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ANTO and MODUL University of Vienna wins this year’s Ulysses Special Jury Prize

8. June 2011

The Ulysses Special Jury prize in the category for innovations in the tourist industry is a major recognition of the tourism know-how in Austria, and of the country’s way of communicating market research results and information. The Austrian Trade commission checks it out

The World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) has awarded this year’s Ulysses Special Jury Prize in the “Innovations in the Tourist Industry” category to the Tourismus Marketing Informationssystem (TourMIS) from the Austrian National Tourist Office (ANTO) and MODUL University Vienna. The information system (www.tourmis.info), known in the industry as a kind of Wikipedia for tourism statistics, is presently used by more than 15,000 national and international tourism professionals and future specialists in universities and higher education institutions, and is thus also making a valuable contribution to the training of future tourism managers. Since the beginning of 2009 more than 55,000 data charts have been retrieved from TourMIS. 53 % of the enquiries were via the German language version, and 47% via its English version. “All those active in tourism need daily up-to-date market research information to be able to work effectively. This award is major recognition of the tourism know-how in our country, and of our way of communicating market research results and information,” said Dr. Petra Stolba, CEO of the Austrian National Tourist Office, at the official prize-giving on 27th May in Madrid. “ANTO is particularly proud that the initiative of one single national tourist organisation has led to a platform for international data exchange,” she added in conclusion.

TourMIS has been on-line since 1997, and makes national and international tourism statistics available free of charge. It was one of the first marketing information systems worldwide to give tourism professionals simple, interactive access to current data. With development started at the end of the 1980s, on the instructions of ANTO, by Dr. Karl Wöber, the Rector of Modul University Vienna (formerly ÖGAF, the “Austrian Institute for Applied Tourism Research”), TourMIS separates sections of the incoming statistics (Source: Statistik Austria), such as arrivals/overnight stays, according to years, seasons and months for the whole of Austria, its provinces and the provincial capitals. The data on visitor numbers to places of interest in Austria, maintained directly by the provincial tourist organisations, can also be retrieved.

Through cooperation with European Cities Marketing, which is the European cities tourism association, and the European Travel Commission, international data like arrivals and overnight stays from more than 100 European cities and approx. 30 European destinations are presented in TourMIS. Data input is by market research professionals of the respective cities and countries, who use TourMIS as the platform for their data exchange and benchmarking. “The option of exchanging information on tourist statistics via the internet leads to constructive discussions and a constant improvement in the definitions and survey methods,” Prof. Dr. Karl Wöber explains.

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