10 Questions For (37): Martin Schobert of Tourismusdesign

Continuing the series with Martin Schobert of tourismusdesign
Martin Schobert

1. Who are you?

Traveling and innovative ways of communication fascinate me. I have been working in tourism for more than 13 years and published more than 4.500 tweets about experience-, communication- & service- design in travel & tourism and two Social media guidelines, Travel 2.0 Austria and Travel 2.0 Reloaded for the Austrian Travel Industry.

“How to communicate a touristic product” has been my main experience by working for Austrian National Tourist Office for almost 12 years. After different marketing jobs in Vienna and Paris I have been heading the marketing- and pr-team at the domestic market for 6 years. The following 3 years I have been Head of Research & Development leading the teams “Internet Strategy”, “Tourism Research”, “Business Intelligence” and “IT Service & Support”. In this capacity I have been responsible to develop the worldwide online- and social web strategy of the Austrian National Tourist Office.

Sharing my knowledge as speaker at international conferences in travel & tourism like ITB Congress, FVW Online Marketing Day, Enter, US Travelcom, Eyes for Travel Social Media Summit or the ITS International Tourism Symposium is my passion, as well as guest speaker at different universities in Austria and lecturer at University of Applied Sciences Vienna.

I am managing director and co-founder of tourismusdesign, a consultancy for communication and experience design. We assist touristic organizations to develop their online branding, online PR and – important in the era of social web – to improve brand attraction points or create memorable outdoor-experiences for travelers. Our secret: If touristic experiences are likeable, shareable, linkable and easy to remember our guests will act as spokesman of our companies and spread the messages of our brands and products…
We currently engage in product development of touristic brands, experience design in travel areas and alpine sceneries, service design and optimizing the “customer journey” of travelers and coaching the travel industry to communicate efficiently to guests & partners (by focusing on storytelling, online-PR, social media design).
Simply great: We started in March this year and have already lot’s of big and international players in the tourism and service business as customers of our “tourism design company”.

I am married, proud father of two children, living and working in Tulln, Austria – a fantastic country, full of remarkable experiences in alpine sceneries and cultural heritages in our cities.

2. What do you like about what you do?

I love to be a temporary external employee of touristic organizations. Sometimes just for a workshop, sometimes as an online expert for a couple of days to develop an online communication strategy or innovative ways of doing Public Relations. And then – two days later – I discuss with my colleague (she is a landscape architect with a couple of experiences in touristic development projects) how to improve experiences of a specific touristic destination in Europe. Guest-centric, sustainable and service-oriented! It’s simply a great job!

3. What don’t you like about what you do?

If my partners or potential customers just are talking around the topic. If they want to use our knowledge and experiences they should say it. If they only want another offer to compare with their existing suppliers it is also ok and they will get one. But I do not like if someone has no idea how to develop and takes our time and money just to grab some ideas.

4. Please tell us all about your blog and your aims with it.

There is a simple goal: To blog (in German) and tweet(in German and English) to share our knowledge in our fields of experience: innovative ways to communicate touristic product, optimization of touristic services and creation of meaningful, remarkable experiences while travelling outdoor destinations. Because we know: if we share our knowledge, the demand to it will increase …

5. Your top 3 destination experiences you’ve ever stayed to date and why?

1) Where the reef meets the rainforest – Port Douglas, Great Barrier Reef, Australia. At no other point in my life I had the possibility to experience two Unesco Nature Heritage at one point. And – at the hotel I stayed there where fresh mangos from a tree which fell “in your mouth” while swimming at the pool – amazing …

2) Cabo da Roca – for a long time the most western point in my life. It is fascinating to discover portuguese tradition in Lisboa, one hour later watching youngstars at praia do guincho, one of the most popular surf-hotspots in Europe and 15 minutes later to visit this special point for a European – the most western point of Europe where lot’s of seaman started to their trip to the unknown …

3) Each time new it is fascinating to have a 360 degree alpine panorama in front of your feet while exploring the fantastic glacier platform in Sölden, Tirol, Austria. Especially because you did it by ski with a blue sky on a sunny and warm winter day at the end of March / begin of April. Austrians call this special variety of winter-sports “sun-skiing”. Magic.

6. Your top 3 accommodations you’ve ever stayed to date and why?

1) The Standard Hotel, Los Angeles. The most strange hotel I ever stayed. Great. If you explore their website, you know why …

2) A hut for ten people friends in the tyrol mountains near Lienz, Eastern Tyrol, situated in a wood, 50 meters beside the slopes, equipped with a fireplace, a finnish sauna…

3) Olympic Villas, Oia, Santorini (Thira), Greece. 200 meters above the “caldera” and the agean sea. Unforgatable sundowns and a real experience when busses with tourists left after that …

7. Your top 3 most memorable food / wine experiences to date and why?

1) Just visit the “Wachau” Valley along the Danube in Lower Austria at Spitz. Walk up to the “Red-Door”-viewpoint on the hill upside and open a fresh bottle of a Riesling Smaragd, Singerriedl (alternative Grüner Veltliner Rotes Tor) from the famous vinemaker Hirtzberger. A firework in your mouth and heart while enjoying the wine and the scenery …

2) Discovering an italian food market in Ancona with the former austrian travel magazine “Reisemagazin” in my hands, tasting a breathtaking (because spicy) sausage. The memorable experience wasn’t the food. It was the joy of the marketer who remembered the interview and was happy about his fotostory in the magazine …

3) Life is too short and beautiful to drink bad wines. My favorite wine I ever drunk: Marienthal, Blaufränkisch (red), Ernst Triebaumer, 2004.

8. Your 3 worst destination/ accommodation /food experiences to date and why?

I prefer to remember positive ones, everybody knows how to make bad experiences. So – don’t do that!

9. Can you offer the readers 3 destination/ food / accomodation / things to do tips about the city you are currently living in?

1) Sodoma, Tulln – best “Wiener Schnitzel” of Austria (recommended by lot’s of food-journalists)
2) Der Floh – Langenlebarn – one of the best fish-meals in the country (member of jeune restaurateurs du monde)

3) The best way to discover Lower Austria is doing a bicycle tour alongside the Danube, one of the largest rivers in Mid-Europe. Certainly you have to stay in Tulln (I suggest Hotel Nibelungenhof and visit the Egon Schiele Museum, one of the most important painters of the 20th century, who was born at the railway station here (you can visit the room where he was born).

10. Any Question(s) you’d expected me to ask that you would like to answer?


My Take

Thank you very much Martin. I’ve many notes to compare but save them for our next meeting or for Twitter:-)

One thought on “10 Questions For (37): Martin Schobert of Tourismusdesign”

  1. I love Martin’s work in the experience and service design arena. This is the new marketing: creating memorable experiences that people will talk about.

    Great piece of advice he shared: “If we share our knowledge, the demand for it will increase.” Important for all organizations to remember!

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