How connectivity boosts business for tourist attractions

Posted by Karen on Nov 5, 2015 12:00:00 AM
Some tourist attractions, such as museums and exhibitions have been quick to embrace next-gen technology to help them create memorable experiences. However, technology is also crucial for the smooth running of the organisation behind-the-scenes. In many museums now, visitors can use their smartphones to download the official app. The Natural History Museum, for example, has apps that offer basic information about exhibits and directions. While the British Museum went a step further and created an app which provided visitors with a more in-depth study of Pompeii to compliment an ongoing exhibition. In America, one start-up, Spotzer, works with museums and galleries to create "interactive, socially engaging and context-aware mobile apps" to augment the visitor’s experience. By using the app as visitors walk around the exhibits, they can find out more about what they’re seeing, search for subjects that interest them, and receive targeted information tailored to their tastes. These attractions will have invested significantly, both financial and in time, to create these apps so it is crucial that visitors are able to access them on site, even when 3G or 4G isn’t available.

Providing expert knowledge

Other institutions, like the Brooklyn Museum, use mobile technology to provide visitors with expert knowledge during their visit, using iBeacon technology to allow visitors to ask questions of museum staff. This also enables the museum to find out what kind of information people want to get from the experience. For example, the exhibit may focus on key dates and events, but feedback and questions indicate that visitors want the personal stories and experiences behind the events. This allows the museum to add to the exhibit so it is a better experience for its visitors, who in turn will recommend it to others.

Helping visitors plan their stay

Some major theme parks, like Disney World, provide visitors with apps that help them plan their stay at the park, allowing them to check things like wait times while they are in the park and before they queue up. But it points out that the information in the app once in the park is only as good as the visitor’s wi-fi or mobile data connection. There is nothing more frustrating than being in long queue after long queue only to find out that if you were able to plan better on the move you could have spent more time on the rides. This is why connectivity is so important in tourist attractions, and it needs to be able to stand up to even the busiest days.

Connectivity for business operations

It’s not just visitor facing solutions that tourist attractions need to focus on, but the vital back-office systems that help run the business and in turn increase the visitor experience. Attractions need to be able to quickly and securely update their online stores so past visitors can reorder, and to access databases as and when they need vital information. For example, Fluidata worked with Wensleydale Creamery to resolve issues it was having with poor connectivity.

Without a fast, secure internet connection, none of these extra and essential services would be viable for tourist attractions to provide. Visitors would be left frustrated, and their experience wouldn’t be as optimal as it could be. Tourist attractions rely on repeat visitors and word-of-mouth marketing, and if people leave after having a poor experience, these locations could see visitor numbers suffer.
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