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Pfronten Tourismus: Digital visitor guidance with Outdooractive

Image: ©Pfronten Tourismus S. Toplak, E. Reiter; Logo: ©Pfronten Tourismus

With state-of-the-art tools and technologies, Outdooractive can already add significant value to sustainable visitor management by providing tourism destinations with a platform of quality content and up-to-date contextual information about the destination. This provides important information and guidance for guests, whether they are day visitors from the nearby area, or tourists from all over the world.

The long-standing partnership between Pfronten Tourismus and Outdooractive also faces new challenges. With the digital services of Outdooractive, solutions for pioneering visitor management and effective visitor guidance in Pfronten are being developed together.

Since 2013, Pfronten has been using Outdooractive’s digital tools mainly as a source of information and inspiration for its guests before the start of their excursion or holidays.

Julian Knacker, Team Leader Hospitality Service, IT & Content at Pfronten Tourismus:

„With Outdooractive, we have the opportunity to inform our guests about the wide range of outdoor activities in Pfronten via various channels – with a one-off management requirement – in the best and most effective way possible. Thanks to the compact visualization and the linking of various outdoor components along a route or at a POI, the user is provided with a tool that can be used to optimally plan an adventure holiday, a hiking trip, or a cycling trip in Pfronten.”

Guests plan routes on the web and in the app (hiking, mountaineering, or mountain biking routes), they save their content offline and can navigate via the app on their smartphone during their outdoor activity.

He continues: „We receive a lot of positive feedback about the app. On the web, we integrate our mountain hut content via FlexView technology (e.g. www.pfronten.de/aktiv/berghuetten/) and routes via the API interface fully integrated on the web pages (www.pfronten.de/aktiv/tourenportal and www.pfronten.de/aktiv/wandern-im-allgaeu-berg-tal/wandern-im-allgaeu/).”

Increased focus on visitor guidance

Those responsible at Pfronten Tourismus are certain that digital visitor guidance will continue to gain significance and that the information available for planning outdoor activities will be used even more by guests. During the first Corona Lockdown in March 2020, with the help of local organizations, paths, routes and parking lots could be closed and information about the conditions could be provided digitally to visitors.

Julian Knacker emphasizes: „This year, the subject of visitor guidance will play a greater role in order to counteract the accumulation of too many people in one place. We will continue to use the tools we have used so far as a means of providing information and service to guests and at the same time try to contribute to an easing of visitor traffic on location through specific information. In this context, we will once again promote the use of the app for local holidaymakers.”

Current conditions (notices, closures, detours) are communicated via the Outdooractive DMS as a service for the guest in the app and on the homepage. Closures of routes are also directly visible through their status (closed/open), as well as in the current info in the route description and the ” disruption” in the text. The notices posted on location at the affected trails (e.g. closures due to tree felling work, etc.) are also linked to the app and the homepage by means of QR codes and URLs.

A network of various data suppliers on location ensures that the information is up to date

The actuality of routes or POIs with regard to routing, opening hours, etc. is carried out in Pfronten through various channels. In the case of huts, Pfronten Tourismus receives the information directly from the operators of the mountain huts. Information on trail maintenance, closures, detours, etc. comes from the municipality’s building yard or the forest owners’ association. Ensuring that the data is up to date is currently still the biggest challenge.

„The request from both the user and the guest for information on the occupancy level (in real time) of POIs will increase”, says Julian Knacker.

Soon, Outdooractive will offer heat maps and a “popularity index” from the platform’s data reports, which will show the relative visitor frequency and create predictions upon specific context.

About Pfronten Tourism:

Pfronten is a municipality in the Bavarian-Swabian district of Ostallgäu and has a population of approximately 8,400 (as of February 2021). The number of overnight stays in 2019 was 637,000.

The tourism offerings include a well-developed network of hiking trails, cycling and MTB routes, at three elevations (the foothills of the Alps, along mountain ridges, and in the Allgäu Alps). Numerous mountain huts are located on the mountains and in the surrounding valleys. Pfronten has a mountain railway (Breitenbergbahn), a climbing park (Waldseilgarten Höllschlucht), 12 themed playgrounds for children, an indoor ice rink, an indoor tennis court and an indoor and outdoor swimming pool (Alpenbad Pfronten). In winter, guests can explore 10 designated winter hiking trails, a network of cross-country ski trails, various natural toboggan runs and 3 ski areas (Hochalpe on the Breitenberg, Skizentrum Pfronten, Sonnenlifte Pfronten-Röfleuten).

In addition, Pfronten Tourismus and other outdoor operators from Pfronten offer numerous high-quality outdoor experiences.