Friday, 29 March 2013

Could new research change holiday habits?

Writing in the tourism trade magazine Destination UK, Christina Eccles says it has been claimed groundbreaking research taking place at Manchester Metropolitan University could change the way tourists behave on holiday forever.

Senior lecturer in eTourism Dr Timothy Jung is currently working on a pilot scheme in Dublin that would allow visitors to scan buildings and receive real-time information in the form of text, pictures, animation or video. Known as Augmented Reality Tourism, the technology offers richer information updated minute-by-minute beyond the smartphone apps currently available.
Museum of London
For example the Museum of London's StreetMuseum is a free augmented reality iPhone app that allows the user to browse historical photographs in various parts of the city.The app leads one to various locations around London using either the map or GPS. Once there, clicking the “3D View” button, the app will recognize the location and overlay the historical photograph over the live video feed of the real world, giving a brief glimpse into how the past looked. See examples at  Streetmuseum view

Working with Loma Maxwell of the Economic Development Unit at Dublin City Council and Alex Gibson of the Dublin Institute of Technology, Dr Jung is testing the technology on buildings including hotels, restaurants and cinemas on Dublin’s O'Connell Street. They will be looking at using different levels of media, one will be text only, another will use photography and the third will use video or animation.

Their view is that the technology will change the way tourists experience cities,  encouraging visitors to spend more and contribute further to the tourism income of the city they are visiting. Dr Jung says the idea could spread across the globe and be really groundbreaking.

Developments in Augmented Reality Tourism could also provide a host of new real time marketing opportunities for businesses - such as local advertising to tourists

How do you think developments in technology could boost tourism in the UK?
Would you like to see this idea take off in our towns and cities?
Send your comments to the Destination UK editorial team by emailing and they will print the best comments in the next issue of the magazine.
Or comment on this blog

Thanks to Destination UK and the Museum of London


Monday, 11 March 2013

Birmingham Airport Expansion

Emirates at Birmingham Airport
Emirates land at Birmingham International Airport
“Don’t put all your eggs in one basket by focusing purely on the South East and Heathrow in particular.” said Paul Kehoe, Birmingham International Airport's CEO at the Birmingham Business Breakfast Club meeting on the 20th February 2013. With the runway extension available in 2014, a new horizon is opening up for travel and business opportunities at Birmingham Airport. The extended runway gives the opportunity of adding about 2,000 nautical miles to flights. From Birmingham, that takes the traveller“about everywhere you need to go – Tokyo, Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Bangkok, Singapore." Not surprisingly Mr Kehoe is a keen supporter of HS2 which is a key element increasing the number of flights using the airport and usage byLondon and the South-East travellers. HS2 will reduce journey times to Birmingham Airport from London to under 40 minutes. 

Paul Kehoe and
the Birmingham Business Breakfast Club Commitee

Birmingham Business Breakfast Club
L to R
Nick Booker (Attract Marketing)
 Celia Adams (Celia Adams Associates)
Tony Taylor (Anthony Taylor Chartered Accountants)

Saturday, 9 March 2013

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Game changer for the travel Industry? SoLoMo means social local mobile

travel and mobile phone
SoLoMo means social local mobile – and is especially important for the travel industry as mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets become the primary way to access the internet.
The research company Euromonitor International  has looked at the implications of this trend that have  resulted in several intersections of two trends, such as social media usage via smartphones and the rise of geo-social networks allowing users to “check in” their current location.
 The mobile dimension has also resulted in a new development for the online world – the emergence of the local aspect. Through GPS technology, the location of users can be detected in order to offer them location-based services (LBS). These use information on the geographic location of mobile device owners to offer them tailored services based on it. This opens new opportunities for local businesses.
The range of location-based services is very wide, including location-based m-commerce, promotional offers, information services, games and loyalty programmes.
SoLoMo can be seen as the third step of the evolution of online travel, which first saw the introduction of travel websites and online reservations, then the popularity of social media and finally, thanks to the possibility to access the internet via mobile devices, the rise of the SoLoMo