The luca app: A glimmer of hope for the tourism industry?

An interview with Joachim Heckenroth, Corporate Chef F&B

Joachim Heckenroth | © GCH Hotel Group

Hardly any industry has been as affected by the pandemic as tourism. However, where there is hope, there is also a way, as is well known. Among others, Joachim Heckenroth, Corporate Chef of the F&B Department at the GCH Hotel Group, might have found the way out via the luca app. The app enables the GCH Hotel Group to welcome guests to its hotels and restaurants and, at the same time, follow simple yet accurate procedures to contain infection rates.

It all begins … in Baden-Württemberg

Nearly all local health authorities in this German federal state rely on the luca app for quicker and more accurate tracing of contacts in case of a Corona infection. Just like in the state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, the app has already been embedded in the state regulations. For this reason, the first pilot projects are carried out in two GCH hotels located in Baden-Württemberg, namely the ibis Styles Offenburg and the Best Western Hotel Rastatt. Joachim Heckenroth is convinced that other federal states will follow this example and that, if the trials succeed, other hotels will soon adopt the luca app as well.


How is it supposed to work?

Visitors will have different options to check in to restaurants and hotels, explains Heckenroth. In his opinion, however, the easiest way would be to simply log in to the luca app on the own smartphone upon entering a hotel or restaurant. Of course, alternatives like manual tracing forms, check-ins via tablets provided by the establishment or via key fobs with a QR code would still be available, he adds.


Why luca?

Heckenroth puts it this way: “For us, luca perfectly complements the catalogue of hygiene measures that we developed in the wake of the pandemic. The app will be an additional step to contain infection numbers and to actively support and relieve the health authorities in their strenuous work. The faster contacts are reported, the better chains of infection can be traced and stopped.” If the trials are successful, the GCH Hotel Group would have the chance to welcome guests in both hotels and restaurants again, while maintaining all safety and hygiene measures. As it is directly connected to the health authorities, the app enables multi-dimensional tracing of contacts and quick identification of clusters.


Privacy first

Joachim Heckenroth further points out that all data is safe from unauthorised access, double-encrypted and stored on a secure server. All data will be deleted after 30 days the latest. In the event of an infection, health authorities will inform the respective hotel of the GCH Hotel Group and ask them to share the relevant check-in data for the time period in question. The shared data can only be decrypted by the competent health authority with the matching QR codes. Subsequently, the health authority will get in touch with the affected individuals who will be able to easily share their contact history with the authorities via the luca app.





We would like to thank Mr. Heckenroth for the informative interview.


Find out more about how the GCH Hotel Group plans to use the luca app here:


The luca app’s website: https://www.luca-app.de/


Editors: Jan Möller and Lena Stanggassinger

Translation: Bea Lehofer