What is the best way to communicate with a visitor? Advertising? By phone? Email? "Nearly every visitor to Zermatt has a smartphone in their pocket," says Stefan Linder, CEO of Bonfire AG, "so it makes sense to communicate with them through their device." This is why the Zermatt – Matterhorn destination has launched the Matterhorn app as part of their Bonfire digitalisation strategy.
Matterhorn app contents
The app offers a live piste map, snow reports and webcam images, a shop selling Zermatt cable car ski passes and important information about the whole resort, customised for each user. For example, you can see the weather forecast for your current location or the route to a specific location. You can also buy train tickets, like in the SBB app. One major benefit is the ability to load your ski pass directly onto your Swisspass, an existing Zermatt keycard or a Skidata keycard. If you don't have any of these cards, you can pick your pass up from one of the automated machines or kiosks using a QR code. Visitors can then buy the tickets they need without queueing.
On the integrated map in the app, you can search for ‘see', ‘eat’, ‘shop’, ‘drink’, ‘action’, ‘relax’, ‘info’, ‘transport’ or ‘service’. There are already more than 800 entries for restaurants, photo points and other interesting locations. Clicking on a result brings up a description of the locality including its address and opening times. Clicking on a location opens up Google Maps and shows the route.
Dynamic information is also available based on your interests, the time of day and the weather, as well as the specific location. For example, in winter the app’s home screen shows the snow and facilities report, at lunchtime there are suggestions for where to eat and in the evening, après ski tips. If you're not a skier, you can find suggestions of winter hiking trails or snowshoe tours instead. In the event of bad weather, the app suggests indoor and inclement weather activities.
"This app is an initial version. We are already planning lots of additions to be included in future versions," says Stefan Linder. For example, all the partners currently listed on zermatt.ch will also feature in the app. Currently, you can reserve ski passes in the shop, but the aim is for visitors to be able to access other services through the app, such as reserving a table in a restaurant. Another important area is push notifications. "We can send visitors information via push notifications. It is important for us to provide visitors with relevant information, thereby offering them something extra," explains Linder. "We don't want to flood our visitors with spam and annoy them with too much marketing and promotions. That would be counterproductive." Push notifications, for example, could inform visitors about road closures or avalanche risks, make suitable restaurant suggestions or tell a guest in Cervinia the time of the last cable car back to Zermatt. At the moment, these are all ideas for the future, but the experts are working on them already.
The Matterhorn app, currently available in German and English, can be downloaded from the app store for iPhones (iOS) and from Google Play for Android. The app is part of the Bonfire project, which aims to connect the Zermatt – Matterhorn destination digitally and create added value for visitors. Further milestones, including the electronic registration of guests, will follow.
Simona Altwegg, Media Manager Zermatt Tourism
Phone +41 (0)27 966 81 40, Mobile +41 (0)79 197 11 69