Mobile devices, among other pieces of hardware, are reshaping the travel and tourism market in ways that extend well beyond tour operators’ offerings and often involve partnerships between local governments, NGOs and developers. We’ve selected three of the most interesting ways in which this industry is being shaped below.
1) Google and the Archaeological Survey of India
As part of their wider strategy to bring historical monuments to life within Google Maps, Google are embarking on a project with the Archaeological Survey of India to bring 100 unique Indian monuments, from all periods of India’s millennia-spanning history to life in fully modelled 3D with 360 degree panoramic views.
“We wanted enhanced and an active experience for our (virtual) visitors and not just mere passive viewing of the sites. And, that’s why we want to partner with agencies like the ASI, UNESCO, World Monuments Fund to source authoritative content – current and archival to enrich user’s experience,”
This isn’t the first time Google has engaged with archaeological and historical organizations to bring historical monuments into Google Maps, having previously done the same for monuments in France, Japan and elsewhere. What is unique about this approach is that Google are engaging an academic organization for advice on what to feature.
In general, mapping tools are not only helping people experience more of a country from the comfort of their own home, but are practical tools for locating points of interest when traveling themselves.
2) Telecom Italia teaming up with Italian cities
Telecom Italia is leveraging its vast telecommunications capabilities to bring historic walks in various Italian cities to life. The most recent target of this strategy is the city of San Giovanni Rotondo – The associated “Smart Soul” project also allows for user interaction and content creation in the form of creating custom paths.
The partnership, whilst modest in its aims, deserves to be lauded for reaching out to small municipalities in Italy not usually comprehensively covered in more broadly marketed tourist documentation.
3) Wearable devices and Melbourne
Tourism Victoria recently made headlines by developing their own rather unique method of tourism marketing that employs a proprietary wearable device. Bringing together social media and the interaction of prospective tourists, it allows people to digitally explore Melbourne through a Tourism Victoria employee’s wearable device. Though the concept may seem crude and a little redundant given the massive advances in 3d mapping, it’s an example of the kind of way in which marketers can leverage wearable devices to truly market a city at street-level, going beyond 360 panoramas and video shots of tourist landmarks. Expect to see more development and refinement of the wearable device/marketing crossover in the near future.
Last year we helped a number of exhibitors at World Travel Market with their stands, by allowing them to use YUDU technology free of charge. (both for online travel brochures, and offline demos of brochures in apps) If you would be interested in taking advantage of this offer in 2013, please email firstname.lastname@example.org