Strengthening Tourism in Eastern Bavaria Through Digitalisation
The DIGITOUR project of the University of Passau shows small and medium-sized tourism enterprises in Eastern Bavaria how they can meet the challenges of digitalisation by using new technologies, concepts and strategies to their advantage. The total budget of the project is around EUR 1.3 million and will be supported by the European Regional Development Fund of the European Union under the programme objective "Investments in Growth and Employment" Bavaria 2014-2020. The project was officially launched on Tuesday with the presentation of the funding decision by Science Minister, Bernd Sibler.
In the current funding period 2014 to 2020, the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) is providing the Ministry of Science with around EUR 59 million. With these funds, it supports projects that universities and higher education institutions studying applied sciences work together with small and medium-sized enterprises in the various regions. Seven Bavarian universities from Central and Upper Franconia, Upper and Lower Bavaria received a total of around EUR 4 million from the fund in funding on Tuesday. This concludes the application procedure for the current round of funding.
The range of topics covered by the funded projects is broad: They include the mobility of the future, a resource-saving energy supply, the use of artificial intelligence and robotics in the automation of production processes, as well as questions of electronic power control. Science Minister Bernd Sibler stresses: "The projects focus on tomorrow's key topics. With their practical work, universities in the regions support small and medium-sized companies in using state-of-the-art technologies, efficiently and sustainably. Universities and companies work hand in hand to shape our progress."
For Science Minister Bernd Sibler, the technology transfer between science and industry is a win-win situation for all involved: "Networks and collaborations between science and industry are thus becoming even closer. Science gains a direct insight into the needs of practical applications and can focus its research on these needs. At the same time, industry benefits from the current state of the art." This ensures international competitiveness, jobs and a high standard of living in Bavaria in the long term.
Passau with an interdisciplinary focus
The University of Passau approaches the "Digital Service Technologies in Tourism (DIGITOUR)" project as an interdisciplinary undertaking: The participants are the CenTouris Institute headed up by Dr. Stefan Mang, the Chair for Data Science (Professor Michael Granitzer), the Chair and Teaching Unit for Statistics (Professor Harry Haupt and PDDr. Joachim Schnurbus), the Chair for Business Administration with a focus on Marketing and Innovation (Professor Jan H. Schumann) and the Chair for Business Administration with a focus on Marketing and Services (Professor Dirk Totzek). The Tourismusverband Ostbayern e. V. is an external partner of the project.
"Tourist players often feel overwhelmed by the multitude of digital topics that are currently opening up. In the DIGITOUR project, we want to use practical collaborations projects with regional tourism players to demonstrate how small and medium-sized tourism enterprises can use digital service technologies and thus strengthen their value creation potential and competitiveness”, explains Dr. Stefan Mang.
"We want to integrate as many different players as possible."
The aim of the project is therefore to strengthen regional tourism providers in the field of digitalisation by October 2022 and increase the degree of digitalisation in the region. The first step on this path will be a digitalisation inspection and a needs analysis, in order to identify relevant fields of action and to select interested small and medium-sized tourism enterprises. In co-operation projects, prototypical digital service technologies will be developed and tested in the next step.
"The findings from these projects will be processed accordingly and made available to all tourism providers", says Mang. "We want to make the results usable and applicable in a sustainable way by integrating as many different players as possible.”
The co-operation partner in the DIGITOUR project is the Tourism Association of Eastern Bavaria, which plays an important role in the project as an interface to tourism service providers and guarantees the sustainable use of the project results. "In the last few years, we have moved a lot in the field of online booking of companies and digitalisation in Eastern Bavaria, and with the DIGITOUR project we want to significantly increase the degree of digitalisation and thus further enhance the competitiveness of our tourism region", emphasises Dr. Michael Braun, Managing Director of the Ostbayern Tourism Association.
Dr. Stefan Mang (from the left) Professor Dirk Totzek, Vice President Professor Haupt (all University of Passau) and Dr. Michael Braun (Tourismusverband Ostbayern e.V., right) accepted the funding decision from Minister of State Sibler (centre). Photo: CenTouris
|Principal Investigator(s) at the University||Dr. Stefan Mang (Institut für Markt- und Wirtschaftsforschung)|
|Project period||01.10.2019 - 15.10.2022|
|Source of funding|
Europäische Union (EU) > EU - Europäischer Struktur- und Investitionsfonds (ESI-Fonds) 2014-2020 > EU - ESIF - Europäischer Fonds für regionale Entwicklung (EFRE) 2014-2020 > EU - ESIF - EFRE - Investitionen in Wachstum und Beschäftigung (IWB) Bayern 2014- 2020