienced cartographers and an engineering team focused on creating the best outdoor activity routing engine. We work closely with our destination and data partners, and it has been great to work with a forward-looking organisation such as Suffolk County Council to pilot this for our UK map.” said Hartmut Wimmer, Outdooractive Founder and CEO.

“This commitment is the only way to deliver the ultimate map for outdoor activities.” said Craig Wareham, Director Global B2C and UK CEO. “It means we can deliver – at scale across Europe – information on protected areas and rights of way that are not available elsewhere. It means we can use ferries data in our routing engine when planning coastal cycle rides and intelligently route using ski lift networks in the Alps for summer hiking or winter sports. Our platform also includes dynamic data on path closures and information on restricted areas (e.g. due to seasonal nesting birds), so we can automatically route around or avoid these.”

“We have been delighted to work with the Outdooractive team to improve the representation of the public rights of way network in Suffolk on both our own Discover Suffolk white-label app and Outdooractive’s parent platforms. Improving public access to accurately depict rights of way is one of the ways that we are attempting to reduce barriers to countryside access in Suffolk further”, added Ben Heather, Green Access Officer Public Rights of Way Team at Suffolk County Council.

Links to the apps:
App Store:
Google Play:

Contact for Outdooractive:
Germany, Austria, Switzerland: Isabelle Ernst (
Global and UK: Craig Wareham (

Remote Working Whilst Bikepacking Across Europe – How One Finnish Company Got On Their Bike To Reach The Outdooractive Summer Conference in Germany

Pirjo Räsänen, Outdooractive reseller for the Finnish market, commutes 2100 kilometers by bike from Lithuania to Immenstadt in Germany for Outdooractive Summer Conference

Attending international conferences and events may be common enough, but for the Finland reseller for Outdooractive’s digital tourism platform, the usual transport options did not appeal.  Instead, they chose to bikepack their way to the event in southern Bavaria, Germany – working as they traveled.

On May 7, Pirjo Rasonen, the CEO of Ellare Oy, Outdooractive’s sales partner for the Finnish market, set off by bike to arrive in Immenstadt by June 29 for the annual Outdooractive Summer Conference. In numbers the bike trip involved 5 countries, 35 days, 2100 kilometers, 3500 meters of altitude and 15 working days “on the road”.

Pirjo and Ellare Oy has helped Finnish destinations develop nature and activity tourism for over 20 years, and has particular expertise in developing bicycling tourism.  The experienced bike packer took the summer conference as an opportunity to combine her passion for biking and exploring Europe, her role as Outdooractive representative in Finland, and her role as a champion of bicycling tourism and took her laptop with her in her bike bags to work from the road.

“The hardest part was finding good Internet on the road. I wrote contracts on the road but also led webinars. You do need a fast and stable Internet for that.”

True to the motto “Eat your own dogfood,” Pirjo planned the entire trip with Outdooractive. Outdooractive is Europe’s largest outdoor activity and tourism digital platform, used by millions of consumers to find their perfect adventure and trusted by thousands of tourism destinations to help them guide their guests and manage their destinations.

When planning the route for her epic trip, Pirjo primarily used premium content from destination and other ‘official’ partners that is available in the Outdooractive platform. “This way, I could always be sure that the trails were good to ride. What the community sees as a ‘good’ cycling route is sometimes also good but already very subjective. As Outdooractive is used by so many destinations, then I was able to trust completely in their ‘official’ content”.

For Pirjo, this cycling trip was a way to relax from her everyday work, to use the app she works for on a daily basis and to draw a conclusion: “The navigation function in the Outdooractive app is really the best thing when you cycle through the most diverse countries in the world. Both in the countryside and in the city.”

Alongside the stunning scenery – “I stayed in what must be the most beautiful campsite along the Danube” – what really stood out for Pirjo during her trip was the kindness and hospitality she received from the locals along her route. “The most difficult part of the trip, I think, was in Poland.  There was a section of the route that was affected by recent flooding and had turned into a “mutavelli” (Finnish for mud-pit).  It was difficult to cycle, I was falling down, and both my bike and I were completely mired in mud.  I managed to get to a backyard and asked the residents for water.  Despite the language barrier, they could see what I needed.  The resident handed me their garden hose and I was able to clean myself and the bike down in their garden!”

Pirjo added, “Meeting and interacting with local people and other bike travelers was a highlight of the trip.”There is hardly a more sustainable way of traveling than by bike. Values for which Outdooractive stands and which Pirjo represents absolutely through her 35 – day bicycle journey from own muscle power.

Moreover, – since she has not yet had enough – she has just added a few more weeks and right now is cycling back home to Finland. But this return trip is a pure “recreational vacation”- the laptop remains closed.

A map of Pirjo’s epic trip can be viewed online at

Current changes in destination tourism

First things first: don’t let them drive you crazy!
It’s not easy for tourism professionals. Groundbreaking innovations and artificial intelligence are coming from all sides, and experts and consultants are making prophecies about what will even exist in a few years. Therefore, my well-intentioned advice: don’t let yourself go crazy! Below I describe my honest opinion of what I would do if I were in charge of tourism in a destination.

The most important thing is the product
I suggest that we all keep reminding ourselves of what it’s all about at the end of the day. Giving guests a great time that they will never forget and will tell others about. User experience, in other words. That sounds pretty digital, but the digital side is only half the truth. Because besides all the digital information channels and holiday companions, it’s still about the on-site experience, the food & drink, the accommodation, the journey, the excursions and tours, the culture and the weather. These analogue experiences are easier to find, easier to plan and easier to document and share if they have a digital counterpart, the digital twin. Work out your own strengths Learn to say no. Not every destination is great in every discipline. And learn to avoid clichés. clichés. These are exactly the things where the destination is strong, and what a guest will come for, if they come at all. The locals may not be able to hear the same clichés, or look enviously at the beacons where everything is supposedly always where everything is supposedly always better. The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence. greener. The inhabitants always see their own place too negatively: “There’s nothing going on here. going on”. But that’s not true! I think digitalisation helps to work out one’s own strengths. not always great things, but special things, and that’s what you have to focus on. concentrate on. These strengths also create the brand and thus the reason for the guest to go there. reason why you should go there.

Everything! Everything! As long as you see something when you look out of your window that is not yet in the database, you are not finished. As long as there is something in town that you can’t pay for with a credit card and book online, you’re not finished. As long as there are still closed hiking trails that are not on the online map, you are not finished. As long as you don’t know your guests digitally and what they are doing, you are not finished.

Artificial intelligence
No reason to go crazy. And no reason to wait for anything either. Design a good offer with the service providers and digitise it. Any form of user communication needs perfect data. No matter whether it’s conventional websites and apps, search engines, conversational interfaces (chatbots & co.) or the metaverse. Someone has to digitally record the museum’s opening hours correctly and keep them up to date. And everything else you need for a holiday or a day trip. The systems get the data from the web. Just like search engines have been doing for a long time. The systems will also evaluate according to their own logic what is the best, the most correct and the most up-to-date data. That means: generating data. Good data, all data, and keep it up-to-date.

 Open data plays no role
Search engines have always been indifferent to whether the data is open or not. It’s the same with artificial intelligence. In the future, many systems will no longer display data in its original form with source reference and licence, etc., but will process it into an answer depending on the application. The Open Data Hubs are not fundamentally wrong, they are just at least 10 years too late. The platforms and systems are not waiting for this, but are already building their own digital world. What is currently lacking in information is being invented to go with it. The way to avoid this is to make the missing data available as quickly as possible from the official source. At Outdooractive we call this the “Alliance of Officials”, in which we unite the official data from many stakeholders into one official data set – the digital travel guide of the destination. Pure content databases lack the travel guide superstructure to inform a guest comprehensively and the tools to accompany the guest. 

European Data Spaces
The EU is taking a promising path with the GAIA-X Data Spaces. It is working on a data ecosystem that is not intended to be a central database and does not require open data. A networked data landscape is being created in which data from many platforms and databases flow together and can be exchanged via standardised data formats and interfaces. For an application, the data as well as the services can then come from different systems. Bookable services or services with other business models can be easily assembled. Licence agreements and business agreements can then be concluded in a simple way (smart contracts), including the use of APIs. At Outdooractive, we have been building exactly such a system for 20 years now, where data from different sources flow together and are organised with standards for rights, technology and business models. That’s why we were chosen by the EU to help develop the structures for the European Tourism Dataspace. The Tourism Technology Alliance (TTA) is already a first visible manifestation of how data will flow in the future. Other partners are just joining the TTA. AI will not replace these models, as it still needs the product and the ability to book and enjoy it.

There was a time when I could no longer hear the word, as it is used in an inflationary manner and often misused for advertising purposes, and usually it has little substantive content. But strictly speaking, Outdooractive’s vision, mission, values, products and services are all geared towards sustainability. Not only am I myself deeply rooted in an alpine cultural landscape where traditionally you don’t do anything that harms the existence of your descendants, but also the entire team and the company Outdooractive cares passionately about sustainability. That’s why Outdooractive is different. The platform is built sustainably in order to give the destinations and service providers back their communication sovereignty in the long term and to digitalise the official – and thus ultimately sustainable – offer in the destinations with the alliance of officials.

In many research projects, we have been working for years to make transport in destinations more sustainable. These include the awarding of public transport friendly tours, flexible adventure buses, and environmentally friendly travel. We seamlessly integrate public transport into the platform’s applications to offer public transport in the right context for travel to and from the destination. 

To enable guests to make informed choices about sustainability, we are currently working to ensure that the more than 200 different labels are underpinned by data.  Under the umbrella of the supreme institution for sustainability certifications, the GSTC, I am leading a working group for the definition of a uniform data standard for businesses, tour operators and destinations, right now at the GSTC Conference 2023 in Antalya. The aim is to be able to display and filter uniform indicators for different actions for sustainability, such as: Energy consumption, renewable energy, water consumption, waste, emissions, local products and fair employment.

World Mountain and Trail Running Championships – Outdooractive as Map Partner

Outdooractive to be the official map partner of the World Mountain and Trail Running Championships, and the Innsbruck Alpine Trailrun Festival.

This exciting partnership will facilitate 3D visualization and route overviews on the event’s websites, while also offering fans the chance to get involved in event-specific Challenges.

Visually representing 3D route visualization during the live TV broadcast will be provided alongside the offer of Destination Pro+ accounts and the integration of a ‘FlexView’ that allows content from the Outdooractive platform to be displayed on the event websites in an-easy-to use map format. Last but not least, Outdooractive will  be rounding off its services to these world-class championships by offering visitors the chance to participate in ‘Challenges’ created specifically for the events.

A 40-second 3D bird’s eye view of the course that the participating athletes will have to tackle will be available to viewers in realtime on their devices during the live broadcast. This visualization will also provide a taste of the Challenges that have been put together. The FlexView display will also provide all the key information surrounding the different routes showcased in the events in terms of their distances, elevation profiles and the terrain they cover.

In the course of the World Championships and also the Alpine Trailrun Festival, there are various routes that differ in terrain, length and altitude meters. Outdooractive visualizes these routes in advance on the corresponding websites and thus provides an exact insight into the route parameters. The cooperation also includes a Destination Pro + account, Challenges to be mastered during the event, and a FlexView integration that allows Outdooractive content to be displayed on the company’s own website. This partnership is made for successful outdoor sports events and offers both spectators and athletes a successful overall package.

The event organized by Alpine Trailrun Festival GmbH, will take place between June 6th  and 11th  in front of a local and international audience.

The preceding festival, organized by the agency Laufwerkstatt, will take place between June 1st and 3rd, and draws on its long tradition and huge popularity.

Event organizer, Alexander Pittl, who has been tasked with organizing both events said: “We are very pleased that we can rely on the expertise and know-how of a company as experienced as Outdooractive. We are united in wanting to achieve high goals – which is easier to do together!”

Outdooractive is delighted to share the news of these partnerships. The company’s expertise in routing, route planning and visualization benefits and complements any sporting event that offers and wishes to expand its global reach. An Outdooractive team will also be present at the Innsbruck event area during the events and is looking forward to exchange with both trailrunners and visitors.

Outdooractive Launches Community Feed

Outdooractive connects outdoor enthusiasts, destination experts, and official destination partners to find the best outdoor trips and adventures.

Outdooractive, Europe‘s leading digital platform for outdoor tourism, has recently implemented a new feature which allows a new way of interacting with other members of the Outdooractive community.

Uniquely, this update to its Outdooractive consumer app creates the opportunity for outdoor tourists to interact with, see the latest conditions report from, or ask questions of, their favorite destinations or places they are planning to visit. Thousands of official destination partners rely on Outdooractive’s business solutions to help manage their tourism activity and are already part of the Outdooractive community.

“No more missing out“, is the headline for all Outdooractive users. Has a new track been recorded and/ or a new route been published? Has a new point of interest been added? Has an event been announced? No matter if the official tourism organization of the favorite region or the best outdoor buddy has published anything new, the information immediately shows up in the feed of every member that has decided to “follow“ the person or organization in question.

With its exclusive network of official destination partners regularly adding new hiking, cycling and mountaineering routes; details of events and offers in their region – the Outdooractive community feed is *the* place to be inspired and research your next active trip. With the majority being tourism organizations, partners include a wide range of official stakeholders such as protected areas, associations, trail managers, Search & Rescue-teams, accommodations and many more.

Craig Wareham, B2C-Director at Outdooractive is enthusiastic about the new options: „Besides being responsible for how happy Outdooractive’s users are with our app, first and foremost I am an end-user, too, and it is particularly as such that I am very much thrilled about the new community features and the possibilities they offer.”

Wareham continues to explain: “On the one hand I get informed immediately about the tracks that my old friend from school, Mike, has just recorded during his vacation in Southern France. On the other hand, my feed also shows all the new routes, events and points of interest in Wales that have just been published by the responsible tourism organization. Since that is where I often spend my short holidays and long weekends hiking and biking, I am glad to get all the information right away and always be up-to-date.“

Every user can thus build his own community piece by piece based on their preferences and interests. Outdooractive will suggest other members or organizations to users whose contents are a match for the user in question.

Every user has full control over their own privacy settings and GDPR-compliance guarantees they can adjust them at any time. Each user can completely disable the follow function to prevent any other community members from following them. Alternatively the user has the option to mark certain geographic areas as “private“, thus suppressing them from being viewed by anyone else. The relevant settings and privacy zones can easily be adjusted in the Outdooractive app and on the website.

The new functionality is available within the basic version of the Outdooractive profile to ensure that every user can benefit from the community features right from the beginning.

New Product Feature: Snow Depth Map

Looking for safe trips in the snow? Preferably with a lot of snow for a successful ski tour or as little snow as possible for a wintry but safe route on foot? Introducing our latest feature: the snow depth map for the Alpine region.

Snow Depth

If you enjoy snow, the snow depth and snow cover maps provide information about where and how much of it you will currently find on your trip. Using high-resolution satellite images and ground measurements, we show you what to expect when planning your trips.

Snow Depth Map

As a Pro+ user, you will find the ‘Snow Depth’ as a ‘Style’ option for both the Outdooractive map and the OpenStreetMap as part of your “Weather & Climate” information, which is accessed by selecting the ‘Maps and trails’ button at the bottom right of the map panel. You can activate the snow depth map in almost all map views and use it when planning your routes and trips.  The information can also be used in combination with the Outdooractive Avalanche Report which you can activate under the ‘Additional layers’ section and run at the same same time. Now you have all the information you need to plan and safely enjoy your trip.

Current Snow Cover

Snow can be a huge source of fun, but it can also bring many dangers, and while some might be on the lookout for the best snow conditions, such as ski tourers, others will prefer to avoid it altogether, like mountain bikers. In order to gain a comprehensive overview of snow conditions, ExoLabs has developed an innovative solution based on satellite data and ground measurements.

Satellite data enables up-to-date mapping of snow cover across an entire mountain range. ExoLabs uses data provided by satellites from both NASA and the ESA that is then converted to create a high temporal and spatial resolution of the snow layer. This map is updated daily and allows is accurate to within 20 meters (with individual image pixels corresponding to an area of 20 x 20 meters).

Note: Currently the snow maps are only available on the web, but not on the App.


As transmission, processing, and analysis of satellite images can take up to 24 hours, our daily snow layer most closely matches the conditions of the previous day, and cloud cover is a critical limitation to the unobstructed view of the satellites. To fill these data gaps, ExoLabs uses information from the most recent cloud-free satellite imagery as well as imagery of the immediate neighborhood to best model the spatial snow distribution. It should be emphasized here that prolonged periods of overcast weather can lead to larger uncertainties in snow cover. The last direct observation may vary in age depending on the geographic area. In very densely forested regions, snow on the ground may be masked by a snow-free canopy.

Current Snow Depth

For many users, the height of the snowpack is of great importance, as it determines the choice of activity and the equipment needed. To model the snow depth in the best possible way, ExoLabs uses the measured snow depths from measuring stations. With the help of geostatistical methods, which take into account local as well as regional differences in snow distribution, the spatial snow distribution can then be modeled. Topographic influences on snow distribution are also taken into account such as a steep slope which can carry a lower snow load than a topographic depression.

The resulting daily snow depth thus takes into account the main influences on snow distribution and represents them at a 20 m areal resolution. When interpreting the data, it is important to understand that these figures represent an average value for the immediate area. There can be a great deal of local variation in the snowpack which cannot be captured in detail at the 20 m resolution. This means that the depth given given uses an approximate average value for this area.

Linked to the University of Zurich, ExoLabs specializes in environmental monitoring. Using satellite data as well as weather and climate models, and modern machine learning techniques, ExoLabs is able to gain a comprehensive insight into the condition of our environment. This valuable information is then presented in a user-friendly format in order to facilitate informed and sustainable decision-making.

The snow height maps were developed and piloted as part of a project supported by ESA Space Solutions.



Celebrating gold and silver at the world winter swimming championships! Outdooractive welcomes back Paul Bieber

Congratulations to Paul for his recent gold and silver wins – Outdooractive has a real world champion in its ranks.

Our SEO Manager made it to the top of the podium in his age group in the over 1,000 meters freestyle and also came in second in the in over 450 m category. Outdooractive CEO and Founder, Hartmut Wimmer, alongside his wife, Annette, Head of Finance, welcomed the newly crowned World and Vice World Champion following his return from Bled, Slovenia. As for Paul himself, his view on his achievement was pretty modest:

“What I found really special about the championships was getting to meet all the other athletes. That was actually the best experience for me. When you see what lengths some athletes will go to be able to participate in a world championship. Some of them came from as far as Argentina, Morocco, wherever. They have invested a lot of money and time to fulfil a life dream! That required insane encouragement. Getting to mix with such people from different cultures is far more important to me than any medals.”

“I feel right at home here!”

The 38-year-old Röthenbacher has been with Outdooractive for just over two years and spoke of his gratitude for the opportunity. “I feel right at home here. The team is great and the interaction between the different generations also works very well!”.  “Outdooractive suits me perfectly because of the flexible working hours. I probably wouldn’t be able to pursue my sports otherwise and that’s one of the many great things about Outdooractive – in my role as SEO Manager, I’m also not necessarily tied to fixed working hours.”

Paul (Team Allgäuer Alpenwasser/Outdooractive) is actually an ice swimmer and a multiple German champion and record holder. To qualify as ice swimming, the water temperature must be below 5 degrees. At the World Championships in Slovenia, Paul was jumping into the water of 5.8 degrees.  Bathtub temperature by comparison! My preparation for Slovenia was intensive. I thought the water temperature would be somewhere between two and three degrees and unfortunately, it turned out to be too warm.” Those who are getting chills just reading this might like to consider  Paul’s training methods: “Two days before leaving for the World Championships, I was sitting in a barrel at -0.6 degrees, for ten minutes.”

Paul plans to create a swimming school

Besides his own swimming career, Paul is also thinking about the next generation. “It’s extremely important to me that kids know how to swim! Corona was a disaster and there are fewer and fewer pools in some places.” Paul now plans to teach kids to swim in Röthenbach and Lindenberg using a three-stage model. “Some children first have to get used to the water and lose their fear of it through play. The second pillar is then at preschool-school age when children should learn the basics such as how to do a breaststroke and keep their heads above water. The third stage involves swimming distances of 25 or 50 meters. This perseverance is enormously strenuous for children.” Paul is currently looking for swimming instructors for his project.

The entire Outdooractive team wishes him every success!

New year, new team – Outdooractive follows a clear vision

Dear Readers,

We wish you a happy, successful, and above all, a healthy 2023! We look forward to working with you to master the challenges of the year with the same drive that we have always had.

However, to achieve this, it is essential to have the best possible team in place. In the case of Outdooractive, this comprises around 150 employees from a far-reaching range of countries who continue to give their best for the company from our headquarters in Immenstadt, Germany, and from our international offices.

In addition, we have also put together a visionary and strong leadership team to continue Outdooractive‘s success and pioneering work in digitizing the world of modern-day tourism.

This pioneering spirit is one of our core values and is the path that our management has elected to forge. We are willing to take risks and have the ambition to be the first to do things, to take experiencing the outdoors to a new level, and to break new ground with our ideas.

Hartmut Wimmer, Founder & CEO

“Only on new paths do you leave visible traces.” A sentence that reads as ambitious as it is visionary. From day one Hartmut Wimmer has been pursuing his vision to make Outdooractive not just the world’s largest outdoor platform but also its primary digital travel guide. Like any hiking route, the path to this goal does not always lead straight ahead, nor is it always uphill. However, with his pioneering spirit and strong beliefs, Hartmut has seen Outdooractive assert itself with a sense of strong purpose and clear goals. He recognizes that digitization and sustainability – two of the great challenges of our time- can only be overcome through a spirit of cooperation. Outdooractive is a true leader when it comes to forging such relationships and the company will continue along this path throughout 2023 under Hartmut’s leadership.

Annette Wimmer, Head of Finance

“I have been Outdooractive with heart and soul from the very beginning,” says Annette Wimmer. She can certainly be proud of the great products and ideas that have been created by Outdooractive, as well as the dedication and commitment of the great colleagues she works with. As of 2023, Annette Wimmer will be in charge of managing the company’s taxes, accounting, and administration. She has already completed 15 years of being the company’s CFO and has set her sights on enjoying the product itself more by putting it to the test in the outdoors. In Annette’s view, people should be able to have fun while also being considerate of the environment and acting sustainably. Above all, they should always feel as safe as possible while on their adventures. Outdooractive helps to guarantee all of these things.

Pirmin Mösle, CTO

Pirmin Mösle is very much what we would call “home-grown Outdooractive” and he loves the challenge of linking the big topics of digitization and sustainability, especially when it comes to tourism. Together with his outstanding team, Pirmin is able to put this passion into play through his involvement in the product as well as implementation and research. His aim is to further establish Outdooractive as the strongest product in the Industry in 2023 and help drive ever greater focus on sustainability and digitization, especially in our B2B line. To achieve this, Pirmin is prepared to take all the necessary steps to ensure that Outdooractive becomes THE world’s digital travel guide.

Markus Schreiner, CFO

Markus’ interests completely gel with the sorts of activities Outdooractive is so good at: skiing, mountaineering, mountain biking, and much more. For Markus, the goals of Outdooractive and his hobbies form the perfect symbiosis. He will be at the helm of the company’s finances, contracts, personnel, and administration. Markus’ goal is to ensure that sufficient funds remain available to expand our brand awareness and position in both existing and new markets. It’s Markus’ view that Outdooractive should take the long-term lead in enabling outdoor tourists to enjoy unforgettable outdoor experiences through technology that guides, connects and protects.

Norbert Hofherr, COO

It is the combination of his passion for the outdoors and his experience and enthusiasm for digital business models that drives Norbert Hofher. He is responsible for Sales & Marketing for both our B2C and B2B lines. Besides steering our profits, Norbert is also there to provide everyone in the team with the best and most efficient working environment. His personal plans are also very important to him, with the goal being to explore Norway with his family – something that will not doubt help inspire and fuel Norbert’s Commitment to Outdooractive being THE best platform for creating memorable experiences.

The entire Outdooractive team wishes you the very best for 2023.

We are delighted to have you by our side and look forward to reaching many more milestones with you.

Take care,

Your Outdooractive Team

What really matters – thoughts from our CEO for 2023

(Reading time: 9 min.)

Despite being the CEO of a fast-growing international company, the quiet time ‘between the years’ still affords a moment to catch your breath and collect your thoughts. For me, this regularly results in all the impressions of the past twelve months transforming into a plan for the coming year. With this in mind, I wanted to take a moment to share a few of my thoughts and insights with you.

After finally being able to fully travel again in 2022, I immediately took the opportunity to attend some international conferences and what struck me most this year was that practically all of the topics focused on sustainability. That’s hardly surprising when you’re attending the GSTC conference in Seville or the Green Destinations in Athens, but when even the NOAH Conference in Zurich – the biggest digital and investor event in the calendar – is now all about sustainability, you know something is happening. It was as recently as December when Marco Rodzynec, the founder of NOAH, said “Sustainable is the new digital“.

I wouldn’t say I’m a Green- at least not politically. However, my background means I’m innately rooted in my home region of Allgäu where I grew up with the values and traditions of a mountain people who make their living in harmony with nature. For us, the resources we consume have always been used very carefully to ensure the land remains fully able to sustain future generations.

This is a lifestyle I have also chosen to carry into the modern world. We have been heating our positive-energy house for many years with a heat pump powered by solar electricity that we produce ourselves on our roof. We have also been driving electric vehicles since they arrived on the scene – even if politicians and the car industry don’t always make it easy. We avoid plastic and creating waste wherever possible. We buy local products and look for quality, even if it costs a bit extra. I hardly ever even print documents any more.

Our entire company fleet has been powered by electricity for years and we always opt to take the train as far as it makes sense. The German car manufacturers – protected by the government – have slept through this necessity (no, it’s not a trend). Nevertheless, we have always bought German cars so as not to make ourselves even more dependent on other world powers. Even if Tesla produced in Germany, the money would still go to America. The heating in my new high-tech electric car failed before Christmas and even though, as a mountain person, I’m fine driving while wearing a jacket, the windows still froze over. In the past, the dealership would have been able to obtain replacement parts the next day, but with my car it now takes three weeks. I think there needs to be a rethink in Germany’s flagship industry, from grandfathering to innovation, and from short-term share prices to a model of longer-term sustainability. What Tesla is now could have actually been the role of German carmakers.
Even Deutsche Bahn seems to be doing everything it can to make people avoid using public transport. It makes me wonder why such important infrastructure (which also extends to ports, airports, internet services, the electricity grid, etc.) isn’t in the hands of the state, as is the case with roads, and why the government can’t act in the interests of the people based on their priorities?

At the NOAH Conference I represented Outdooractive as a speaker and focused on the topic of “Sustainability through Digitization“. I was the third to last out of more than 300 speakers and so I had a lot of time to listen to the other presentations.

 When it comes to energy, there are several companies that offer a holistic solution. If a solar system were installed on every roof, it would be enough to cover the world’s energy needs. To store the electricity temporarily, a unit is needed in each house so that the electricity produced on sunny days remains available at night or in bad weather. There also needs to be a charging station for electric vehicles in every house. These houses are in turn heated with electrically powered heat pumps while intelligent electricity management systems ensure that the energy is distributed evenly. By including the batteries of the e-cars, a large, decentralized energy storage system is created- effectively making it a miniaturized power plant with its own network. This mitigates the need for actual power plants for energy generation, allowing politicians more of an opportunity to drive other sustainable solutions instead of having to negotiate energy supplies from questionable states and extending the lifespans of power plants. There are even companies that offer such solutions as a package. Their services even extend to supporting investing homeowners financially by the use of monthly subscription models in which the fee no longer pays for the provision of energy, but instead for the use of hardware and software. The bottleneck to any sort of nationwide rollout of such technology is, on the one hand, manufacturers, who unfortunately cannot produce the technology quickly enough, and, on the other, the manpower needed to install and maintain so many units. Unfortunately, the European economy has relied too much on the fact that non-European supply chains are not only cheap but also work pretty well. Local manufacturing has also been undervalued and poorly remunerated for too long. Countering all these factors will be a fundamental challenge.

When I was choosing options for my car almost two years ago, I had the choice of “vegan leather” seat covers. I pretty quickly dismissed the idea on the basis that it would be ‘just another one of those plastic things’; and then ordered real leather, thinking that at least it’s a natural product (if the tanning process doesn’t involve too many heavy metals) and that the animals’ skin would have otherwise ended up in the rubbish. It seems I was wrong and I say that now that I have learned what the future of food production looks like. We all know by now that current agricultural practices are ruining our planet. We are already living on borrowed time and that if the global population continues to grow we are going to have huge problems unless we are willing to make some dramatic changes. This dilemma can no longer be solved in a conventional way, not even if we were all to switch to a vegetarian diet. But there is a solution: in the future, our food will be produced in large steel tanks in which nutrient solutions, fungi, algae and fermentation processes will produce proteins. I hate industrially produced food. I’m put off if the ingredient list of any food item is longer than one – and if it also contains cryptic chemical terms, my dislike for it increases exponentially. Fortunately, these processes don’t require any unnatural chemicals. They can even be compared in a way to the re-growing of body parts using human DNA. By using the DNA of our main foods, a replica of what we know, like, and need is created, with the benefit that the production no longer harms the planet, because it can be decentralized, negating the requirement to transport food long distances. Production takes place in large stainless steel containers (in the dark) the energy for which can be supplied directly using solar panels installed on the roof. Without the need to harm any animals, fitting vegan leather in my car now makes sense.

In my view, the so-called climate activists who go around destroying paintings and holding up traffic are criminals who should be punished and given no media attention. Politicians, who for decades have rejected the science and either make no commitments at the climate conferences they attend – or simply keep putting them off – should also be held accountable. By not taking action and through selfishness, they are simply transferring the problem to their successors and to the future generations of the global population. Unfortunately, it is only the electorate who can regulate these politicians at the ballot box – assuming the country is a democracy in the first place. This means that access to information and education is key to helping a population change a country’s direction.
On that note, I am convinced that only a radical change of direction is capable of delivering what is so desperately needed. I have heard many lectures that began with “We are out of time” as well as quite a few that state “It is actually already too late“. These were talks given by companies, NGOs and investors involved in planting trees in Africa. I’ll freely admit that I used to smile at tree planters. I always viewed greenhouse gas offsetting as some sort of indulgence and believed that only a radical reversal in the production of CO2 was the solution. I no longer believe this to be the case.  Yes, we have to reduce all emissions dramatically – and completely to zero in many areas – but in cases where doing so quickly proves especially difficult, the remaining amount of carbon needs to be captured in plants – both existing and those that have to be added to account for all our emissions. I believe I now understand how a viable industry with CO2 trading can emerge from this, and why investors would be willing to put money into companies that improve the soil, provide irrigation, plant trees and use sensors to monitor the environment, alongside other data. Those creating a mess are the ones who should also pay to have it cleaned up, such as is the case with those emitting carbon funding tree planting in Africa.

When it comes to sustainability, there are literally hundreds of certifications, labels, and seals of approval and to be honest, I always roll my eyes when our tourism clients keep coming up with such initiatives. As an end user, they are hard to make sense of, let alone commit any meaningful action to.  In most cases, I view them as little more than marketing-driven exercise in green-washing rather than an honest attempt to make any true difference.
Professionally, however, I can’t escape the topic. And I don’t want to either, because my ambition to digitize the world of tourism also encompasses the issue of sustainability.
At Outdooractive, we have been focused on the topic of sustainability since the very beginning, from managing visitor flows to protecting nature and guiding the outdoor tourist. It therefore seems natural that we should also be taking a deeper look at wider topics such as energy, waste reduction, regional supply chains, and the benefits of a circular economy.
We are a partner of Green Destinations, a member of the GSTC, and work with many other organizations dealing with certification and labelling. Since my visit to GSTC 2022 in Seville, where I was involved in panel and roundtable discussions, I have made the following observations:

  1. There needs to be a superordinate and fully independent organization like the GSTC to define criteria and ensure that certificates are comparable and comprehensible for the consumer. This was also the finding of our ESKINAT project.
  2. The GSTC has set out to establish an internationally recognized certification standard.
  3. There is currently wild proliferation in the industry and a total gold rush atmosphere among so-called Certification Bodies, i.e. the companies that carry out certifications. The GSTC can put an end to this.
  4. These bodies certify to a degree using GSTC criteria, because the GSTC also allows “recognized certifiers” who have different standards. In this respect,  ‘GSTC’ loses validity.
  5. There is also a widening range of additional certifications and seals of approval.
  6. Individual countries are starting to take certification into their own hands and define their own criteria based on the GSTC. Examples include Norway, Mauritius and Turkey.

I have now resolved (in my typically megalomaniacal way) to harmonize the data of the certifications and to bring them into a uniform and coherent scale (score). Seals of approval from individual organizations should play no role, and the data should be transparent and available for all to see. Let’s see how far I get with this.

Hartmut Wimmer, Founder & CEO of Outdooractive

I hope I was able to inspire a few of you with my thoughts. Perhaps I can rally a few more comrades-in-arms, or stir an opinion or some feedback. I am always up for a lively discussion, new partnerships, and connecting with others who care about our future and that of the planet.

I wish you all the best and a great start to 2023

Hartmut Wimmer