Briefly checking your own transfer time at the pool or booking a rental car for the next few days – DER Touristik guests from Germany, Austria and Switzerland can now do this conveniently and 24/7 in many holiday destinations and on the dertouristik-reiseleitung.com website. Since Spring 2021, the digital tour guide has been complementing our personal guest support on-site, and offers all sorts of services and information.
The start: we needed a solution
Innovations sometimes arise out of necessity. If familiar procedures are suddenly no longer possible, new solutions need to be created quickly.
This is what happened in the holiday regions during the pandemic: owing to the Corona restrictions, DER Touristik tour guides were no longer able to personally support guests: They were not allowed to display information folders or other information in the hotels, the same applied to handing out welcome envelopes or only with restrictions, and most discussions were held only by telephone. At the same time, the demand for information was higher than ever before.
The pandemic gave rise to a constant stream of new regulations in quick succession and thus also many questions from guests, for example on PCR tests and test stations in the holiday destination, mandatory masks and quarantine rules.
Added to this was the standard information about transfer times, rental car bookings and excursion offers. In Short: Tour guides had to reorientate themselves and find a way to reliably, and often very quickly, inform their guests even during the pandemic That’s why employees of DER Touristik Destination Service AG, the DER Touristik Group’s service and tour guide organisation, developed their own website dertouristik-reiseleitung.com within no time. Following only eight weeks’ development time, the new digital service was launched in the holiday destination of Mallorca in May 2021. By late 2021, 16 holiday regions were already online with a whole host of information and service offers; the trend continues to rise.
A focus on the digital tour guide: new possibilities
“With the digital format, we can inform our guests faster and in a more appealing way, and also stay in contact with them easier than in the past. For instance, the local tour guides introduce themselves with a small video on the website. That’s more personal than a telephone number in the information folder. Or we show a video of a boat excursion along the coast. When guests watch this, they might be more likely to book this excursion because they like the impressions”, explains Jürgen Heiss, Managing Director DER Touristik Destination Service AG (DTS), and goes onto say: “In the first two destinations, we have already created our own video content for the most beautiful excursions, for which drones were also deployed in some cases. It has already gone live for the holiday region of Mallorca.”
The content: A whole lot of service
Clicking on a holiday region will provide contact data of the tour guide, excursion and rental car offers a including reservation form, and plenty of general information on everything to do with the holiday destination. By entering their transaction number, travellers will also receive personal information such as transfer and flight times, too. In many destinations, sending this information automatically is also possible. Via the hotel selection menu, users can find out when the tour guide is available in their hotel for consultation.
Another service is the news flash via SMS, says Jürgen Heiss: “When DER Touristik’s crisis and security management sends an SMS to guests, they may also receive a link, if necessary, which then directly leads them to the holiday region’s “important info” section on our website. Here, in cooperation with the crisis and security management, we post informative podcasts and current information on the holiday destination, as well as modified Corona regulations or strikes. A service that our customers use a lot.”
The plans: a look in the future
According to Heiss, digitalisation is an important issue in the holiday regions. “The digital information folder will completely replace our conventional paper folders. In doing so, we act in a sustainable and environmentally friendly way, since we can greatly reduce paper consumption, and laminated paper in particular. For our work on-site, it is also much easier to upload new information on the website than to drive to all hotels and distribute new notices”, explains Jürgen Heiss. “However, we still support our guests in person and deliberately opt for a combination of digital service and personal care. It is then up to the customer which method they prefer. Generally, we find that our online offer is very popular among guests and they often visit our pages. That is why we continually work on improving our digital offer. For example, we will be providing a chat with text, audio and video function from summer 2022. This service will then be successively rolled out in the destinations,” Jürgen Heiss continues.
How many holiday regions will be online by the end of 2022?
- 20 destinations
How many page views does the site have each month?
- In May, more than 130,000 visits and more than 400,000 page views on the 18 websites
Which service is most frequently used?
- Collection times forthe return transfer