August 18th 2020

MCI develops COVID-19 model for safe winter tourism

COVID-19 "Model Development Risk Management Winter Tourism" at MCI | Province of Tyrol commissions project

The province of Tyrol commissions MCI for COVID-19 model in tourism. Photo: MCI/Unterlechner
Tyrol prepares for a Corona winter. Representatives of communities, tourism association and the Arlberg mountain railways contribute their ideas as a model region to a study commissioned by the province of Tyrol. Photo: MCI/Unterlechner

"Research must go beyond knowledge gain and contribute to concrete solutions". In accordance with the research strategy of the Entrepreneurial School®, the Center for Social and Health Innovation (CSHI) at the MCI is currently working on the project "COVID19 - Risk Management Winter Tourism" together with the Departments of Tourism & Leisure Industry and Nonprofit, Social & Health Management on behalf of the province of Tyrol.

In the course of the project, decision-makers in Tyrolean communities are interviewed in order to develop a knowledge-based model for the upcoming winter tourism with the aim of minimizing the risks associated with COVID-19 - risk of infection. In addition, surveys will be conducted in model regions with winter tourism. CSHI has already been able to win the important tourism regions of St. Anton am Arlberg and Alpbach for this cooperation. The result of the study will be an important basis for a safe and successful winter season in tourism in Tyrol.

The decision-makers are community representatives, tourism associations, cable car companies, and stakeholders. The measures conceived or developed by the decision-makers will be integrated into a risk assessment and management model and should contribute to the early detection and prevention of situations with a high risk of COVID-19 infection in the coming winter season in order to strengthen the safety and confidence of hosts and guests in a safe tourism operation and stay.

As a first step, in cooperation with the model regions of St. Anton am Arlberg and Alpbach, a questionnaire is being developed to prepare for the coming winter season. This will start with surveys in focus groups supplemented by individual interviews. The results will be transferred to an online survey, which will allow a broad involvement of decision-makers.

Subsequently, all Tyrolean communities, tourism associations, and cable car companies are involved in the survey and are asked to participate in the joint bundling of ideas for a safe winter season.

"With this model survey, the MCI is helping to ensure that the conditions for the safe handling of COVID-19 are in place in the province of Tyrol," explains Siegfried Walch, head of the MCI Department for Social and Health Management.

"The winter season is absolutely critical to the success of the Tourism Region Tyrol. But it can only succeed if we can guarantee the highest possible level of safety for locals, employees, and guests", emphasizes Hubert Siller, Head of MCI Tourism.

"Knowledge is one of the few things that multiplies when it is shared. Many smart people in the country are already working on preparations for a safe winter season. With this project, we are bundling all our forces to underpin the risk management for the coming winter with a solid model in the few remaining months," describes Lukas Kerschbaumer, Deputy Project Manager of the Center for Social & Health Innovation.

"With the introduction of the CORONA traffic light system, Austria is preparing for regional risk management. MCI is supporting the province of Tyrol in this collective learning process through applied research," Armin Fidler, MCI Department for Social and Health Management and member of the CORONA-AMPEL Commission of the Federal Ministry of Health, summarizes the project.