28. June 2023

Launch of the Knowledge Graph represents a milestone for the digital transformation of Germany’s inbound tourism industry

Frankfurt am Main, 28 June 2023 – Today, the German National Tourist Board (GNTB) and all other parties involved in the project brought the German inbound tourism industry’s Knowledge Graph on stream. Now that the Knowledge Graph has gone live, all stakeholders – from global sales platforms and tourism service providers to start-ups – have access to more than 200,000 up-to-date and high-quality data sets that are generally available for download. These data sets currently cover 100,000 tourism assets (POIs, tours, events, restaurants, cafés, hotels etc.) and a further 100,000 infrastructure components. Drawing on tourism data from all 16 federal states, the Knowledge Graph serves as a central database for Germany’s tourism industry. Other project partners include the Magic Cities marketing association, travel technology company Amadeus, the German Convention Bureau and representatives from academia. The technical infrastructure has been designed to seamlessly link Open Data projects at regional level, and other organisations such as the German Convention Bureau (GCB) are also working with the infrastructure. Germany’s rail operator Deutsche Bahn is planning to add data to the Knowledge Graph too.

“Today marks a milestone on the road to tourism’s digital future,” said Petra Hedorfer, Chief Executive Officer of the GNTB, at the launch event. Many stakeholders have played their part in the launch of the Knowledge Graph, which has successfully brought the tourism industry’s biggest ever data infrastructure project to fruition. The sharing of data across organisations, federal states and industries using this kind of system can already be seen as a pioneering achievement within the German economy. It is also sending a clear signal as to the innovative capabilities of our sector. The project, part of the German government’s national tourism strategy, will be pivotal to the process of digital transformation in Germany, particularly for the tourism industry and its predominantly SME businesses.

Germany’s inbound tourism industry is contributing to key areas of action in the government’s data strategy through the project. It is putting in place high-performance, sustainable data structures, it is making data use innovative and responsible, it is improving data literacy and it is establishing a data culture.

Andreas Braun, Managing Director of Tourismus Marketing GmbH Baden-Württemberg and spokesperson of the regional tourism organisations, believes that the huge amount of work put into this has fundamentally changed tourism structures in Germany. “The digital transformation is impacting on all levels of the tourism value chain. Consequently, destination marketing organisations and regional tourism organisations have had to redefine their roles – from marketing agency to destination and data managers. The Knowledge Graph project has provided us with invaluable input along the way.” Armin Dellnitz, Managing Director of Stuttgart Marketing GmbH and spokesperson of Magic Cities, adds: “The strong growth in tourism following the pandemic is indicative of how fast the business is moving. Customers are choosing their destination at short notice. They demand up-to-the-minute information and ideally want to access all services via a one-stop shop. The Knowledge Graph provides an invaluable basis for meeting these expectations.”

The next steps

The various project partners stress that the status of the system at its launch is only the starting point for further development. It is now a question of getting as many national and international stakeholders as possible on board to ensure that Germany remains competitive in the global tourism markets.

Distributing data by building and expanding contacts to potential data users, taking data from the Knowledge Graph to train the AI-assisted chatbot at, for example, and integrating transport data for sustainable travel are key tasks for the coming weeks and months. As a member of the Open Data Tourism Alliance (ODTA), the GNTB is also stepping up its international dialogue aimed at developing further common tourism data standards. On the academia and research side, open data and the interoperability of the data model will allow stakeholders to use tourism data to enhance visitor management systems and enable smart cities.

Petra Hedorfer: “Technological innovations in data management go hand in hand with criteria such as data protection, data sovereignty, data ethics and data culture. The portability of the data is a closely related topic. Having an independent data management tool means that data can be transferred much more easily between different systems, platforms and applications. The launch of the Open Data/Knowledge Graph project is a milestone in making international tourism – and therefore inbound tourism to Germany – sustainable, competitive and fit for the future.”

The GNTB is planning a hackathon in the autumn for developing specific use cases. This will be a collaborative event with representatives from the start-up scene and tourism stakeholders.

The most recent data can be accessed using the Such widget on the project’s website,


The Open Data/Knowledge Graph project was initiated as a joint, industry-wide project by the GNTB in partnership with the 16 regional tourism organisations of Germany’s federal states, the Magic Cities, Amadeus, the German Convention Bureau, representatives from academia and other tourism partners.

A key asset of the Knowledge Graph, besides actually collecting the data in one place, lies in ensuring that the data is structured, licensed, integrated and made accessible in an enhanced form. Data of this unprecedented quality, which is available to all market players, means that even less well-known tourism offerings are able to be found by AI applications. This will allow SMEs and start-ups to develop their own intelligent, customer-centric services and secure a foothold for them in the market.

For background details on the project and the latest information, please visit the project website

The project’s key milestones:

End of 2018: Regional tourism organisations and the GNTB agree to implement a central open data project

2019: Comprehensive audit of potential content by data type, data quality and access permissions at the regional tourism organisations and the members of Magic Cities

2020: Development of a technical concept for the Knowledge Graph and agreement between the GNTB and the regional tourism organisations to deliver the project

2021: Open Data Tourism Alliance founded with three national tourist boards and a further 20 partners at federal level with the aim of defining common standards and submitting them to the consortium

July 2022: Technical completion, start of the data upload and initial test with 30 partners

June 2023 Launch

About the GNTB

The German National Tourist Board (GNTB) works on behalf of the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action to represent Germany as a tourist destination and is funded by the Ministry in accordance with a decision taken by the German Bundestag. Working closely with the German travel industry and private-sector partners and trade associations, the GNTB develops strategies and marketing campaigns to promote Germany’s positive image abroad as a travel destination and to encourage tourists to visit the country.

The GNTB’s primary strategic areas of action are:

  • Conducting targeted market research and analysis of market-specific customer demand in relation to various aspects of travel in the context of sustainability and culture among those with values-based lifestyles.
  • Supporting the travel industry, which is dominated by small and medium-sized businesses, through relationship management and the sharing of knowledge.
  • Raising awareness of the Destination Germany brand and enhancing the brand profile with a focus on sustainability and climate change mitigation.

Focus on sustainability and digitalisation

The GNTB promotes forward-looking tourism in line with the objectives of the German government. The focus here is on sustainability and digitalisation.

To make inbound tourism more sustainable and competitive, our organisation follows a three-pillar strategy that combines the sharing of knowledge with external partners and a supporting communications strategy with our internal sustainability initiative. The GNTB positions Germany as a sustainable and inclusive destination in the international travel market.

The GNTB is a pioneer when it comes to using immersive technologies (virtual, augmented and mixed reality), voice assistants and other conversational interfaces, and artificial intelligence applications such as chatbots. To ensure that tourism offerings are visible on AI-based marketing platforms, the GNTB coordinates the German tourism industry’s open-data/knowledge graph project.

The GNTB has 25 foreign agencies that it manages from its head office in Frankfurt.