November 2012

Innovation from Saarland wins the German Tourism Prize

The special function provided by the free app thus makes it one of the “most innovative ideas in tourism in Germany”. Deutsche Tourismusverband e.V. (DTV), the German national tourism association, said that the key issues when awarding the prize were the degree of innovation, quality, customer orientation, sustainability and cost-effectiveness.

The app’s function allows hikers and cyclists to report damage to trails, missing signposts or other damage along the way directly on their iPhone.

“We are delighted to receive the award as it provides recognition for our strategy of securing and expanding the quality of the cycling and hiking trails in Saarland”, said the CEO of the TZS, Birgit Grauvogel, who received the prize together with project manager Klaus Wallach. “The app not only provides orientation for guests, but also enables us to exchange information with them and thus increases their attachment to the region.”

The Saarland Economics Minister and Chairman of the Supervisory Board of the TZS, Heiko Maas, was also pleased: “The award shows that Saarland has established itself as a cycling and hiking region in the face of competition from all over Germany. At the same time this success is an incentive for us to continue with our tourism strategy for the Land.”

Here’s how the “fault detective” works: The user takes a photo of the place in question on the cycle or hiking trail via the app and adds a brief note. The message is then sent to the TZS trail management team at the push of a button. If you have your GPS function switched on, your geo coordinates are automatically transmitted as well. The TZS will process the report as part of its quality management and will ensure the faults are rectified.

Overall an expert jury nominated nine contributions for the German Tourism prize out of the 76 applications approved for the final round. The three winners and one special prize were announced during the German Tourism Conference on Norderney.

To date 11,000 users have installed the Saarland tour app. The app was created by the TZS in cooperation with the Saarländischer Wochenspiegel-Verlag and is available to download at » www.tourismus.saarland.de.