The connected tourist part two: 9 smart tech solutions that will convert connected tourists into customers
In part one, we explored the tech leaps which have the greatest potential to make a huge impact on your tours and attractions businesses.
In this follow up, discover how you can fully exploit those sensational new tech solutions right now to
- excite, draw in and inspire today’s connected tourist;
- deliver a frictionless, unforgettable and interactive customer experience; and
- leverage users’ love of social media to increase awareness and footfall …
… and boost your business!
Crucially, find out which tricks you might be missing and get your tech working harder for you and your connected customers – today.
5G is connecting virtually everyone and virtually everything with higher data speed; greater availability, reliability and stability; and increased network capacity. For tour and attractions operators like you, 5G is radically evolving how your customers use smartphones to choose, plan, buy, access, recommend and remember their leisure experiences. As 5G rolls out, your customers’ phones will soon be doing a lot, lot more. And you need to be ready.
In Malaga, Spain, several tourist organisations are currently collaborating on a trial using 5G to create digital tours and recreations accessible through smartphones. Focussing on the motor and fashion museums and Malaga cathedral, users immerse themselves in the history of the sites using apps and QR codes to access augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR) and 3D virtual recreations.
5G is enhancing opportunities to directly engage with both actual and target customers, unleashing infinite exciting possibilities for you to create richer, more immersive real-time experiences for your customers – straight to their smartphones. From finding and accessing your information faster (regardless of location), to receiving more exciting and enticing content (including AR guides and video), discover below more ideas on how 5G will help you drive up footfall, and increase revenue and awareness of your tour or attraction.
This network revolution is proving particularly invaluable in boosting visitor numbers and tourism to far-flung venues. Today’s connected tourist is especially hungry for the new and unique (it’s more bloggable) so 5G is enabling them to easily explore more remote destinations, discovering hidden treasures off the beaten track.
In order to provide the highly personalised experience today’s connected tourist increasingly expects, you need data and the means to use that data to market directly to your target market. 5G enables you to:
- access better, more accurate data of your customers’ preferences, tastes, interests directly from them;
- safely store and segment that data; and then
- effectively use it to deliver real-time information and highly-targeted marketing messages directly to customers at precisely the right time.
(Find out how in the ‘Big data’ section below.)
Stronger network connection is opening up your business to a potentially significant seam of almost entirely free publicity and credible endorsements: social media – today’s connected tourist’s medium of choice to document and remember their experience. Used effectively (and wisely!), social media offers cost-effective, powerful word of mouth exposure for your business, as well as the chance to engage organically with customers and target market(s).
Internet of Things (IoT)
Before, during and after enjoying your tour or around your attraction, the IoT is playing a substantial role in more directly connecting you with your target market. With the rise of 5G this is only going to increase further and faster. So how can you fully exploit it to boost your business?
The IoT is enabling customers to highly personalise and streamline their experience. By helping tour and attractions operators to compile, glean and use customer data (safely and with permission), you can now give your connected customer a more individual experience that will genuinely delight them from initial enquiries and purchase, to their visit and aftercare. Enhance engagement further with closely targeted rewards and loyalty scheme to build brand loyalty (and encourage them to spread the good word).
The IoT enables the connected tourist to access all the real time information they need to optimise their experience to their smartphones. By receiving real-time notifications for example on queue status and length, performance times, live departure information and closest departure point, you are enhancing their use of your tour or their visit around your attraction.
From a security perspective, the IoT is making touring and tourism safer – a big plus for today’s safety-savvy connected tourist. The tech enables on-board and venue security cameras to help you manage a frictionless flow of footfall around your attraction venue – especially useful if social distancing measures are still required.
The increase in cash-free payments allows our connected tourist to pay cashlessly for everything they need to enjoy their experience from taxis and transport, to refreshments and unique souvenirs. Smaller or highly remote attractions or rural tours can now take advantage of cheaper and/or better connected mobile readers, enabling them to offer cash-free payments, increasing their footfall and sales.
Your customers are increasingly appreciating the ‘frictionless’ experiences that cash-free brings: scanning QR or barcodes from their phone cuts down time spent queueing up to pay. It also means eliminating the need to waste time (and money) exchanging currency or struggling with unfamiliar notes and coins.
Offering cashless payment is a signal to customers that you care for their wellbeing. Customers are wary of infection so are reluctant to handle cash. Switching to contactless payments protects them and your staff from contact that might spread disease. As well as eliminating the inconvenience of carrying around a purse or wallet, the cashfree tourist is more streamlined and – since they just need to keep tabs on their phone – less likely to have their experience ruined by a lost or stolen wallet.
Blockchain will most immediately impact those connected tourists lucky enough to be travelling abroad once again. Because all transactions carried out on the blockchain remain registered in the chain and cannot get modified, it enables safer, traceable payments. There’s also no chance of introducing intermediaries who might intervene – or hold up payment. And, once again, your customer is saved the bother of exchanging currency when crossing borders
A loyal and connected customer is the gift that keeps on giving. Connected customers are understandably more loyal to companies that respect their data and security. Letting them know that you are using Blockchain will help you nurture stronger loyalty with customers, increasing your chances of them being repeat customers or strong ambassadors. Blockchain also allows loyalty or reward programme customers to securely check their balance – or exchange loyalty points for rewards, incentives or even cryptocurrency.
There are myriad other potential ways for Blockchain to benefit you – and your customers. One such benefit involves eliminating various external middlemen, reducing costs for you (which you can pass on to customers in reduced prices or special deals). Trials are currently examining whether Blockchain can effectively be applied to identity management, allowing you to identify specific individuals as they pass through your entry points.
Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR)
The possibilities for how AR or VR can enhance the experience of your smartphone-owning connected customer are infinite. And these are possibilities that you can exploit right now: from virtual or “360” tours to whet the appetites of target customers, or apps providing special effects to enhance visitors’ photos; to providing users with information on a specific feature, destination or entertainment when they point their smartphone at it.
As a recent example, in a Barcelona-based AR pilot program in 2020, tour bus passengers were treated to an immersive experience: digital content was projected onto the front window of the vehicle, superimposing it on the landmarks and landscape during the tour. A large screen allowed passengers to move freely, providing a total collective and captivating event. Customers could also interact with the touchscreen display for more information on attractions and monuments.
Imagine the reaction of thrilled tour customers to such an extraordinary adventure! With AR and VR, this is no longer a virtual possibility – it’s reality.
Fingerprint or facial recognition and retina scanning allows visitors to pass through without physical controls (such as ticket barriers) helping speed up onboarding, eliminating queues and reducing the need for staffing at entry points. As previously discussed, today’s connected customer is looking for experiences that are as frictionless as possible whilst helping them keep healthy and safe.
Voice search and voice control
It is now essential that your website design incorporates voice search. Smartphones, smart speakers and AI assistants are all increasing the relevance of voice search. A growing number of connected customers expect to be able to use voice search to find information and book tickets for your tour or attraction. Voice control is playing a growing role in controlling functions or stand-alone aspects within a tour or experience, or allowing users to access information without needing to speak to a member of staff.
Artificial Intelligence (AI)
Today’s connected tourist – many of whom are your customers – are increasingly expecting to interact with AI, most obviously in customer service: chatbots are widely used to respond to problems or queries with rapid response times.
Today’s AI is also able to continuously learn from interactions with customers, feeding back usefully into your strategy and marketing. Furthermore, you are possibly already using AI to accurately and continuously sort through data, draw conclusions about business performance or trends associated with customer satisfaction, and even intelligently manage inventories.
AI is an open, evolving technology that you can adapt to your specific needs. It is therefore vital that you keep abreast of developments and evolve your offer using AI to attract and delight the connected customers that will drive your business forward.
Big data will empower you to improve personalisation of every aspect of your interaction with actual and target customers, making every message or offer relevant, targeted and enticing to each individual recipient. Drawing on ‘big data’ will help you develop more insightful customer profiles and personas, and build stronger segmentation for your marketing campaigns.
By allowing you to better anticipate levels of demand by being able to analyse current business performance or use historic data trends, you will be able to optimally adjust your pricing and promotional strategies.
We can help
Harnessing these nine tech innovations to provide an enhanced experience for your highly connected customers before, during and after they have visited your attraction or enjoyed your tour, will drive your business forward.
Find out how our platforms can incorporate these and other tech breakthroughs to help you boost your tour or attractions business. Schedule your demonstration today.
Stay in the know. Sign up to get future blogs on innovations and new features that will help your company thrive emailed straight to your inbox.
Interested in our products?
Ventrata is a comprehensive booking solution for tour and attraction businesses that are looking to win back control of their sales channels and maximise profits. With Ventrata as your booking and ticketing partner, you not only get industry-leading software you also get 24/7 support from our global team!
You must be logged in to post a comment.