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Innovations in travel and tourism industry

Innovations in travel and tourism industry

Written by MySmartJourney
2022-09-28 | 19:49

What is innovation in travel and tourism?

Innovation in the travel and tourism industry can take many different forms. It essentially refers to the many ways in which businesses and corporations update the experience that customers and tourists have when traveling. 

Unfortunately, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, travel has been virtually non-existent. Although in some cases, individuals had the opportunity to travel within their own countries, international travel was impossible for most in order to prevent the spread of the virus.  However, as travel plans are slowly starting to pick back up and we are beginning to make our way into a post-pandemic world, those working in the travel sector and tourism sector are trying to come up with new innovations to improve future travel. 

But how exactly can travel companies build on and improve the existing experience? Many of the new innovations in the travel sector reside in the technological field as the travel and tourism industry is firmly placing itself in the 21st century digital age. Travel companies are therefore integrating technology into hotel rooms, room service, and booking platforms amongst many other aspects. 

Why is innovation important in tourism?

The tourism industry is one of the main engines of the world economy. It is constantly changing to respond to the fluctuating needs of customers so technology innovation is present in all the scopes of tourism. 

The travel and tourism industry needs to continuously adopt innovative strategies in order to make tourism businesses more efficient, keep costs down and maintain a competitive edge. Leveraging technology makes it possible to personalize the customer experience and improve customer satisfaction as issues can be dealt with in real time. Plus, technology makes it possible to streamline operations and cut costs down in many departments. 

How is technology changing the travel and tourism industry?

Technology is giving customers a lot more power and independence on their trips. If you think about how many different aspects of a vacation can be managed from a mobile app in the palm of your hand, it becomes clear just how influential technological innovation has become. 

You can book a flight or a hotel, download your boarding passes on your phone, buy tickets for a museum, browse a restaurant menu on a QR code, etc. Of course, in-person communication and interactions are still available to supplement the digital experience. However, if visitors want more independence,  travel technology and innovation make this possible. 

Since customers can do things for themselves, it frees up time for employees who can redirect their time to other issues and processes. This makes it possible for tourism businesses to improve efficiency which increases customer satisfaction. 

NFC technology and tourism 

Near Frequency Communication technology, often referred to as NFC technology is a form of wireless technology which allows two devices to essentially talk to each other and exchange data. NFC technology is widely used by individuals in everyday life for contactless payment but it is also leveraged by businesses to improve operations and the services provided.  

Just like with most other forms of technology in the travel and tourism sector, NFC technology improves efficiency and makes it possible to personalize the customer experience. For example, one of the leading ways in which NFC technology is used in hotels is as a door key. Instead of needing a physical door key or swipe card, visitors just download their virtual key onto their phone and hold it up to a digital pad on their door to get into their room. This improves both security and efficiency.

Examples of NFC use cases in the tourism industry

3 innovations and technology trends in the travel and tourism industry

NFC technology 

As highlighted, NFC technology is the leading form of technological innovation in the tourism sector. It can be used to provide visitors with key information and to personalize their customer journey. Traditionally, if a guest needed to know about local attractions or good places to eat nearby, they would have to wait to talk to the hotel concierge. However, many hotels now use NFC technology to their advantage to make it easier for visitors to get the information they need instantly. 

If you’re interested in learning more about the possibilities that are available to you, MySmartJourney helps businesses implement NFC technology in innovative ways to create fun and unique experiences. With our platform, companies can broadcast text, visual, video and 3D content. They can create self-guided tours for museums, art galleries, historical sites, parks, resorts and much more. 

Tour builder for hotel establishments and traveler services

Artificial Intelligence 

Artificial intelligence (AI) is another form of technology that is leveraged by the travel and tourism industry. AI is the main way in which tourism businesses accurately and efficiently create personalized experiences for their guests. 

AI can take in and process huge data loads. Once this data is collected and recorded, AI systems can run reports that easily show you what is going well and what people like and what people aren’t enjoying or gravitating towards. With these insights, you can alter and customize your visitors' experiences.

It can also be used before customers are even physically with you as you can set up AI operated live chats which will ensure the customers’ questions are answered without having to spend money and labor. 

Virtual Reality 

Virtual reality may not sound like it belongs in the tourism industry, but it is actually the perfect place for it. Establishments such as hotels, cruises, vacation tours and more often use virtual reality or augmented reality in order to elevate the booking experience. 

Including a virtual reality or augmented reality options when viewing rooms, destinations or tours gives guests a preview of the experience they are about to book. During the Covid-19 pandemic, some companies even used virtual reality to give travelers a taste of abroad. Many places offered guided tours around beautiful islands and locations during the pandemic for people to enjoy at home. Although this was a solution to a very specific problem, VR will continue to be used to give those who don’t have the capabilities to fly and explore new places the chance to still experience them from home. 

Creating physical digital experiences

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Multicultural milenials using smartphone against wall at university college backyard
2022-09-28 | 20:58

What Exactly Is Territorial Marketing?

Territorial Marketing Definition

Territorial marketing is a strategy that aims to improve local development actions in cities or regions by adding value to the area in which they are located. This added value can come from different things such as geography, climate, history, culture, etc.

A given market is therefore seen as a competitive product that needs differentiation. In this situation, the supply is the territory whereas the demand includes citizens, residents, local businesses, foreign direct investment, tourists, etc.

It essentially develops strategic plans to promote certain parts of interest, while improving overall well-being. These actions take place within a sustainable environment, which involves considering social issues and environmental concerns. A territorial marketing strategy must be dynamic and constantly evolve because the products it deals with, the territories, have a temporal dimension that requires constant adjustment.

What Is MySmartJourney?

Why Is Territorial Marketing Important?

A successful territorial marketing plan can attract tourists, increase capital and economic income in a region as well as revitalize a territory by retaining companies in places that would otherwise have little to offer. 

What Is Territorial Marketing Used For?

Territorial marketing is an interdisciplinary methodology that allows a region to position itself on a national and international scale, projecting a strong and appealing image to the world. 

Territorialization has several advantages, including tourism development, regional development, economic development and the generation and preservation of wealth for local communities. Urban marketing aims to improve the material and immaterial aspects of an environment so that its ability to attract and retain people’s attention doesn't decline while always striving toward sustainable development.

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What Factors Influence Territorial Marketing?

It is not possible for any company or organization to develop a successful territorial marketing plan without considering the factors that affect a specific territory. These include the cultural elements that characterize a given country (its languages, ways of relating to one another, its values, and customs) and the economic conditions that shape the market.

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How To Develop A Territorial Marketing Approach

A territorial marketing strategy is a strategic tool used to strengthen the position of a brand within a specific territory. Territorial strategies are based on three main axes:

  1. Analysis of the social and economic environment of the area you want to promote

  1. Identification of the target audience

  1. Definition of the goals to be reached

In order to define a territorial strategy, it is important to know what the market is like, and what the competitive landscape looks like. This requires a thorough knowledge of the local economy and society. You must analyze the socio-economic context of the region and determine whether there are particular factors that could affect the success of your project. Once you’ve identified the key points to consider, you can start analyzing the different aspects of the territory.

Once you’ve defined the objectives of your campaign, you can choose the best channel to reach your audience. A territorial plan is always associated with a certain tone of voice, and each one needs to be adapted to the type of communication desired. Finally, you can decide which products or services to offer. A good territorial strategy is the basis for any effective promotion campaign.

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Successful Examples Of Territorial Marketing Strategies

The ONLYLYON Project 

The ONLYLYON project aimed to promote the city of Lyon, a major tourist destination in France. This project consisted of developing a set of measures focused on enhancing the image of the city and promoting it as a creative hub. 

To achieve this, the city was divided into twelve different areas, each one representing a specific sector of activity. These sectors included culture, design, gastronomy, architecture, etc. Each area had a coordinator responsible for managing the activities carried out there. The objective of the project was to transform the city into a place where creativity thrives. In addition, the project intended to highlight the diversity of the city and encourage visitors to discover its many facets.

In particular, the project sought to increase awareness of the city’s assets and showcase its unique features. A key element of the project was the development of a digital toolkit designed to help people understand the city better and find information about what they want to know. 

The ONLYLYON initiative received support from numerous partners including the City Hall, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Regional Council, the Office National de Tourisme de la Région Rhône-Alpes, the Tourist Office, etc. This project is a good example of territorial branding, which is one of the many tools of territorial marketing. 

Inspired By Iceland 

The Government of Iceland, the Municipality of Reykjavik, the airline Iceland Express, and 80 other local authorities are taking part in a territorial marketing campaign called “Inspired by Iceland.” This project aims to promote Iceland as a tourist destination and encourage visitors to make it one of their favorite destinations. This project is centered around territorial promotion, which is a territorial strategy tool. 

Due to the eruption of the volcanic ash cloud that covered much of Europe, bookings by tourists to Iceland have declined by about 20% compared to previous years. As a consequence, the parties involved have taken the opportunity to use the attention given to the country to convey positive messages, promote its potential and reassure tourists, especially those worried by the misinformation spread by international media.

In addition, the tourism industry is working hard to ensure that the image of the country does not suffer negative repercussions due to recent events. To do this, the government has launched the “Iceland hour,” an hour during which the entire nation is invited to share their experiences, culture, and history with friends and relatives around the world.

A video showcasing the beauty of Iceland and showing how much fun it is to travel there has been produced and is being distributed via social networks and YouTube. In addition, the tourism sector is launching a video contest inviting people to submit videos highlighting the best aspects of Iceland. 

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La ville du Mans

The city of Le Mans collaborated with Mysmartjourney in order to tell stories and anecdotes of some of its emblematic places like the Parc de Tessé and the Jardin des Plantes. Together, they created posters with QR codes that can be found all over the city so that visitors can discover this Plantagenet city which has almost 2000 years of history to tell.

Visitors simply need their mobile phone to participate in this immersive experience. All they have to do is scan the QR code or approach their device to trigger the NFC tag. If these two methods don’t work, there is a third solution. Each poster has a short URL that redirects visitors to the desired web page.

Several "Did you know?" signs offer interactive winks and allow the discovery of 11 different sites. The metropolis team set up an open-air museum as a first step. Since then, the system has also been used to provide value-added information during the legendary race. More points are planned to be deployed in 2023.

Create Digital Routes For Your Destination 

Territorial marketing is an integrated approach to providing quality services for local people, government officials, visitors, and foreign companies. It aims at achieving both service improvements and community development through its operations. After being subjected to an aggressive territorial marketing campaign, a certain territory will be able to develop in a responsible and sustainable manner over time. 

These actions will take place in the long run because they involve various aspects (social, economic, etc.) which require time to change and coordinate, and to establish a harmonious development system, where all elements profit. If you're looking for help to can create an app targeted at territorial marketing, we'd be happy to help you. 

MySmartJourney collaborates with touristic destinations, tourist routes and traveler services to help them leverage the potential of phygital marketing. Our digital tool can be deployed quickly in public spaces as an interactive signage, a docking station, a guided tour, and much more. With MySmartJourney, you can create personalized content and contactless experiences thanks to QR codes, NFC technology and short URLs. 

Here are key functionalities of the platform: 

 

  • Text, image, audio and video integration with YouTube, Vimeo and SoundCloud. 
  • Possibility to create quizzes and games with playful aspects thanks to action buttons. Redirection buttons are also available and can direct users to links from various websites.
  • Combination of complex scenarios and puzzles to energize the content and playfulness of the place.
  • Play mp3 and mp4 files and automatically optimize multimedia.
  • Integration of 3D and 360° contents with Sketchfab and YouTube 360.
  • Availability of forms through Google Forms, which allows you to collect data easily.
  • Add personalized souvenir photos with stickers and branded images through a Photobooth.
  • Possibility to order directly on the platform while respecting sanitary measures.
  • Scheduling of content according to fixed schedules. The scheduler updates the information for the user instantly and in real time.
  • Integrated statistics with Google Analytics in an anonymous way for the creation of automatic reports that detail user behavior.

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Tourist woman taking photo using mobile phone on old narrow street in Croatia
2022-09-28 | 20:56

Benefits of self guided tours

The world slowly reopens and we’re able to stretch our legs once again. After a long stay home, every day more and more people yearn to go outdoors in search of an authentic experience. 

Even though traditional touristic tours, where you go somewhere new and have a guide walk you through all the important places, are still popular, self-guided tours are a more relaxed and personalized alternative.

What is a self-guided tour?

A self-guided tour is a self-governing tour where you can enjoy exploring walking routes or urban areas without the need for a tour guide. Self-guided trips can be both a personal and group experience. 

Many companies or touristic sites now provide maps, directions, suggestions, information and items to see to make self-guided tours an interactive and unique experience. 

Create digital routes for tourist and cultural sites

What’s the difference between a guided and a self-guided tour? 

During a guided tour, your whole experience is curated by your tour guide, who has already planned where to go and what to do. In contrast, self-guided tours allow people to choose their own activities and the pace of the tour.

This means you can stray off the path and, for example, follow the trail alongside a river all the way to its source. It is up to your wanderlust (and your stamina) how far you choose to go. If your need to travel goes beyond hotels and fancy meals, self-guided trips may just be the thing for you.

Types of self-guided tours

There’s a myriad of destinations available to the daring adventurer who prefers self-guided authentic experiences. These vary in complexity from idyllic walking routes with the sunshine on your face to braving the winter wilderness by force of wit and preparation.

A novice traveler, or one who’s abroad, should stay away from more demanding trails until they’ve acquired some experience. There’s nothing wrong with tackling the small challenges first and then coming back to the harder ones with a couple of completed routes under your belt.

Here’s a list of ideas for people willing to choose a self-guided tour for their next getaway. We’ll start with the basic, leisurely activities one can do with friends and family, and then go a little over what the most intrepid independent travel aficionados are doing.

Walking routes

Walking routes might be closer to you than you think! In fact, a self-guided tour guide can make a walking route out of any interesting area of their own city. Those amateurs who would rather have an adventure day away from the bright city lights would do good to research trails in and around their area. One would be surprised to discover how many wonders nature hides just a couple of kilometers away from our homes.

It’s not an exaggeration to say that walking routes are perfect for everyone. A small group of people can spend the afternoon walking next to the river. Older folks can take their time and enjoy the chirping of birds. A multifamily gathering can happen on the trail itself, giving the adults the perfect place to hang out and the kids room to play and run around.

Tour builder for walking trails 

Rail trails

Decommissioned railways still connect towns and cities through hills, rivers, and valleys. Once the rolling trains are but a memory, nature will slowly begin retaking the tracks, creating beautiful walkways across the countryside.

Natural walkways are created by nature taking over old train tracks. Many of these are flat and spacious, which makes rail trails ideal for joggers, cyclists, and even horse riders. Since many abandoned train tracks lead to historical sites, many culturally-inclined explorers looking for a self-guided walking tour will find them interesting.

Urban trails

One doesn’t have to travel far away from home to have a memorable self-guided trip. Urban trails cut through the streets and parks of cities big and small all around the world. Have you been to all the major landmarks in your area? Taking a self-guided walking tour of one’s own hometown is a great way to exercise and learn more about the place you live in. 

On the other hand, an interesting experiment you may want to try at least once in your life is to travel abroad to a concrete jungle far away and discover part of it on foot. You will be amazed at how different it will be from going around in a cab, tour bus, or other kinds of guided travel. Plus, many museums, galleries and historical sites create self-guided tours for you so that you can access interactive information from your mobile device. 

Tour builder for associations, circuits and tourist routes

Bicycle trails

Who says you have to walk to have an authentic experience? The great outdoors is ready for the taking at your favorite speed, and if that speed is dashing through on a bike with the wind on your face, then so be it.

Many experienced cyclists go off-road, through the mountains, or across the countryside. Those looking for a more casual, relaxed escapade can look forward to the many trails scattered all around. Maybe the next town is not that far, and there’s a neat bike path along the highway. What better way to spend a summer afternoon than to ride around in the wind, feeling the warmth of the evening sun?

Tour builder for municipal parks 

Water trails

Rivers, lakes, and canals are often navigated for recreational purposes. Also known as blueways, these water trails dot the landscape and are popular with eco-tourists. Much of the Trans Canada Trail, the longest recreational trail network in the world, is composed of water trails.

It is not advised for amateur self-guided trip enthusiasts to try and solo a water trail. Even if you’re in a group, it is better to already be experienced with the canoe or your vessel of choice to avoid any possible accidents or complications. Once you’re sitting on a boat drifting through the middle of the river there’s no easy way out. Remember that during a self-guided tour you act as your own tour guide, and therefore must keep an eye on your safety.

Benefits of self-guided tours

Go where you wish

There’s no need to sit through unwanted stops during a self-guided tour. Choose only the destinations you wish to see and make the most of your time. There ain’t no mountain high enough or valley low enough, it is up to you which challenges you wish to overcome.

If the trail you’re walking through has NFC technology integrated along the way then there will be nothing to worry about in terms of getting lost. Near Field Communications provides travelers with all the information they need to ensure an authentic experience. All kinds of interactive content can be made available to anyone who scans a QR code with their mobile phone.

Take all the time you want

Imagine climbing a mountain to discover the perfect view of the valley below as rays of sunshine break through the clouds, only to have to turn away 5 minutes later because the tour group is going away.

Self-guided tours let individuals choose the pace at which they wander around. Nobody knows at what speed you enjoy doing things better than yourself, so be your own guide and don’t let anyone stop you from smelling the flowers.

It’s safe for your health

With the coronavirus pandemic still affecting our daily lives, it is better to search for activities to do alone or in small groups. Self-guided tours are a perfect way to go out and enjoy oneself while still practicing social distancing.

Aside from pandemic-related health concerns, it is impossible to deny the positive health effects one can enjoy by partaking in walking routes. Not only does walking through a trail count as very good exercise, but it will also boost your immune system and improve your mood.

Easier on the pockets

Forget about paying for a tour guide. Choose a self-guided trip and plan accordingly to have everything figured out before you set foot out of the house. By being your own tour guide, you can try and sidestep tourist traps. Favor mingling with the locals and find out where to experience authentic food.  

Phygital experience

Municipal parks, cultural sites, and walking trails can enhance the self-guided experience by implementing NFC technology along the route. With this revolutionary technology, anyone can easily navigate a sea of information about a trail or route.

NFC is capable of transmitting all kinds of content directly to a user’s phone via short-range wireless technology. For self-guided tours, this means having all the information on the wildlife, geography, and history of the trail. One will be able to lose themselves in the beauty of the journey, while all logistics on the route are available on-demand and information regarding their safety is always within reach.

Sense of accomplishment

While a guided tour will remind you of watching an exhibition, a self-guided tour will feel like jumping into the paintings to explore them and create your own fun memories. Each trail you conquer will add to the feeling of achievement. There’s nothing like setting out to complete your goals and seeing your plans to fruition. Self-guided tours provide you with the opportunity to go from staring at a map to climbing the top of the mountain through the force of your willpower alone.

Want to customize a self-guided tour for your business?

Companies in different industries leverage MySmartJourney’s NFC integrated technology to create a personalized, authentic experience for travelers of all ages and walks of life. Our 100% web-based platform allows you to create fun and informative content from all your devices, without having to learn to code.

Quick and easy to implement, MySmartJourney is the perfect tool to give people exactly the information they need. This state-of-the-art technology is used by all kinds of businesses and institutions, from museums to art galleries and even walking trails, to provide customers with informative and entertaining content. 

Personalize your customer experience

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Luxurious Hotel Room
2022-09-28 | 20:54

9 ways to modernize your hotel

What is hotel modernization? 

Hotel modernization means adapting the hotel experience to be comfortable and functional for the needs of tomorrow. Restyling the way things are run to cater to the changing demographics is key to be on the vanguard of the hotel business.

Nowadays no business or industry is safe from becoming a memory, trampled by the wheels of new technological advances just around the corner. Video rental stores and malls were huge some years back and now they have been replaced by streaming and e-commerce platforms. Airbnb has been giving the hotel industry a run for its money for quite some time now. Rather than wait and see what happens, it is better to take some steps towards modernization and win this technological arms race!

How do you modernize a hotel?

Eco-friendly innovative ideas for hotels 

With the Sustainable Hospitality Alliance estimating that the hotel industry will have to reduce its carbon emissions by 66% per room by 2030 (source) and more people switching to eco-friendly lifestyles, it’s only normal for hotels to consider going green.

A great way to improve the look of your hotel and save on resources is to compost food waste and use it to grow green spaces in and around your hotel. Science has proven that plants create more relaxing indoor environments and they add life to otherwise gray areas.

Unused outdoor spaces can also be repurposed into small orchards to charm customers with an interesting view and some natural treats. If dealing with fruit or vegetable-bearing plants sounds too daunting, you can also consider planting flowers.

Color-code a memorable experience

From the robe to the slippers and the sheets to the towels. Even if white is always the go-to solution for a clean and inviting mood, interior design will work wonders. Do you have a color palette? Are your decorations leaning towards a formal or a more casual style? Details like this may be easy to miss, but they will make a difference in the back of your guests’ minds. A harmonious room will lead to a cozier hotel stay.

Is there art in the room? If you’re at a tourist destination, you may want to portray your area’s cultural and natural landmarks in your decorations to entice hotel guests who come looking for a memorable experience. Adding QR codes in hotel rooms and in the different spaces of your hotel will also allow you to offer customers a wealth of information.

Integrate NFC technology

Enrich the guest experience, go paperless, and create a modern luxury hotel feel with NFC technology. Near Field Communications uses short-range wireless technology to allow pieces of equipment called “tags” to send and receive information. This may sound complicated, but if you’ve ever used a contactless payment app on your phone, you already understand how it works!

NFC allows hotel guests to receive information on demand, without delays or the need for a printed document. As soon as someone scans a code, they receive the information they need. You can also personalize fun and unique experiences as well as self-guided tours.

Tour builder for hotel establishments and traveler services

Provide good Wi-Fi

This one is pretty straightforward. Hotel guests want their room to be their home away from home, and in the modern age, accessible and reliable Wi-Fi is part of feeling at home. 

Wi-Fi is a really powerful tool which allows hotel guests to check in and out, get their plane tickets and look at the weather forecast. 

It allows hotel staff to stay connected and help each other. It keeps the kids entertained while mom and dad unpack and plan the activities for the day. You’re most probably using it right now to read these words. A good Wi-Fi connection keeps people closer to their loved ones and their personal projects. You want customers to take pictures in your hotel and share their Instagram stories, so that all their friends can see your hotel in all its splendor. Don’t underestimate the power of word-of-mouth!

Empower hotel staff to improve the guest experience

Imagine arriving at your hotel, opening your bag, and noticing your phone charger is four time zones away. Wouldn’t you be relieved to learn that a clever hotel manager thought to keep phone chargers at the front desk?

Small, useful gadgets such as phone chargers and adapters will allow hotel staff to immediately solve issues that may be hindering the guest experience. Many first-timers to your area may not know power outlets are different from those back home. Taking it one step further, some may not have prepared for a rainy or hot day. Items like the following will be useful to have around for guests to use or borrow:

  • Phone chargers
  • Power outlet adapters
  • Umbrellas
  • Parasols
  • Hand fans
  • Sun lotion
  • Band-Aids
  • Colored pencils/crayons
  • Diapers
  • Earplugs

Stop and smell the roses (and the breakfast buffet!)

Never underestimate the effect good smell can have on customer experience. Let hotel guests wake up and go to the common areas to discover the sweet fragrance of a feast ready for the taking. Add organic and locally grown foods as a value proposition to modern sensibilities. 

Consider that many young people take more pictures of their food during their holidays than they do of statues and landscapes. They say the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, and a nice breakfast buffet will let you conquer those hearts every morning.

Adding scented candles to your hotel will help create an inviting, relaxed mood. Just imagine someone coming in through the front door one rainy day and suddenly experiencing the sweet aroma as they approach the front desk. If you have already considered investing in flowers, they will lend their aroma alongside their beauty.

Comfortable and functional coworking spaces 

Business travelers and digital nomads will appreciate this very much. A somewhat barren area of your hotel can be upgraded to provide a comfortable guest experience for those interested in working during their hotel stay. A coworking hub may become a center to make connections not only between hotel guests but also between them and the locals they’ve come to work with. This is important because locals who bring business travelers to town are inadvertently improving your business.

Supplying some office equipment is a good way to add a functional flair to any business traveler’s temporary office. Don’t forget the usefulness of NFC technology for letting people know how to use any piece of equipment and any office ground rules.

Loyalty programs for business travelers and other frequent guests

Maybe Bob from two towns over has some business in town every month. Why not offer him a discount or perk to make him feel more welcome? Maybe a hotel room upgrade in case he wants to bring the wife and kids for the weekend. 

There are many reasons why people need to travel somewhere periodically. While business travelers have meetings to attend, other hotel guests could be there because it’s the annual gathering of their fandom, or perhaps a music festival is happening close by. Keeping these customers in mind and creating incentives to choose your hotel over any other is a great way to grow your customer base.

Take the hotel experience beyond the hotel stay

The hotel industry goes hand in hand with all kinds of industries like restaurants, cultural venues, and many others. Partnering with places in your area is a great way to give customers the most memorable experience.

Hotel guests need to go to and from the airport, that’s a given. Wouldn’t their experience be substantially improved if their hotel could help them with transportation? You can make travelers feel like real V.I.P.s if you help them deal with the trials and tribulations of moving around your area. It may be a good idea to partner up with a local mobility service provider.

Once the whole hassle of transportation has been dealt with, maybe your guests want to book restaurant reservations or find out where to experience local art and culture. If you make this easier for them, you might just win their heart! You can use NFC technology to give hotel guests a list of places to explore around town. Why keep flyers around the front desk if you can send that information directly to their phones in just a few clicks?

Ready to digitize your hotel? 

Change the way your customers think about the hotel stay by adding technological advances such as NFC. MySmartJourney provides you with the tools to create a streamlined, personalized hotel experience. Build tours of your premises and create new fun and unique experiences. 

MySmartJourney’s platform is used by museums, art galleries, historical sites, hotel establishments and other businesses in order to deliver to their customers all the information they may need or want. By adding this technology to your business, you will guarantee hotel guests access to a modern, memorable experience.

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Diversity and Inclusion in Museum
2022-09-28 | 20:57

Best 6 Museum Tours in Canada

The Covid-19 pandemic has affected pretty much every single industry throughout the world. As governments were forced to implement social distancing policies in order to keep the population safe, a number of businesses had to adapt

Whilst some businesses were able to remain open as people worked from home, museums had to shut their doors to the public. However, some still managed to make the best out of this situation. Indeed, some of the most famous museums in Canada leveraged technology to bring the museum experience into people's homes. In this article, we share some of the best virtual and non-virtual museum tours Canada has to offer. 

What are the best museum tours in Canada? 

Now that we can actually visit museums in person again, we thought it would be helpful to share a list of the best museum tours in Canada for you to plan your trips and excursions. Here are some of the best museums to visit in Canada:

1. Canadian Museum of Immigration

The Canadian Museum of Immigration is one of the most eye opening and inspiring museums in Canada. Located at the national historic site of Pier 21 in Halifax, Nova Scotia, even the site of the architecturally impressive museum building holds significance. It is located in the very spot where close to 1 million immigrants landed between 1928 and 1971 in order to call Canada their new home. 

Inside the museum, you will find heartwarming stories about immigrants, many of whom took dangerous journeys from their home countries to start a new life in Canada. The museum shares a powerful message and recognizes the importance of immigrants in shaping the ongoing development of Canada. Inside, visitors are given access to a collection of stories, pictures and artifacts that all work together to accurately convey the immigrant experience. 

2. Canadian Museum for Human Rights

The Canadian Museum of Human Rights is a one of a kind museum located in Winnipeg, Manitoba. It is an impressive institution that seeks to educate its visitors through engagement and reflection. It is located on ancestral land and everything from the design of the building and the water system is sustainably and ethically sourced, as the museum practices what it preaches. 

The main purpose of the museum is to teach visitors about human rights, including human rights violations and how and what we can learn from them. Although there is a focus on human rights in Canada, it is an interconnected museum that also makes references to the wider world and its relation to Canada. It exhibits stories of resilience, resistance and revolutions all in relation to human rights. The visit encourages self-reflection and education surrounding human rights.  

3. Canadian War Museum 

The Canadian War Museum is one of the many museums to explore that teach visitors about Canada’s military history. Located in Ottawa, Ontario, the museum is popular as it welcomes around 500,000 visitors per year. It is a well-respected museum across the world due to the accuracy in which it conveys information regarding armed conflicts. It is home to an impressive collection of vehicles, artillery, uniforms, medals and more. 

Despite the fact that the museum is home to over 3 million artifacts, it still manages to provide visitors with intimate and personal connections to the history and stories of people who have fought for Canada. They do this by including personal memoirs in their exhibits which provide visitors with an emotional connection to the past stories of wars. 

4. Art Gallery of Ontario 

The Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) is a vibrant and exciting museum. It is an impressive institution as it is one of the largest art museums in North America. It features works of art by famous artists from across the world, including collections from Andy Warhol, David Milne and Shuvinai Ashoona, just to name a few. 

During your visit at the museum, you can find different types of art, from different geographical regions, such as a large collection of Canadian art, European art and Indigenous art in multiple mediums, such as photography, library archives as well as prints and drawings. The collection spans from 100 A.D  to the present day, giving you a comprehensive overview of the history of art. There are always multiple exhibitions to visit which are sure to capture your attention and imagination. 

5. Museum of Anthropology 

The Museum of Anthropology is located in the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. The museum was initially established in order to bring awareness to other cultures and educate visitors around the practices and customs of cultures around the world. However, since its inception, there has been an emphasis on indigenous culture

Its heavily indigenous influenced exhibits include things such as impressive carvings and a spiritual totem pole. The museum seeks to emphasize and advocate for indigenous rights and ensure they can maintain and develop their land, traditions and cultural heritage. 

6. Royal Ontario Museum 

The Royal Ontario Museum is one of the top ten cultural institutions in North America and is the largest museum in Canada. The exhibits and collections are vast and varied. In one corner you will find a collection of prehistoric artifacts and fossils, in the next an exhibit of  Egyptian gems, and in the next an impressive array of contemporary art. There really is something for everyone. 

Even the architecture is something to admire as the huge limestone building sits beneath an impressive shard-like formation of glass and crystal. There are also beautiful outdoor areas with ample seating and even a rooftop terrace, making the entire experience one to remember. 

8 trends that are transforming museums 

Virtual tours of Canadian museums 

Although the above museums are impressive and worth a visit, during the Covid-19 pandemic, visiting museums was not an option and some people still prefer to avoid enclosed spaces. To cater to the public’s needs, museums designed virtual museum tours so that customers could enjoy a visit from the comfort and safety of their homes. Here is a list of some of the best virtual tours offered by Canadian Museums

Royal Ontario Museum 

Although a visit to the Royal Ontario Museum is a must, you can also enjoy a virtual tour for now. The museum has a strong digital footprint and has worked hard to get 47,000 exhibition objects and artifacts digitally curated in order for guests to enjoy from home. 

One of their most impressive current online virtual exhibitions is called The Blue Whale Project. The online exhibition lets you browse some impressive images of blue whales and provides valuable information to help you learn about the current condition of the blue whale. It is also accompanied by videos from professionals in the field. The result is a highly informative, interesting, and impressive exhibition that can be accessed from your phone, laptop or tablet

Online exhibitions 

Canadian Museum for Human Rights

The Canadian Museum for Human Rights also allows you to explore their museum from home. Their virtual tours are led by guides who will guide your visit through the galleries and architecture of the museum in Manitoba. 

Architecture is one of the biggest draws to the museum so it’s an integral part of virtual tours. One of the virtual tour options is a ten-minute video that takes you around the museum and shows you the breathtaking views from the top floors of the museum, one of the visitors’ favorite places. 

Pacific Museum of Earth

The Pacific Museum of Earth’s virtual tours are impressive. This museum is a step ahead of other museums as it provides 3D virtual tours. You can click around the museum and choose to zoom in on the pieces that intrigue you the most and catch your attention. 

The museum also allows you to choose some collection pieces and provides you with a link so that you can access videos and descriptions to further enhance the learning experience in an interactive way

Create your own interactive museum experience

Want to make your museum experience more interactive? 

Interactive elements in museums are a great way to get adults and children directly involved in the exhibits and encourage engagement. To digitize the visitor experience, many museums leverage NFC technology. 

NFC technology stands for near-field communication technology, which makes it possible for two devices to essentially talk to each other in close range and exchange data. You might not have heard of this term but you’ve definitely experienced it in your day-to-day life through contactless payments, such as Apple or Google pay. 

What you probably don’t know is that it can also be used in different and creative ways. MySmartJourney leverages this technology to help businesses customize digital routes for tourist and cultural sites. Our platform allows clients to create informative, useful and entertaining multimedia digital journeys to impress their customers, visitors and users.

The options are endless when it comes to NFC technology, and the more creative you get the more exciting it will be for your target audience when visiting your museum. If you have an idea of how to integrate NFC and want to bring your museum into the 21st century digital age, feel free to contact us to personalize your customer journey. 

Deploy contactless and interactive journeys in any public space

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People waiting in line
2022-09-28 | 21:09

What are the best waiting room ideas?

How many times in your life have you been sitting in a waiting room or waiting in line and got bored thinking about the time you were wasting? We all know how boring waiting in a hotel lobby or waiting for a guided tour or multimedia experience can be

Designing a fun waiting room or waiting line that offers interactive or stimulating activities is key to making sure that the time your customers have to wait is an entertaining experience. There are different options that you can consider to make this experience more interactive and stimulating. 

4 tips to make your waiting room area more engaging 

1. Get the basics right

Make sure you have all the basics in your waiting room or in your premises! Good lighting, comfortable and ergonomic seats and music are some of the essentials that you cannot miss. Wi-Fi is very important for people who want to optimize their waiting time while working or browsing the Internet. Magazines and newspapers may sound a bit old-fashioned, but they are always welcome.

2. Mural walls

Mural walls have different benefits. The color and design give your waiting room or space a special touch that leaves no one indifferent. Murals come in different sizes, and themes so you can collaborate with an artist to design a personalized one. Pick a theme that suits the average age of the people who pass through your doors. 

If they are children, you can look for a theme related to animals, nature, space, etc. These murals will keep the little ones entertained, something their parents will thank you for. Unique mural walls encourage curiosity and stimulate memory and creativity which can be boosted by creating some simple activity sheets to look for hidden items within the wall illustration.

3. Table games and books

Books and board games are a simple option, but they help to make the waiting time more enjoyable. This is a good option for all ages which won’t eat too much out of your budget. Make sure to include individual games like card games and puzzles for different ages.

4. NFC technology and QR codes to entertain

An excellent alternative to surprise your customers is to include NFC technology or QR codes in your waiting room or space. This technology allows you to share different types of content with your customers. All they have to do is scan the QR code with their mobile phones to have access to personalized content or activities. This is a perfect way for them to spend their time waiting.  

You can create games related to your business, share information about your products or services in audio and video and broadcast movies or funny videos. These are just ideas but the opportunities are unlimited. Your clients will be able to access the content using their mobile phone without registering or downloading a specific app. 

The only thing that they have to do is bring their mobile phone close to an NFC device that you can install in your waiting room area or use QR codes to access the content. This technology is 100% flexible since it allows you to change the content as many times as you need, depending on what you want to communicate. 

During specific times of the year (at Christmas, for example), you can create relevant content. If you want to learn more about our technology and how it can help your business, feel free to contact us. An expert from our team will assess your needs and offer you a customized NFC technology or QR code solution so that you can make the most of your waiting room area.

Features of our solution 

Overview

There are several options to make your waiting room fun. You just have to make sure to take into account who are the people who pass by your waiting room and why they are there.  Among the different alternatives, there are some cheaper ones such as having board games or coloring books, but you have to bear in mind that you will have to renew them regularly.

If you decide on thematic decoration, you will need a larger budget, but the experience will also be unforgettable, especially for children. Finally, if what you are looking for is to surprise the people who pass through your waiting room, and generate specific content for different profiles that entertains them during the waiting time, you should think about incorporating NFC or QR technology. With this technology you will turn waiting time into a fun experience that your customers will remember! 

Create contactless and interactive journeys 

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Young Woman Wearing VR in Museum of Modern Art
2022-09-28 | 20:52

8 ways to bring fun to your museum

As museums and art galleries have begun to re-open their doors to the public, the question arises: How to provide audiences with engaging experiences while maintaining both the safety protocols and the needs of visitors in mind?

It is better for society if museums keep showing us the past instead of becoming part of it, and as the way people communicate and interact with each other changes, new avenues to enhance the cultural enrichment of museum visitors are paved.

What is important for a museum?

The most important thing for a museum is to have its own identity. Visitors must be captivated by a unique museum visit that takes them away from their daily routines to a world of wonder and whimsy.

All museum exhibits are different. If art galleries were people, they wouldn’t dress or act the same way natural history exhibits would. In the same vein, museums should show their personality across their premises and in the way they communicate with their customers.

By having a better idea of who is visiting the exhibits and why they do it, museum curators can have a clearer picture of how best to express the uniqueness of their exhibits. If you are at a tourist destination, you might want to try to inspire a feeling of wanderlust to cater to the expectations of travelers. Museums that are more often frequented by families or schools can consider having customizable information that captures the attention of children.

Learn more about customizable museum visits

How do you make museums more fun? 

1. Add interactivity with NFC-integrated technology

Sometimes play can be the best way to learn. From quizzes to educational software, there are many ways to let customers have a hands-on approach to their museum experience. 

It is common, even expected, for museums to have items that should under no circumstances be touched by visitors. After all, museums hold invaluable relics and works of art that are meant to be preserved for further generations to behold. However, many learners develop a better understanding and stronger memories by physically interacting with the items they’re learning about.

Everyone wants to know how big they are compared to a dinosaur or see how the helmet on the display would fit on their heads. People enjoy acquiring a little empirical knowledge, especially during a museum visit, and offering instances where they can interact with replicas or full-scale models will be much more engaging to your audience than merely looking and reading.

With the help of MySmartJourney, interaction doesn’t even have to be physical. Even if the world is slowly recovering from the covid-19 pandemic, there are still several regulations taking place and physical contact is still to be avoided when possible. Through the use of NFC integrated technology visitors can access the content of your choice through their phones, thereby reducing the chance of exposure to covid-19.

Near Field Communications (NFC) lets devices communicate over short distances via NFC tags already included in devices such as phones or debit cards. If you’ve ever used contactless payment methods when making a purchase, you’re already familiar with the technology. However, NFC integration can be used in much more interesting ways than handling payments.

MySmartJourney’s customization tools not only let your users interact with your information through an interface with a playful design but will also allow you to create quizzes and other games to challenge and engage with them. You can even gamify your locations, giving a playful touch to a museum visit without the need for any physical installations to be built.

Add NFC integration to your museum

2. Make works of art speak

Museum exhibits will be more immersive experiences if visitors can access audio content relevant to what they’re looking at. Audio tours are the preferred choice of many museum patrons, and through the benefits of customizable audio integration, content can go beyond expectations.

Former audio tour solutions involve the use of messy headphone hardware and extra steps that may end up confusing the user. Thanks to NFC Integration, taking an audio tour is a thing of the past, as not only audio but also text, video, 3D content, and content embedded from the internet can be easily broadcasted via the use of NFC tags. With the help of MySmartJourney’s platform, you can add audio and video content to your exhibits..

3. Reserve spaces for your community

There may be areas in your museum that could be used for something aside from showcasing the regular exhibits. You can set some spaces aside to be used to interact with your community in fun and engaging ways, upgrading your museum to a place people wish to visit regularly. 

Perhaps there is a burgeoning local artist scene in your area. Many up-and-coming artists would appreciate a chance to show their work at an established institution and through coordination with local artists, you can put your museum in the mouths of everybody. Displaying works of art created by local artists is a great way of benefiting both your museum and your community.

Any kind of museum or art gallery with a focus on a family experience can benefit by providing areas where children can express themselves creatively while parents sit down at the café. You will put a smile on the face of many if you have a wall intended to display their creations!

4. Planning and hosting special events

You can further attract both people from your area and travelers by hosting special events from time to time. Be it the changing of the seasons or a national holiday, there is always a reason to give people a chance to have some fun at your museum.

Renaissance fairs and similar events are popular with many people, and even though you may not have the space to hold a whole fair, you can repurpose an area of your premises to offer a tiny bit of the fair experience. Musical performances and other culturally relevant activities can catch the eye of those who have yet to decide what places to visit during their travels.

If you’re at a destination of historical significance, you may like to have some performers recreate an event from the past on its calendar date. Several tourists flock to these areas when local festivities are being held and would eagerly watch the show. If your area is lacking in cultural spaces, you can go ahead and turn your museum into your town’s cultural landmark by giving local artists a place to showcase their talents.

5. Join the online conversation

Everyone in this day and age, from celebrities to fast-food chains, has a presence on the Internet. Museum curators shouldn’t ignore social media as a fundamental part of their visitor’s experience. 

Advertising on social media can help you reach those who would otherwise be unaware of what museum exhibits have to offer. By using the Internet you can also connect better with millennial and gen Z audiences, who tend to disregard traditional media when looking for cultural experiences.

Through the use of social media, you can promote conversation on topics related to your museum or upcoming events. Fun content or important information you wish to share can be easily reached by your followers. You can even plan giveaways or contests to further spread your museum’s influence.

If you’re already planning on hosting events at your museum, there is no best way to let your community and passers-by know all about them than to have information readily available online. Users not only have easy access to the date, time, and place of the event, but they can also easily share this info with their family and peers with the touch of a button.

6. Give younger audiences a connection to the past

Many millennials and gen Z may not find relevance in museums since they may not consider the past applicable to modernity. To better cater to these customers’ sensibilities, it is advisable to give them a connection between the displays and their modern lives.

Museum exhibits can help transfer the human experience from eras long gone by contrasting how the present has been shaped by the past and how modern trends are mirrored by past events. By using NFC technology to add customizable information to displays, you can give millennial visitors a glimpse of how their lives correlate to those of their predecessors.

For example, several western artists have been influenced by Asian culture. By showing a comparison of the influence Hokusai and other Japanese painters had on western artists like Vincent Van Gogh to how the modern Japanese animation boom is changing current trends in the west, art galleries can give younger visitors a bridge to connect with art history.

Customize your museum exhibits 

7. Don’t forget about souvenirs!

Every museum should consider having a selection of mementos for visitors to purchase. Not only is it a great way for a museum to have an additional revenue stream, but it will also allow customers to take a little piece of the magic they discovered during their museum visit home with them. 

A lot of visitors are there on vacation and will be eager to get a trinket to remember their trip. Offer them something unique that brings out your museum’s personality. Even small keepsakes like keychains, magnets, and buttons will infatuate many travelers, and depending on your museum and area of expertise, you can offer much more! Some items you can consider offering are: 

  • T-shirts and other apparel
  • Prints and posters
  • Books
  • Replicas
  • Home décor items
  • Accessories
  • Coffee Mugs
  • Postcards
  • Local food or drinks
  • Handcrafts

You can look to your local community to find suppliers of handmade crafts, art, and jewelry items to offer. Hand-crafted items will add an extra layer of authenticity to your sales stand, as many customers will be looking for items they just can’t find at any store.

8. Offer visitors access to self-guided tours

MySmartJourney lets you easily design and create fun and informative multimedia experiences. All a visitor has to do is scan a code and they will be able to access a playful interface with all the info you need them to have. From there, visitors can guide themselves through the whole visit with the help of the platform.

NFC integrated technology can be placed on any flat surface and will effectively save both your business and your audience time by providing easy access to information. By using multimedia tools, you can not only show text and images but also audio, video, and much more! Museum curators can rest easy knowing guests are getting the most out of their visit.

Learn more about self-guided tours

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Tourist looking for direction in the city
2022-09-28 | 20:50

8 City Marketing Strategies to Attract More Travelers

Tourism is one of the best sources of revenue for cities. Inward migration and tourist activities provide an organic way of stimulating the economy of cities and play a significant role in their socio-economic development. People have always loved traveling since ancient times, and this is a habit that will probably never go out of fashion. In this article, you will find 8 amazing city marketing strategies that will help you attract more visitors to your city.

What is city marketing?

City marketing or city branding refers to the promotion of certain attractions that make a particular city unique amongst others in order to attract more travelers. It is essential to create an aura around a city.

Why is city marketing useful and important?

City marketing is useful for the following reasons:

  • Landmark creation
  • Stimulation of the economy
  • Source of government investment

City marketing puts a location on the map and is a great source of revenue for hotels, restaurants, museums, travel agents, and retail businesses. A good city marketing strategy exponentially increases the city's demand and paves the way for growth in the tourism sector. We live in a world where traveling has become very easy thanks to the availability of airlines, travel websites, and travel agents.

This means that your city will be competing with many other cities around the world and within your country. To help your city stand out from the rest, you need to have a solid city marketing strategy in place to attract more visitors, and use all the resources available at its disposal.

What is the difference between city and destination marketing?

There can be an overlap between city and destination marketing but they are not the same thing. While city marketing refers to the promotion of a city, destination marketing refers to the promotion of a city, a country, specific region, or attraction.

What is Phygital Marketing?

8 City Marketing Strategies to Attract Travelers

Promoters use several city marketing strategies to attract travelers:

  1. Set your city apart
  2. Know your audience
  3. Make use of NFC technology and QR Code
  4. Develop your city brand
  5. Create an attractive city website
  6. Get Virtual feedback
  7. Use social media
  8. Virtual reality and video marketing strategies

1. Set your city apart from the rest of the world

If you want travelers to be attracted to your city, then you have to stand out. Find out what features make it stand out from other cities around the world. Highlight the main features that make your city worth traveling to. This can include unique cultural activities, historical landmarks, tourist attractions, unique architecture, etc. Take, for instance, Cairo, Egypt. This capital city boasts a vast Egyptian museum containing royal mummies, iconic pyramids, and the great sphinx that dates back to the 26th century BCE. What are your landmarks?

2. Know your audience

The first step before developing a marketing strategy is first to know your target audience. Your marketing strategies should cater to the interests and preferences of specific groups of audiences. If your city has a complex history that can be told through its historical landmarks, it might appeal to older demographics. Similarly, if your city promises a cozy nightlife, it will be more appealing to the younger generation.

A target audience can be as precise as bird watchers and firework enthusiasts, to broader segmentation of population determined by age and religion. You need to adopt an analytical approach when you devise an urban marketing strategy when selecting the target audience of your city.

3. Make use of NFC technology, QR codes and short URLs

We live in an era where the majority of individuals, regardless of their social class, have access to a smartphone. By leveraging the potential of NFC technology, QR codes and short URLs, you can offer travelers a convenient way of exploring the cities in a contemporary fashion.

NFC technology refers to wireless communication between two electronic devices. Germany has already integrated NFC technology into its public transport system, where bus schedules are accessible via NFC technology. Similarly, many cities around the world are now leveraging QR codes to share key information to tourists. 

With MySmartJourney’s platform, you can broadcast text, visual, video, and 3D content through QR codes, short URLs and NFC technology to:

  • Highlight content that is waiting to be presented to the public
  • Take advantage of the variety of your content to amaze your visitors
  • Replace your audio guides
  • Enrich visits and give visitors an incomparable experience thanks to engaging content

Create Unique & Fun Experiences

4. Develop your city brand

The purpose of branding is to help make things recognizable and identifiable in the collective memory of people. This can include logos, color schemes, slogans, and consistent messaging. All of these things play a critical role in an effective marketing strategy, and will certainly attract more visitors in the long run. That's why a consistent brand image is important.

5. Create an attractive city website

You should create a website to engage tourists and travelers on the Internet. Your city marketing approach should take into consideration that many interested travelers will search information about your city on Google. This highlights the importance of incorporating a digital marketing strategy to get to your target audience. Videos, pictures, and blog posts on your website will all bring attention to your city’s attractive elements.

Best 10 Tourism & Travel Trends of 2021

6. Virtual feedback

 

The biggest motivation for traveling is the desire to experience something new. When there is recurrent negative feedback online regarding a certain attraction or a particular district of the city, it must be taken seriously. Unpleasant experiences aren’t new to visitors as they are part of life, and they will easily avoid this by going elsewhere. Monitoring virtual feedback will help improve the experience the city offers.

7. Use social media

Social media is one of the most powerful tools to market anything. Depending on your city's marketing goals, you can showcase the city’s unique cultural activities, festivals, landmarks, and accommodations on popular social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. These platforms will allow you to reach your desired demographics in a convenient way.

Having a social media presence will allow you to generate a global following for your city’s brand. You will also have access to advertisements and sponsored social media posts. You can reach your target audience based on gender, race, interests, and location. This will allow you to create a laser-focused marketing strategy. Additionally, social media has given rise to influencers that can convince people. They have millions of followers online and can be a great help for your city’ marketing efforts. 

Before doing business with these social personalities, the city marketing team should review thoroughly their content for nefarious material that could backfire on the city if it engages in a partnership with these individuals. A digital marketing strategy should concentrate on local influencers just as much as foreign ones. 

8. Virtual reality and video marketing strategies

Virtual reality is an amazing technology that allows you to promote your city in a unique way. It’s a great opportunity for virtual travelers to explore the visual aspects and wonders of your city, all the while sitting in their own homes. You can provide travelers with 360-degree virtual tours of your city or attraction. This is a more modern sales pitch than conventional travel agents.

These virtual tours can include anything from unique architecture to historical landmarks in your city. You can expose features of your city to travelers through video marketing as well. Visual content is always effective to attract the attention of interested travelers.

Create contactless interactive journeys

Technology trends emerging in the tourism & travel industry

Technology and the tourism market have always gone hand-in-hand. It was the innovations in transport and travel that made tourism possible in the 21st century. Today, technology is used to guide travelers and ensure customer satisfaction at every step of their journey.

Given the current worldwide pandemic of COVID-19, contactless experiences for payment, exploring, and information have now become a must for the tourism sector to attract more visitors in a safe manner. This should be taken into account in a city’s marketing strategy and could be a major point of attraction. Many cities banalize safety measures to prevent the spread of the virus. If a city were to uniformize its approach to reduce contact, it could appear as a safer place for vacation and bring in more revenues.

Innovations in the travel and tourism Industry

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Two staircases at a museum
2022-09-28 | 20:51

8 trends that are transforming museums

Nobody would have thought that a so-called ‘epidemic’ in Wuhan, China, would take over the world and quickly acquire the shape of a pandemic. With all the global activities being affected by the Covid-19, everybody had to morph themselves and their lifestyle to ensure that the virus didn’t expand any more. 

The world of museums was also affected by the pandemic and ended up losing a lot of business because the entire essence of the museum experience revolves around on-site visits, which were prohibited due to enforced security measures.

Despite this downfall, museums continue to act as a holy place for art, architecture and history. They exhibit the creativity that artists bring to their canvas. They celebrate the victorious successes that were achieved in the past and reminisce about the influential and most devastating episodes in history. Museums have the power to impact the mindset of its visitors and alter their views. 

Covid-19 might have dented the concept of museums but definitely not the spirit it holds in its core. In this article, we discuss the top 10 museum trends that are transforming museums and their relationship with its visitors.

1. Multisensory experience: the future of museums

As the world of technology is evolving at such a rapid rate, it gets hard to keep up and people are always looking for the next best thing to stimulate their senses. Multisensory experiences are a great way to achieve this as they tap into more than one of your senses. 

Augmented reality (AR) is likely to completely change the field of museums and how the world sees them. It’s expected that starting from 2020, museums will be keener on pursuing this method of multi-experience to attract visitors.

2. Museums trends shaped by the VR culture

Virtual reality (VR) completely changes how we look at things. It feels like being in a specific place while not really being there. Virtual reality technology is something that museums have started to explore and it is likely to affect the way museums operate.

Imagine seeing a painting and being able to virtually step into its majestic world or learning about the history of your country from the comfort of your own home. With the use of virtual reality, all of this is possible. Museums could use this technology in different creative ways, as the applications are endless!

3. Museum technology: Voice command

Voice commands will allow customers and museum staff to facilitate their daily tasks. It will be easy for a visitor who has an interest in a particular topic to find all the data related to it just by expressing it. It is also a great way for museums to collect data and information. 

4. Museum attendance

Another significant trend that has recently made an appearance on the museum scene is museum attendance. This trend deals with advertising how safety precautions for the covid-19 are part of the new museum experience and how the flow of visitors is limited. It allows customers to go to the museum and enjoy their visit rather than worry about their safety.

5. Know what your customer wants

This is probably one of the most followed trends currently in the museum industry. It has opened new opportunities for museums to reshape their identity. Museums have often been regarded as monotonous or traditional in their approach, but that is changing. Now, proper research is conducted on what a specific group of people expects when they come to a museum to create more impactful experiences.

6. Museum apps

In 2021, you can forget about traditional audiobooks. Museum apps are taking the center stage by digitizing the museum experience. Apart from being safer as customers can use their own mobile devices, museum apps can be customized and include a lot of useful information, interactive maps, etc. 

Much like with retail shops, museums have to provide added value to customers and museum apps are another great way to do that. These applications give insight into the details of the exposition or museum before a visit. They can also include links and data that are relevant to different pieces of art or artists.

7. Creating a smooth experience

Museums can create a smoother experience by making sure clients don’t have to wait in line, buy tickets in-person, etc. All this can be avoided with the use of digital technology. Everything you imagine going wrong, digital optimization can solve. Simple changes like these can make a big difference in customer satisfaction!

8. Take into account every detail

This last trend is more likely to be applied to customers that come to the museum for its conventional and traditional essence. They normally come to the museum and hope to find what they are looking for, which is usually data and information on a topic or piece of art that piques their interest. The museum must have sufficient data and statistics that are well researched in order to meet the expectations of all visitors. 

Ready to digitize your museum experience? 

Our technology collects information that is essential for your museum. It offers you tailored information at the right place and at the right time for the right people! 

MySmartJourney is an App that can be customized to share contextualized, contactless and interactive information on any public site:

  • It's easy to use and works on all devices.
  • It works in real time, updating content depending on the context and generating reports instantaneously. 
  • It monitors indicators and data that matters at any time.

Some of the trends we have mentioned concern the Covid-19 pandemic, while others are just applicable in general. In both cases, it’s pretty evident how these trends have the potential and power to fully boost the museum industry and make it a more thriving and entertaining one.

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African-American Man Recording a Video in Modern Art Museum
2022-09-28 | 20:23

Phygital marketing in museums

The importance of both online and offline activities cannot be overstated. Many businesses struggle more than they should because they concentrate almost entirely on one or the other when they would benefit much more from an integrated approach. This is where ‘’phygital" marketing enters the picture. 

What is phygital marketing?

Phygital marketing is a concept which blends online and offline marketing methods. It leverages technology to bridge the physical and digital world in order to provide users with unique and interactive experiences. 

This strategy emerged from multichannel marketing, which refers to the practice of running marketing campaigns across numerous platforms. The concept of providing an individualized user experience across all channels and devices is known as omnichannel personalization.

From omnichannel marketing, phygital marketing emerged as a new strategy in different industries. 

Why is phygital marketing becoming increasingly important?

Phygital marketing is becoming increasingly important for the following reasons:

  1. Better user experience
  2. Greater sales and revenue

1. Better User Experience

Consumers in today's world are fickle. Some of them like shopping in stores. Others choose to shop online and have their purchases delivered to their homes. Nonetheless, there are occasions when in-store customers visit e-commerce sites and online customers visit physical stores.

This is supported by evidence. Take a look at the following figures:

  • 63 % of people begin their purchasing journey on the Internet. However, 49 % of shoppers prefer to purchase at traditional retailers.
  • Before speaking with a sales assistant, 82 % of customers use their mobile devices to read product reviews and find better offers once inside a physical store.

With phygital marketing, you can give each of your customers the buying experience they want, when they want it. By implementing a phygital marketing experience for your customers, you facilitate the purchasing process and increase your overall sales.

2. Greater Sales and Revenue

More sales and income are generated as a result of improved customer experiences, given that customer loyalty can be achieved. People will buy from you more frequently if they enjoy the customer experience.

This was highlighted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Retailers who offered simplified in-store purchasing processes, contactless payment options or curbside pickup options achieved better results than businesses that remained rigid in their approach. Companies that deliver purchase experiences that combine physical and digital features drive greater income.

How can phygital marketing help museums improve the customer experience?

Phygital marketing can help museums improve the customer experience by adapting their cultural environment to the digital era. Some museums are creating digital libraries of the exhibits in their collections and giving visitors access to mobile applications, QR codes, audio guides, touch screens as well as other digital tools. 

Example of phygital marketing in museums

Here are some examples of phygital marketing in museums:

  • Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR)
  • Museum app 
  • Live tours
  • NFC technology and QR codes

Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR)

Virtual reality can be employed to display artworks during VR exhibitions. They're made by scanning or photographing physical art objects in high resolution, then curating them in a virtual space. You can rearrange artworks and modify the lighting and color of the walls as needed with the ability to edit your displays.

An AR exhibition is a mobile-friendly virtual space that mimics a physical display. Through the window of your mobile phone or tablet, customers can visit virtual exhibitions and things in your real space using augmented reality technology. You can showcase information and products related to your exhibition, or animation that brings a painting alive!

Web application

A museum web application is an inclusive tool that visitors can use to discover a museum and the places in the surrounding area that are rich in history and beauty. Apps are a user-friendly way to attract customers which have plenty of customizable options. They can provide visitors with maps, self-guided tours and key information. 

Many museums collaborate with MySmartJourney to create interactive experiences for users. By using our platform, museums can broadcast text, visual, video as well as 3D content. This is a great way to take advantage of the variety of your content to amaze visitors, enrich their visits and highlight the works presented. 

Tell us about your project 

Live Tours

A live tour can give people a taste of a museum while sitting at home behind their computer. An online experience of a museum is an alternative that counters health regulations that may restrict physical access to the museum. By using remote-controlled human guides, the visitor chooses a guide and floor and starts a personal session. 

Visitors can navigate through the museum, using the arrow keys on their keyboard. Other museums have opted for an experience that resembles Google street view; meaning that a high-resolution 360° camera has already toured the museum so that visitors can experience it as they would in person. 

Virtual tours of Canadian museums 

NFC Technology and QR codes

NFC and QR codes are great in public settings such as museums. Visitors can access virtual content by tapping their smart device close to the NRC tag or chip or use their phone’s camera to scan the QR code and access insightful and interactive information. 

In galleries and museums, NFC and QR codes provide extra information about the work of art a visitor is looking at. It can be used to provide an artist biography or more context related to different art works, such as historical knowledge. You can also use these technologies to show visitors where additional paintings by the same artist are located in your collection. Mysmartjourney is an easy platform to use, which allows museums to take advantage of QR codes, NCF technology as well as short URLs. 

Best 6 Museum Tours in Canada

Tips to develop a phygital marketing strategy in museums

Here are tips to develop a phygital marketing strategy in museums:

  • Know your customers
  • Identify your goals
  • Get phygital

Know Your Customers

You must get to know your customers to create a phygital experience that is adapted to your target audience. Conduct market research, examine your website and social media data and send polls and surveys to your customers. Make every effort to learn more about them. You'll want to check for demographic facts such as your target audience's gender, age, physical location, and income level, as well as psychographic details such as their ambitions, goals, and daily struggles.

Identify Your Goals

Next, consider what you hope to accomplish with a phygital marketing plan. Improved brand recognition? More sales, perhaps? Higher levels of engagement? You'll be able to choose the correct methods and strategies to attain your goals once you've defined them clearly. You'll also be able to identify measures to track your progress!

Get Phygital!

Exclusively digital experiences are receiving a lot of attention these days. While the digital realm is here to stay and should be a key component of both your marketing and sales efforts, that doesn't mean you should ignore physical interactions. What your museum should aim for is a symbiosis between the two mediums.

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Portrait of young couple of tourist in town using mobile phone
2022-09-28 | 20:46

7 best marketing tools for tourism organizations

Over the past century, tourism has changed drastically. You would be astonished at how many things have genuinely changed over time if you looked back in time to see how far we have come. Not to mention how much Internet marketing has evolved.

Tourism organizations pay close attention to their marketing strategies and devote a lot of effort to growing their clientele. If you wanna boost your revenues, improve your customer experience and optimize your operations, keep reading to discover the best digital marketing tools for the hospitality and tourism industries.

Why is digital marketing important for the tourism industry?

In today’s digital landscape, tourism organizations risk falling behind if they don’t have an online presence. Travelers like to browse for traveling services online as it’s more convenient and allows them to book activities or accommodation last-minute in real-time.

The development of digital marketing has simplified communication and reduced numerous barriers for tourists and the hospitality sector. One of the most prevalent problems in the tourist and hospitality industries has been resolved through communication technologies and contemporary digital marketing methods.

Best tourism and travel trends 

How can digital marketing help the tourism industry?

Digital tourism marketing offers more precise user data and activity tracking than traditional marketing, allowing for the optimization of real-time marketing programs. As a result, businesses such as travel firms are no longer restricted to local markets and they can personalize the customer experience.

City marketing strategies to attract more travelers

The 7 best marketing tools for tourist and cultural sites

1. MySmartJourney

In today’s digital age, it’s important for organizations to personalize tourism experiences and incorporate phygital marketing to attract visitors and improve customer satisfaction. MySmartJourney is an innovative tool that allows tourist, cultural sites and other types of businesses to create digital routes and experiences. 

Thanks to our platform, tourism organizations can build contactless, informative, useful and entertaining multimedia digital journeys to impress customers and visitors. Our interactive web application creator allows you to broadcast content in real-time and make use of: 

  • QR codes: Users just have to use the camera of their mobile phone to decode the information and quickly access your content. 

  • NFC chips: Near field communication technology allows wireless communication between electronic devices. The NFC chip allows the exchange of information. 

  • Short URLs: If visitors can’t scan a QR code or NFC chip, they can quickly access the content nonetheless thanks to short URLs. 

With our web app, businesses can design self-guided tours, broadcast text, visual, video and 3D content, create outdoor play routes and much more. With their mobile phones, visitors can instantly access your multimedia content without having to download an application, without logging in, and above all, without physical contact.

Discover the platform

2. Google Drive or Microsoft 365

Tourism marketing is a collaborative process. Numerous locations and resources frequently collaborate on both large-scale and small-scale projects. Collaboration in real-time across distances doesn't have to be challenging. There are various tools you may be familiar with hosted on Google Drive

These technologies make it simple to collaborate in real time and share information. You can use Google Docs to create content collaboratively and Google Sheets to organize your information. Anyone can open an account, and up to 15G of storage is free (even with a non-Gmail email address).

Alternatively, Microsoft Office 365 can be used by your team to collaborate. Tools like Sharepoint and OneDrive provide live editing and efficient file sharing for remote work. Many of these cloud-based sharing options might already be available to you if you already use Outlook for email. Even creating shared folders for documents with other organizations is possible with Sharepoint. 

3. Semrush 

Devising effective SEO strategies that increase traffic to your website is a crucial component of managing a successful online travel business. It’s important to optimize your website for search engines if you want to attract visitors and increase conversions. Search engines like Google and Bing regularly modify their algorithms in order to display travel websites with pertinent content on their results pages. 

Semrush is an innovative tool that businesses across different industries leverage to improve their online visibility and discover marketing insights. It allows you to perform keyword research, analyze your competitors, keep track of your position in search engines, update your backlink strategy and much more. Tourism organizations can use Semrush for content marketing, advertising, social media management, etc. It’s a paying tool so you can either decide to pay a fee or outsource your SEO efforts. 

4. Paid advertising platforms 

The travel and tourism sectors have become extremely popular during the last few decades. Thanks to SEO and paid ads, you can maximize your marketing strategies and set yourself apart from the competition. When it comes to ads, there are different tools available for you such as Google Ads, Facebook ads, Instagram ads, TripAdvisor ads, etc. The key is to identify your target audience and choose the tool that will be more effective to reach it.

If you’re new to the world of online advertising, here are useful tips for travel and tourism ads: 

  • Define your target audience;
  • Define the campaign objective; 
  • Tailor your marketing efforts according to traveler type;
  • Choose the right advertising platform for your audience;
  • Personalize tourism advertising messages;
  • Make your website mobile-friendly.

Innovations in the travel and tourism industry

5. Influencer platforms

Collaborating with influencers is a marketing strategy that is growing in popularity and for good reason. Influencers are people who have built an online community around their own personal brand. Consider Instagrammers, YouTube vloggers, and bloggers.

A lot of influencers have sizable fan bases and very engaged audiences. Their audience is usually niche. Finding someone whose audience would be interested in a particular tourist destination, or what you have to offer is the objective. Working with influencers can significantly boost your online visibility and sales. You can find influencers on your own or you can use influencer platforms like Brand Ambassador to make things easier. 

6. Mailchimp 

MailChimp is a software that allows companies and brands to stay in touch with their customers or users by email. It makes it easy to manage, automate and track newsletters and mailing campaigns.

MailChimp has a totally free version which allows you to send automatic emails to 2,000 email addresses or subscribers of your newsletter, with a maximum of 12,000 emails per month. If your activity requires a higher volume of messages, you can always access the Premium version.

MailChimp can help you personalize campaigns and evaluate the impact they have on your subscribers. Indeed, you can analyze the response of users to your emails and find ways to make the content more engaging. In addition, it is compatible with web platforms such as WordPress, Joomla or Drupal.

7. Social media platforms

Social networks have become a fundamental tool in the tourism industry for both small businesses and international organizations. After all, they allow businesses to optimize the consumer experience during the purchase process and strengthen their position in the market.

People use social media platforms to plan their trips independently and almost instantly. Through Facebook or Instagram, for example, users can buy tickets, book accommodations and track their experience throughout their stay.

In addition, millions of people share their experiences every day on their social media profiles, which becomes an indirect promotion mechanism for tourism companies. This helps them attract new customers and expand their business without physical or geographical limits.

The best social media marketing platforms for tourism and cultural businesses are:

  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • Pinterest
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • Youtube
  • TikTok

These platforms are visual mediums so they are great for the tourism industry.

Create personalized physical digital experiences

If you want to take your marketing strategy to the next level, MySmartJourney is your best ally. Whether you wanna design unique phygital experiences for a museum, an art gallery, a historical site, an association, a municipal park, a hotel establishment or an artisanal producer, we’ve got the tools you need. 

Our digital tool can be quickly deployed and you don’t need any coding knowledge. It serves as interactive signage, a docking station, a guided tour, a table order, or a relay to reservation systems. Visitors can instantly access your multimedia content with their mobile phones. Whatever you have in mind, our team can help you bring it to life. 

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Qr code digital payment at coffee shop
2022-09-28 | 19:49

Innovations in travel and tourism industry

What is innovation in travel and tourism?

Innovation in the travel and tourism industry can take many different forms. It essentially refers to the many ways in which businesses and corporations update the experience that customers and tourists have when traveling. 

Unfortunately, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, travel has been virtually non-existent. Although in some cases, individuals had the opportunity to travel within their own countries, international travel was impossible for most in order to prevent the spread of the virus.  However, as travel plans are slowly starting to pick back up and we are beginning to make our way into a post-pandemic world, those working in the travel sector and tourism sector are trying to come up with new innovations to improve future travel. 

But how exactly can travel companies build on and improve the existing experience? Many of the new innovations in the travel sector reside in the technological field as the travel and tourism industry is firmly placing itself in the 21st century digital age. Travel companies are therefore integrating technology into hotel rooms, room service, and booking platforms amongst many other aspects. 

Why is innovation important in tourism?

The tourism industry is one of the main engines of the world economy. It is constantly changing to respond to the fluctuating needs of customers so technology innovation is present in all the scopes of tourism. 

The travel and tourism industry needs to continuously adopt innovative strategies in order to make tourism businesses more efficient, keep costs down and maintain a competitive edge. Leveraging technology makes it possible to personalize the customer experience and improve customer satisfaction as issues can be dealt with in real time. Plus, technology makes it possible to streamline operations and cut costs down in many departments. 

How is technology changing the travel and tourism industry?

Technology is giving customers a lot more power and independence on their trips. If you think about how many different aspects of a vacation can be managed from a mobile app in the palm of your hand, it becomes clear just how influential technological innovation has become. 

You can book a flight or a hotel, download your boarding passes on your phone, buy tickets for a museum, browse a restaurant menu on a QR code, etc. Of course, in-person communication and interactions are still available to supplement the digital experience. However, if visitors want more independence,  travel technology and innovation make this possible. 

Since customers can do things for themselves, it frees up time for employees who can redirect their time to other issues and processes. This makes it possible for tourism businesses to improve efficiency which increases customer satisfaction. 

NFC technology and tourism 

Near Frequency Communication technology, often referred to as NFC technology is a form of wireless technology which allows two devices to essentially talk to each other and exchange data. NFC technology is widely used by individuals in everyday life for contactless payment but it is also leveraged by businesses to improve operations and the services provided.  

Just like with most other forms of technology in the travel and tourism sector, NFC technology improves efficiency and makes it possible to personalize the customer experience. For example, one of the leading ways in which NFC technology is used in hotels is as a door key. Instead of needing a physical door key or swipe card, visitors just download their virtual key onto their phone and hold it up to a digital pad on their door to get into their room. This improves both security and efficiency.

Examples of NFC use cases in the tourism industry

3 innovations and technology trends in the travel and tourism industry

NFC technology 

As highlighted, NFC technology is the leading form of technological innovation in the tourism sector. It can be used to provide visitors with key information and to personalize their customer journey. Traditionally, if a guest needed to know about local attractions or good places to eat nearby, they would have to wait to talk to the hotel concierge. However, many hotels now use NFC technology to their advantage to make it easier for visitors to get the information they need instantly. 

If you’re interested in learning more about the possibilities that are available to you, MySmartJourney helps businesses implement NFC technology in innovative ways to create fun and unique experiences. With our platform, companies can broadcast text, visual, video and 3D content. They can create self-guided tours for museums, art galleries, historical sites, parks, resorts and much more. 

Tour builder for hotel establishments and traveler services

Artificial Intelligence 

Artificial intelligence (AI) is another form of technology that is leveraged by the travel and tourism industry. AI is the main way in which tourism businesses accurately and efficiently create personalized experiences for their guests. 

AI can take in and process huge data loads. Once this data is collected and recorded, AI systems can run reports that easily show you what is going well and what people like and what people aren’t enjoying or gravitating towards. With these insights, you can alter and customize your visitors' experiences.

It can also be used before customers are even physically with you as you can set up AI operated live chats which will ensure the customers’ questions are answered without having to spend money and labor. 

Virtual Reality 

Virtual reality may not sound like it belongs in the tourism industry, but it is actually the perfect place for it. Establishments such as hotels, cruises, vacation tours and more often use virtual reality or augmented reality in order to elevate the booking experience. 

Including a virtual reality or augmented reality options when viewing rooms, destinations or tours gives guests a preview of the experience they are about to book. During the Covid-19 pandemic, some companies even used virtual reality to give travelers a taste of abroad. Many places offered guided tours around beautiful islands and locations during the pandemic for people to enjoy at home. Although this was a solution to a very specific problem, VR will continue to be used to give those who don’t have the capabilities to fly and explore new places the chance to still experience them from home. 

Creating physical digital experiences

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Travel planning concept. Airplane with Magnifying glass
2022-09-28 | 20:46

6 ways to make your destination stand out in the crowd as travel returns

The last years have been without a doubt complicated for travel destinations all around the world. The COVID-19 pandemic is probably the toughest challenge the tourism industry has ever faced, and we can’t expect to be done with it overnight. Nonetheless, as long as people feel the desire to see what’s over the horizon, there will be a way for tourism to reinvent itself and thrive again.

The Future of the Tourism Industry

Even though the travel industry may never go back to what it used to be, human ingenuity and technological advancements make it clear that the industry itself will not wither away but find new ways to reinvent itself. The future of the tourism industry will depend on health measures, technology and creativity.

In the current times, the industry is affected by government regulations, health concerns, travel risk perception, and many other factors of modern life. Running a business that caters to travelers has definitely become more complicated. Nevertheless, travel experts at the United Nations World Tourism Organization calculate that the interest in tourism before the pandemic was at an all-time high (source). The travel industry, in fact, had experienced ten years of continuous growth from 2009 to 2019, even when the last decade has been characterized by an unstable economic climate. 

The current generation has been eager to spend their money on traveling, and there is no reason to believe that, once COVID-19 is of less concern, people will not flock back to their favorite travel destinations. International travel and mass tourism have been hit hard by the pandemic, but they have also created an urge to go back and experience the world once more.

We also have science doing its part. Auspicious advances in transportation technology, like the up-and-coming Virgin Hyperloop, promise to change the face of intercity transportation forever and allow people to travel vast distances in record times. This high-speed evolution of the train is expected to be deployed by 2030 and has the potential of changing the nature of the tourism industry in ways we can currently only imagine.

It doesn’t matter at what speed they arrive, people are still going to be itching to leave home and discover new destinations, especially after experiencing long periods of time slouched on the sofa thinking of all the other places they could be. In the meantime, any travel company or entrepreneur can benefit by making their destination stand out as the best place to visit once the bags are packed and everybody is ready to leave home.

Best 10 Tourism & Travel Trends of 2021

6 ways to make your destination stand out in the crowd as travel returns

Here are 6 ways to make your destination stand out in the crowd as travel returns:

  1. Create friend group-oriented spaces
  2. Join the discussion on social media
  3. Adhere to all COVID-19 protocols
  4. Invest in ecotourism activities
  5. Cater to bleisure travelers
  6. Create digital tourism destination experiences with QR codes and NFC technology

1. Create friend group-oriented spaces

The younger among us are much more interested in traveling than their older counterparts. Not only are millennials more inclined to spend their time and money going out of town, but they are also interested in bringing their friends along for the ride. While vacations used to be more of a couple or family activity for past generations, younger travelers prefer adventuring with their friend groups.

Young people wish to go out and walk mountain trails, swim at the beach, or take some time to walk around historic destinations, but most important of all, they wish to do these things while hanging out with their friends. It is not uncommon for friend groups to, for example, chip in and rent a bungalow or an Airbnb. Catering to these customers is a great way to make sure you stay relevant to the current trends.

By adding common spaces to mingle and relax, while adapting your offers for customers looking to accommodate groups of people, you are taking steps toward being on a friend group’s top of the list. Many friend groups will also be delighted by having access to activities they can partake in together. From area-related activities like snorkeling or kayaking to yoga on the terrace, there are many ways to entertain groups of friends.

2. Join the discussion on social media

You’d be surprised at the number of people who wish to do something just because they saw it on social media and liked it. There is no doubt that the current generational desire to travel is fueled largely by the proliferation of social media sites like Instagram. Anyone with a phone and an Internet connection has a view of the many wonderful places the world has to offer, and there’s nothing like a picture to commemorate a perfect vacation.

Running a social media-friendly business should be considered within your marketing and operational strategies. Finding and pointing out the ideal selfie spots is a great way to make sure people share a travel destination’s content alongside their own.

A game-changing way in which social media benefits travel destinations is the fact that when people research places to travel to, they do the vast majority of their research online. It has never been easier to take a picture or a video of the place you’re visiting and instantly post it online for the whole world to see, and this is the way people choose where to travel nowadays.

Where to eat, what activities to partake in, where the best accommodations are, and almost all other information about any tourist destination can be easily figured out. If customers look at your media and find it enticing, you will be much closer to having them as guests than if they just have a passing glimpse at you.

9 Ways to Modernize Your Hotel

3. Adhere to all COVID-19 protocols

Let’s be honest, we don’t know how long COVID-19 is really going to last. New variants seem to appear before every holiday season and restrictions come and go. In any case, as long as travel is allowed and the proper protocols are followed, there should be nothing to fear. We’re not in March 2020 anymore, COVID-19 is nothing new, and we already know what steps to take to keep it at bay.

Taking into consideration what we’ve learned while dealing with the pandemic, we can plan ahead so there is not much trouble adapting in case it is necessary to adhere to restrictions. It is already common knowledge that the wearing of face masks is essential to stop the spread of COVID-19, but aside from doing so there are other things to consider: 

  • Crowded spaces: Social distancing will be easy to adhere to if the way your premises are organized has a maximum guest capacity in mind. Remember indoor spaces must be ventilated as per COVID-19 protocol, so plan accordingly to organize your spaces.

  • Hygiene recommendations: Washing your hands is very important in the fight against COVID-19, and you should provide the appropriate health products to make sure everyone can properly cleanse themselves. Remember that COVID-19 is still transmissible after vaccination, so it is still important to keep one’s cleanliness in high regard.

  • Isolation measures: If you run a location that admits guests for an overnight stay, such as a hotel, you must consider that, eventually, you may run across somebody who begins showing symptoms. If that were the case, you must understand that in the name of everyone’s health and safety, that person might need to use part of the premises to isolate.

4. Invest in ecotourism activities

Ecotourism is good for the environment, your customers, your business, and the local community. Not only are sustainable travel options reshaping the world of tourism, but they also make pretty good economic sense when you consider how popular they are among the current generation.

The International Ecotourism Society (TIES) defines the practice of ecotourism as “responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment, sustains the well-being of local people, and involves interpretation and education”. The purpose of ecotourism is to provide a positive experience for both the travelers and the locals, while also raising general awareness of the fragility of the ecosystems we live with.

An ecotourism outlook will help you catch the eye of large swaths of the population who are not interested in having the usual tried-and-true vacation getaway and are looking for a more genuine travel experience. The generation of income opportunities for the local population and the integration of travel destinations with the cultural diaspora are also some of the perks of taking a sustainable approach to travel.

5. Cater to bleisure travelers

The advent of remote work and the current socio-economic climate have given rise to a new kind of guest, the bleisure traveler. The word “bleisure” is a portmanteau of the words business and pleasure, and this hybrid way of travel is gaining popularity in recent times.

From freelancing in the co-working space at a café far away from home to writing engineering code from the comfort of a hammock, these travelers value being able to visit places where they can both relax and be productive. Since many people nowadays only need their laptop, a cup of coffee, and an internet connection in order to work, that means they can sit down and “go” to work wherever the wind takes them.

Bleisure travelers tend to have a burgeoning interest in local culture and cultural activities and will greatly appreciate having information on the local amenities at hand. They have also acquired quite an interest in trying new and exciting foods, so if you can point them out to the best place to eat, they will be more than delighted.

What is Phygital Marketing?

6. Create digital tourism destination experiences with QR codes and NFC technology

Millennial customers are on the lookout for authentic experiences. Younger generations look at international travel as a way to immerse themselves in the culture, try food and activities foreign to them, and have life-changing moments. One of the best ways to make them see your travel destination as an interesting one is to integrate your local culture and other relevant information with interactive technology.

An NFC tag uses NFC (Near Field Communications) to transfer specific data across a short radius. If you have ever paid contactless with a card or an app on your phone then you are already familiar with the technology and its usage. Any individual with a phone can access the information of an NFC tag by scanning a code, making it an effortless and engaging way to share any kind of information or multimedia content.

Similarly, a QR code is a scannable image which can be read by smartphone cameras. When users scan this code, it translates the series of black squares and dots into information that is easily understandable for humans. Travel destinations can greatly benefit from integrating NFC technology and QR codes to serve as virtual guides and provide digital routes. Customizing content with images, audio, and video content can surprise your customers and visitors, leaving them with a more positive opinion of your premises and their experience.

Furthermore, what is priceless with NFC technology and QR codes is that the interaction is engaging while remaining contactless. The COVID-19 pandemic has implicitly made this technology a conscientious way of reinventing the tourism industry.

Design contactless, digital routes for your travel destination

Be at the forefront of the travel industry by creating digital routes with the help of the MySmartJourney platform. An augmented reality experience can add a new world of engagement for any tourism destination by creating entertaining, informative, and useful multimedia content.

MySmartJourney’s QR codes, short URLS and NFC integrated technology is contactless and can be accessed by your customers from any mobile device. In this age of COVID-19 restrictions that come and go and distress from the general population, providing an informative and entertaining solution that requires no physical contact helps stay in line with all protocols and regulations. As this is a 100% web-based application, you can make it work on all kinds of devices and personalize the user experience without needing to learn how to write a single line of code.

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Visitors in Art Gallery
2022-09-28 | 19:26

How do museums attract visitors?

Attracting millennials to museums is not as difficult as you may think. However, it requires more than setting up cool spots to take Instagram photos and a booth with craft beers. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, many museums have had to reinvent themselves to attract their target audience to their facilities, offering interesting and creative activities for all ages. In this article, we tell you the best and most original ways that museums use to attract visitors.

Why Are Museums Important?

Museums are important because they preserve history, culture, and legacy. They are an essential part of society because they provide knowledge and allow us to study our culture's rich history. Successful museums are those that can preserve our history by holding on to artifacts, relics, artwork, etc.

A museum's purpose is to collect, preserve, research, exhibit, educate, inspire and entertain. It is a place for people to learn about the world around them. The world is made up of many different cultures and civilizations. Some museums are built around one culture or society, while others house many exhibits on different cultures and periods. 

Conservation of artifacts

Conservation is the primary mission of museums. Museums preserve historic artifacts as well as objects of art history and science to delay the natural laws of deterioration and make sure future generations can understand the past through exhibitions. 

Interpretation of the past and mediation

Museums are important because they have a lot of cultural values in them (archeological, anthropological, etc. In addition, they also have historical importance that can be traced back from the past to the present. Going on a museum field trip is also an excellent way for children to learn about history. The purpose of museums is to promote education and research as well as exchange ideas about history, science, or art.

Allow the public to discover

Museums also allow you to see art that you may never get to see in person. Most museums open their collections to the public in some form or another. This may be through touring an exhibit in the museum or visiting galleries where works of art are stored. Some museums also allow for self-guided tours, allowing visitors to explore at their own pace and learn more about specific art or artifacts in detail.

8 ways to bring fun to your museum

How do museums increase visitor attendance? 

As you might expect, museums need to find new ways and new techniques to keep visitors captivated and to stay relevant. Many museums used to attract art fans organically but with the pandemic, they had to adapt and focus on innovation to make the audience feel part of the exhibition. 

So, what can you do to convince people to come to museums? People visit museums for many reasons; it's not just about the art. Museums do more than display classic works of art, they also tell stories about the world we live in.  Art museums have always focused on preserving knowledge for future generations through items valued by society. That being said, museums have had to adapt their marketing strategies to become relevant in an era of disposable goods. 

Although museums are built to protect and preserve art, they are also dependent on keeping people interested enough to look at their exhibits. For museums, creating an interest in the public is vital because it is the only way they can stay relevant, showcase their art and make profit. While there are many different kinds of museums today, they all seek to maintain a high level of attendance and establish themselves as leaders in the community.

Near Field Communication (NFC) Technology and QR Codes 

Near field communication (NFC) technology is used to exchange data between devices brought close together, usually no more than a few inches. NFC has many applications, including tags in posters or stickers in magazines that trigger videos when touched by a smartphone.

Personalization is key when it comes to NFC. We live in a world of mass communication, where everything is made as quickly and as cheaply as possible. However, people want to feel special. They want personalized experiences, and they want to feel like your business cares about them and their needs. Answering questions and providing additional information can go a long way in establishing goodwill and making your customers feel like they're individuals and not just another number.

NFC technology allows you to do just that. By providing relevant information, you can create a truly personalized museum experience for your customers. Our digital tool is quickly deployed in your public spaces. It can serve as an interactive signage, a docking station, a guided tour, a table order, or a relay to reservation systems. 

With their cell phone, visitors can instantly access your multimedia content without the need to download an application, log in. Plus, they avoid physical contact with equipment as all they need is their mobile phone. No more need for audio guides or paper programs!

Create a digital tour for your museum 

What can museums do to attract visitors?

Museums attract potential visitors by offering exciting exhibits and displays, acquiring masterpieces from renowned artists, providing educational programs for all ages, offering meeting spaces, catering to the needs of the physically challenged, and many more ways.

When planning how to attract potential visitors, museums conduct museum surveys to find out what people want, while also promoting their events on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. They also provide special offers and discounts via email, text messaging, or their websites. 

Here is a list of the best tips to attract museum visitors:

Enhance Access for Young Visitors

Here are some ways museums can make their institutions more accessible to a younger generation:

  • Make it personal

The challenge is to make institutions more relevant to attract younger audiences. That means creating a space where they can connect with what they already know.  For example, a history museum could capitalize on the popularity of video games by creating an exhibit that explores how our modern experience with virtual reality has influenced our interpretation of historical events.

To do this well requires sensitivity toward who young people are as individuals and what interests them. Museums should strive to become experts not just in art or history but also in their visitors.

  • Offer Affordable Experiences

Asking young people to pay the total price isn't going to work, especially since many have limited income. A better way for museums to build loyalty is through discounted memberships and special pricing for schools and students. 

Throughout The Year, Host One-Of-A-Kind Events

The most common way to attract visitors to museums is by hosting unique events throughout the year. Museums create special exhibits with activities that are not just artistic but also educational. 

For instance, some museums offer guests the chance to enjoy a lovely afternoon of music and dance performances. You should also take into account that some people may even go to museums just for the food. These types of events attract hundreds if not thousands of visitors regularly.

Museums can also host sales to purchase artwork from the museum's collection at a discounted price. By hosting these events, museums can increase their revenue and attract more visitors.

What exactly is cultural mediation?

Build Partnerships

One of the most successful ways to enhance museum attendance is via partnerships. A big part of a museum's job is to encourage people to visit from all over the world. Partnerships with local businesses can be highly effective in doing this. Informal partnerships are a common way for museums to attract individuals who otherwise would not have visited the museum. 

For example, a museum might work with a local hotel to put out a brochure that encourages visitors to see something that they wouldn't ordinarily see while staying at that hotel. If the partnership works out well for both parties, this could turn into an ongoing promotion by which the two entities promote each other's offerings. Often, these partnerships are established between businesses in different fields but that offer something complementary to each other.  

Partnering can also help museums reach new audiences by exposing them to different types of art and culture.  For example, a museum focused on indigenous American art may partner with a museum focusing on Egyptian art to expose its patrons to something new and different. In addition, partnering can lead to broader collections that rely less on local or regional groups and more on international works.

Exhibits Should Be Brought To The Community

Museums are not only places where priceless artifacts are preserved but also sources of learning about history, culture, and science. They allow people to learn more about art and inspire them to be better individuals in the community.

Here are key ways museums can attract visitors by bringing exhibits to the community:

  • Community-Based Exhibitions

Museums can conduct exhibits that are relevant to their community. For example, in the United States, the Smithsonian Institution presents events such as "Mining for Solutions," a mining exhibit brought to local communities and schools. This allowed students to learn about mining and its history while promoting interest in science. Museums can do this through various media such as traveling exhibits or online resources and activities.

  • Collaboration with Other Organizations

Local organizations and businesses can help promote museum exhibits and attract visitors by collaborating on these efforts. For example, the Smithsonian Institution works closely with NASA on its traveling astronomy exhibit to present it at various locations throughout the country.

  • Social Media Campaigns

Social media campaigns can help increase awareness for local or traveling exhibits that museums want to bring into their communities. Museums should start conversations on social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

  • Investing In Social Media Management

Social media is becoming an increasingly important part of museums’ marketing strategy. A strategic museum marketing plan is more complex than you might think. It's not enough to determine the museum's purpose and its relationship to the community and then set out on a course of action. 

For museums, in particular, social media is an ideal way to share content with potential visitors. However, there are several reasons why some museums aren't investing in social media the same way they invest in their online presence. One of these is because of misconceptions about what social media is. 

Embrace Smartphone Culture

Smartphones are quickly becoming an extension of our bodies. It's not uncommon to see someone walking down the street staring at their phone with their head down, oblivious to their surroundings. As museums increasingly embrace smartphone culture, apps are helping people become more engaged with exhibits and artworks. Visitors can take selfies with artworks, check out images of the exhibits they're visiting and share them on social media. 

To attract more visitors, museums need to think outside the museum walls and look for innovative ways to connect with their community. For example, the port of Quebec transformed its paper rally into a digital one to send visitors on an insightful adventure (watch the video!). Museums can organize similar virtual journeys by taking visitors outside of the museum and into public places. 

In this article we described key strategies to attract visitors to museums but these are just a few of the many things that museums can do to increase museum attendance. Each museum has its unique approach to bringing in visitors. Still, many will do whatever it takes to ensure that there is always someone around to help curators do the critical work of preserving history.  The more people visit museums, the more likely history will be preserved for future generations!

Digitize your museum 

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Closeup of someone scanning a QR code with a mobile phone
2022-09-28 | 20:38

What is MySmartJourney?

Today's technology projects tend to be complex and quite expensive. They typically require extensive expertise and incur significant costs for clients. The MySmartJourney platform offers an affordable alternative that allows organizations to build unique and dynamic experiences for their users. 

The platform

MySmartJourney is a tool that allows users to create digital routes for cultural and tourist sites. The platform is used to design mediation scenarios, without contact, through informative and entertaining multimedia to surprise and retain users. MysmartJourney can also be used for table service and product sales.  

It is a versatile and interactive web application creator. It is continuously enhanced to meet the needs of users and generate new features while offering affordable prices. MySmartJourney is the ideal solution for the development of playful and captivating experiences or cultural mediation through interactive and varied courses. It is also a beneficial tool for the restoration, hotel and operational sectors.

It is a user-friendly and innovative platform that offers content accessible on all smart mobile devices. MySmartJournet develops scenarios that adapt to the target audience for various sectors of activity such as culture, tourism, agri-food, hotels, etc. Multiple media (audio guides, videos, texts, etc.) can be used to reach your target audience and enrich your exhibitions.

The platform aims to revitalize static exhibitions and to continuously renovate and expand the proposed themes. The regulars of your site will be pleased to return regularly to the site to discover new approaches and perspectives.

 

Presentation of the platform 

Entrance doors

Mysmartjourney offers companies and organizations several technological alternatives for sharing personalized content: 

  • QR Codes: The QR code is the evolution of the barcode. It is a two-dimensional square code that stores coded data. Users simply need to use the camera of their mobile device to decode the information and have access to the content you want to share.

  • NFC technology: Near field communication technology allows short distance wireless communication between two electronic devices. It works thanks to a chip that allows the exchange of information. 

  • Short URLs: A shortened link is a short URL that redirects users to the original URL. The purpose of working with shortened links is to make sharing information faster and easier.

MySmartJourney offers all three entry points mentioned to ensure that all users have access to your content. Since some mobile devices cannot scan QR codes or NFC chips, these options ensure that at least one alternative will be accessible. 

How to get funding to create a mobile digital journey

Features

MySmartJourney is a platform that is regularly updated to create new features to ensure an intuitive and fun digital experience. 

This technological tool offers various functionalities: 

  • Text, image, audio and video integration with YouTube, Vimeo and SoundCloud. 

  • Play mp3 and mp4 files and automatically optimize multimedia.

  • Possibility to create quizzes and games with playful aspects thanks to the action buttons. Redirection buttons are also present and can direct users to links from various websites.

  • Integration of 3D and 360° contents with Sketchfab and YouTube 360.

  • Combination of complex scenarios and puzzles to energize the content and playfulness of the place.

  • Availability of forms through Google Forms, which allows you to distribute surveys and collect data easily.

  • Add personalized souvenir photos with stickers and branded images through a Photobooth. These photos can be shared on social networks with a return to the landing page.

  • Possibility to order directly on the platform while respecting the sanitary measures.

  • Scheduling of content according to fixed schedules while respecting the independence of the different sections of the same page. The scheduler updates the information for the user instantly and in real time.

  • Integrated statistics with Google Analytics in an anonymous way for the creation of automatic reports that detail the behavior of users.

Why use MySmartJourney?

Quick to deploy

The access points are available in various formats to guarantee speed of implementation. The implementation is autonomous, and you can make any desired changes that will be updated in real time. Changes or improvements appear immediately on the visitor's mobile device. Scenario enhancements and information adjustments take only a few minutes!

Contactless

Visitors have a barrier-free experience with the digital pathways and different content you offer on your site. The user experience is enjoyable and simply requires a mobile device with a web browser. This digital tool is quickly deployed in all public places and users can directly access the desired content without an app, without registration and without direct contact.

Easy to use

MySmartJourney's content management system requires no programming knowledge and ensures easy creation of digital journeys. The construction of the scenario is done directly in the web application, with an easy layout. The game modules are easy to integrate and the media content is added in an intuitive way.

In addition, this digital tool offers a support service to guide customers. Our team is at your disposal to develop plans and to help you in the design of the first scenarios. This support is offered to ensure total autonomy and unparalleled ease of use.

What is phygital marketing? 

Who uses MySmartJourney and how?

MysmartJourney offers a cost-effective alternative for the production and maintenance of any historical, cultural, tourist or heritage site. This platform offers a secure experience for all users (employees and clients) from various sectors.

Culture

Museums, historical sites and art galleries can use MySmartJourney to share content in text, audiovisual, video, 3D and other formats. The platform highlights the content and aims to amaze the visitor with a rich and varied visit that puts the spotlight on the various works presented. For example, Culture Trois-Rivières has adopted our solution to replace audio guides.

Tourism

Tourist offices that offer any type of service to travelers can use the MySmartJourney platform to share informational content that details the services offered. They can also share nearby tourist attractions and engage customers by offering products and services online.

Here are examples of how MySmartJourney is used in action: 

Agro-tourism / Sales

Artisan producers and agri-food producers can create interpretive activities and disseminate the history of the business through various contents that serve to engage and facilitate the use of the visitor. 

MySmartJourney is a platform that allows a direct contact between the buyer and the distributor. The latter can share various information on the products and even propose consumption alternatives and recipe ideas. The QR codes on the products accompany the customer once back home, and give him access to the e-commerce.

Here's how producers are using MySmartJourney: 

  • La Courgerie et ses jardiniers gourmands uses MySmartJourney technology to showcase its 300 types of squash. Product displays share information and a QR code allows you to go further, and discover recipes for cooking squash.
  • In Pascale Coutu and Pierre's boutique, the products sold carry QR codes in order to share recipes with customers and redirect them to their online store.

Parks and green spaces

As with cultural institutions, MySmartJourney provides municipal parks, walking trails and resorts with stand-alone technology that delivers dynamic routes to visitors. They can create fun experiences and invite users on short or long distance journeys to revitalize public places.

Operational (infrastructure)

MySmartJourney is a contactless broadcasting tool that makes it possible to share information directly 24/7. The application optimizes the operational performance of certain companies. For example, the Quartier des spectacles used our technology to document the state of the infrastructure equipment in real time. This technological solution allowed them to plan the appropriate budget to replace the infrastructure at the right time and minimize the risk of errors. 

Hotel

All hotels can quickly and independently use MySmartJourney to display the various services they offer. The user experience is easy and made more dynamic and attractive thanks to the possibility of creating varied and interactive content.

For example, Hotel Monville uses MySmartJourney to eliminate paper in hotel rooms and optimize security based on health measures. The platform allows them to add custom posters and QR codes to share information about room service, hotel history, manufacturing, etc. 

Tell us about your project

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Multiracial people having fun together in the city while using mobile phones
2022-09-28 | 20:04

Phygital marketing as a strategy to connect and engage travelers

Since the advent of the pandemic, the economic and tourism recovery has seen a new light. Contactless technology is at the heart of these new trends and offers an adapted solution to optimize the traveler's experience. In this article, we explain what phygital marketing is, its benefits and how to improve your marketing strategy to generate more bounce.

What is tourism? 

Tourism is considered a real cultural, social and economic phenomenon. It is the movement of people from their usual environment to new places or countries for personal, leisure or professional purposes. Tourism manifests itself through various activities performed by tourists during their trip.

Tourism is an experience that affects not only the travelers or visitors, but also the economy, the environment and the social and cultural life of the tourist destination. Depending on the purpose of the tourist or traveler, we distinguish different types of tourism such as business tourism, family tourism, scientific tourism, etc. Immersive tourism encourages the encounter and discovery of the unknown.

6 ways to make your destination stand out

What is the main reason people travel? 

People travel for different reasons: to discover new places, to get away from it all, to disconnect or to recharge their batteries. Each person can find a thousand valid reasons to travel.

Nevertheless, as the famous Christopher McCandless discovered in the movie Into The Wild: "Happiness is only real when it is shared". This is the main reason to travel: to share moments and be together. We are always looking for the other person to share emotions, thoughts, discoveries, etc.

The destination or the external environment only offers a favourable framework and diversified experiences to fill this need that we have to be together and to live with others this pleasure that is travel. An immersive trip is a tourist experience that encourages you to get off the beaten track and discover yourself through the world around you.

How does our digital route for tourist and cultural sites work?

How important is phygital marketing in tourism destinations? 

The tourism destination aims to immerse travelers in the outdoor environment, but they are often absorbed by their cell phones. Phygital marketing is the ideal way to combine the digital world with the outdoor environment to create engaging and entertaining experiences that meet travelers' needs. 

Indeed, phygital marketing is at the heart of an interactive strategy that aims to connect the user with his environment while highlighting the advantages of mobile technology. For example, MySmartJourney allows tourist destinations to create digital experiences for travelers through QR codes, NFC technology and short URLs. 

This solution makes users' mobile devices an efficient way to live moments of sharing and communication through personalized, entertaining and playful experiences. This web tool does not require any contact to share content that is accessible to all and meets the physiological needs of contemplation, interactivity and sharing.

Phygital marketing combines the power and efficiency of the digital experience with the human side of the physical experience. It engages customers digitally while allowing them to fully experience the physical, sensory and emotional aspects of the experience through the various interactions offered. This strategy encourages links and exchanges between friends or family members who experience and discover together.

What is MySmartJourney?

How can we improve marketing in tourist destinations to connect travelers? 

To ensure an effective tourism marketing strategy, it is important to involve the user as much as possible. Promoting the creation of user-generated content through images, videos or even blog posts and social media posts is both a cost-effective and profitable alternative. 

Bounce web  

It's a term we coined. The rebound web, as its name suggests, goes against the immersive experience offered by the usual digital offerings. It offers a tool that creates an interactive experience without immersing a traveler to the point of disconnecting him from the rest of his group and the places he visits

Some examples: a selfie booth allows you to keep original memories of the experience. The experience connects us physically to each other, and we leave the phone quickly. Also, there are quizzes that can be played with several people and that create an interaction between visitors and the surrounding environment. A rally will make you discover the corners of the visited places. And so on.

NFC technology 

The NFC technology allows a contactless data exchange at proximity. It can be found in bank cards, transport cards or even in cell phones. This technology can be used to facilitate the tourist experience through online mobile payment or to push multimedia content via signs in your public places, as MySmartJourney customers do.

Interactive forms 

The use of satisfaction forms for travelers and tourists can be very helpful in improving their tourism experience. It allows various destinations to improve their services and communicate easily and quickly with all visitors in order to create a better experience every time. In addition, this tool guarantees a quick data collection.

Personalize the customer journey

Opting for a personalized strategy allows your company or brand to stand out thanks to an optimal adaptation to the tourist's needs. Quality content that focuses on the experience tends to attract more and more tourists. Allowing the traveler to be their own guide allows them to enjoy their trip at their own pace.

Thanks to MySmartJourney's "Timer" feature, the experience creator can tailor its content according to the hours. If a tourist walks around a city and scans the QR code or NFC chip during the day, he will discover the tourist attractions open at that moment, such as museums and art galleries. However, if he scans a code after 6pm for example, he will have access to content that will allow him to discover the city's nightclubs and bars.

Varied multimedia content that adds to the visitor's understanding 

The integration of videos, images or audio files makes the user's experience more lively and entertaining. It appeals to the user's senses and makes him live an experience that is closer to reality. This content can be adapted and automated according to the client's desired use. 

Nowadays, technology is constantly evolving and becoming more and more real. Mysmartjourney integrates with Sketchfab and YouTube 360 to allow tourist destinations to share 3D or 360° content and meet the user's contemplation needs.

Creating physical digital experiences for tourism destinations

MySmartJourney is a tool for the creation and design of contactless tourist or cultural mediation scenarios. Our platform allows different organizations and companies to set up useful and captivating digital journeys that attract visitors. These scenarios can be customized according to the target audience and bring together different media to enrich the content shared.

MySmartJourney can be used by museums, historical sites or exhibition halls that wish to offer visitors a unique and above all dynamic experience. The various hotel establishments, restaurants or even municipal parks can use this technology to create an interaction with the visitor or tourist through a mobile device.

We offer a cost-effective and easy-to-use alternative that enhances your space and services. MySmartJourney can work both indoors and outdoors, and aims to generate bounce that meets the physiological needs of contemplation and connection with the environment. Our tool works on all devices, with no web application to install.

Discover the features of MySmartJourney

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Young Woman Looking at Paintings in Museum
2022-09-28 | 20:44

6 reasons why audio guides are changing in 2021

What is an audio guide? 

An audio guide device is an electronic system similar to a music player which allows personalized guided tours in museums or other establishments. 

Audio guides are integrated in the museum experience in order to help visitors understand the exhibitions without the need for a physical tour guide. Whilst some people prefer a guided tour with a museum employee, an audio guide seemingly gives you the best of both worlds as you get all the information you would get from a tour guide but can stroll around the museum at your own pace. 

Audio guides are often used in museums that frequently have foreign language visitors. Think of renowned museums, such as The Louvre or the Natural History Museum, whose visitor demographics are extremely varied. They cannot hire employees for every eventuality so they use audio guide systems, which can be formatted in different languages, in order to accommodate foreign language speakers and visitors. 

Why do audio guides have to change?  

In today’s digital age, audio guides are quickly changing and adapting, as other more innovative options are emerging as better alternatives. 

Here are some of the reasons why audio guides are becoming obsolete:

1. No visual

The most obvious drawback of the audio guide is the fact that there are no visuals attached to it. Whilst some would argue that visuals aren’t needed because you have the physical visuals available in the museum, these are temporary and at a distance. 

There are alternatives available, such as MySmartJourney that can provide you with visuals on your phone along with audio, which complement each other. These visuals are more accessible and can interact with the exhibit in a way that audio guides cannot, creating a more exciting and well rounded visitor experience.

2. Risk of contamination

The Covid-19 pandemic has worked to speed up the adapting process of audio guides as we have become more aware of germs and bacteria. Audio guides come in and out of the hands of countless museum visitors per day, making germ cross contamination a key problem, especially during peak visiting hours. Innovative solutions that leverage customizable apps remove this problem as visitors simply have to use their smartphones (no equipment is needed). 

3. Only stimulate one sense

An audio guide in itself is actually quite limiting as all it offers is an audio aid. Not only is this non-inclusive, and inaccessible to those hard of hearing, but it is also quite a boring experience. The audio guide provides a very one-dimensional user experience which does not make the most of the other senses. 

Having visual aids accompany the audio contents elevates the entire experience and allows visitors to enjoy all the museum has to offer in a more interesting and innovative way. Appealing to other senses also makes alternatives more accessible and user-friendly than audio guides. 

4. Doesn't take advantage of enhanced reality

Enhanced reality creates a more collaborative and interactive experience that elevates the exhibit exponentially. Platforms and interfaces such as MySmartJourney include things such as quizzes, augmented reality and live streams to the journey. 

5. Can't be modified rapidly

One of the biggest downfalls of audio guides is the fact that they cannot be quickly modified. This poses problems for numerous reasons. Firstly, museum exhibits rarely stay the same and are often changed on a regular basis. Audio guides cannot be changed at the same rate that exhibits do, meaning they are constantly behind. 

Moreover, knowledge is constantly evolving. Whilst your audio guide might say one thing about your exhibition, historians and archeologists might have since uncovered new information about it, and your audio guide cannot be easily updated. 

6. It requires physical equipment

Multiple aspects make museum audio guide equipment an undesirable option. Not only are they costly to produce, and transport, but they are also at risk of getting lost and broken. Although audio guide users are generally respectful and responsible with the equipment, accidents happen and these can be costly. 

Best alternative to audio guides 

MySmartJourney offers interfaces that allow museums and places of interest to integrate multimedia content to their exhibitions and the public spaces they occupy. It is the future of tourism. 

They provide a digital and innovative solution to self-guided tours, regardless of the setting. Whilst it can be utilized by museums, it can equally be used in any public space that will benefit from an exchange of information and interaction.

It is an extremely accessible alternative as it functions from the user's smartphone and has a plethora of interactive options, depending on what the situation calls for. This could mean including quizzes for children, or more informative academic content for adults. 

Moreover, the setup allows you to endlessly update information in real time, ensuring your information is always up to date and never becomes dated. The way in which you utilize the interface is up to you, but the opportunities are endless and far more interesting than anything audio guides can offer. 

See a demo

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QR code concep
2022-09-28 | 19:52

Is there a better solution than using a chatbot for your touristic venue?

With mobile phones being a big part of everyone’s daily life, businesses and organizations are rethinking their marketing tactics and overall presence online to make it more accessible and engaging for users. Mobile devices offer consumers a new way of experiencing brands and consuming content and with the introduction of mobile digital journeys, customer expectations have reached new heights. Improving the user experience is becoming more and more of a priority for businesses across different industries.

Although chatbots are a great strategy to improve a company’s customer service, answers can be quite robotic and difficult to personalize in the short term. Thankfully, MySmartJourney’s platform allows companies to personalize digital routes for their customers. Find out more about why MySmartJourney is better than a chatbot in the article below. 

What is MySmartJourney ?

MySmartJourney is a platform that allows businesses to create and design digital routes online by leveraging QR codes, NFC technology and short URLs. It is an easy tool to use which makes it possible to create informative, interactive and entertaining multimedia journeys that not only attract customers but make them feel empowered.

 

MySmartJourney leverages technology and innovation to build quick, contactless, automated, and unique experiences in any physical space within a matter of minutes. One of the many advantages of MySmartJourney are: 24/7 assistance, access to information on-the-go, paperless pop-ups and conversion shortcuts.

 

By gathering precious data, this multi-purpose tool understands how people move through digital journeys and is able to support them effectively through each touch point, making their online experience as smooth as possible.

See it in action 

Features of MySmartJourney

 

MySmartJourney offers a lot of key features to enhance the customers’ experience :

 

  • Text, images, videos and audios : MySmartJourney allows businesses to use text, images, videos and audios to enrich cultural exhibitions and make them more interactive through multimedia content. The video feature includes integrations with Youtube and Vimeo, and the audio one integrates seamlessly with Soundcloud. There is also an MP3 playback option and automatic optimization and media adaptation throughout the whole platform.

 

  • Action buttons and redirections : This tool enables tourist sites to create quizzes, interactive treasure hunts and gamified on-site quests for customers. It can also host links to other websites on the platform.

 

  • 3D and 360° content : MySmartJourney integrates with Sketchfab and Youtube 360 so that customers can observe objects in detail and live a truly 360° immersive experience.

 

  • Selfie booth : The mobile photo booth provides users the chance to get personalized souvenir photos that can be accompanied by integrated branding stickers. There is also an option for social sharing with a landing page.

 

  • Keycode : For complex scenarios and puzzles or for the purpose of the gamification of locations, content can be hidden behind a password also referred to as a “keycode”.

 

  • Google Forms : Another MySmartJourney feature is the Google form integration which allows venues to set up visitor satisfaction surveys and collect data easily.

 

  • Orders from a distance : Orders from a distance allow the quick management of menus and product lists and give businesses the ability to send order emails to guides or supervisors.

 

  • Scheduler : The scheduler feature allows businesses to schedule specific content according to weekly schedules and share information with users in real time.

 

  • Statistics : The statistics feature provides integration with anonymized Google Analytics, automated reporting and visitor behavior data. This is useful for businesses that want to get insights on their customers’ needs and expectations.

Tell us about your project 

What is a chatbot ?

 

A chatbot is an artificial intelligence (AI) software that can mimic human speech to stimulate a human conversation with a user in natural language, either through standalone applications, messaging applications, websites, web applications or even through the phone.  

 

Chatbots are often described as one of the most advanced and promising AI technologies based on interactions between humans and digital devices or machines. In the business sphere, these conversational agents are meant to simplify conversations between customers and businesses, thereby improving the customer experience.

 

A chatbot’s algorithm is programmed to mimic a human conversation by asking questions and giving relevant recommendations and solutions. This helps minimize the occurrence of human error while resolving customer queries quicker.

Why is MySmartJourney better than a chatbot ?

 

In an attempt to create a more efficient customer service experience, a lot of companies and businesses implemented chatbots. However, this is sometimes counterproductive. With the emphasis being on humanlike interactions, a lot of aspects of chatbots are quite unsatisfactory and need improving.

 

Here are five reasons of why MySmartJourney is better than a chatbot :

1. Visitors don’t need to be as active

 

When using a chatbot, the user has to be very active since it is a conversational interaction. In reality, visitors don’t necessarily have the time, energy or desire to ask questions. Thanks to MySmartJourney, users don’t have to take on an active role. In fact, all they have to do is scan a QR code or get their mobile phones close to an NFC tag in order to get the information they need quickly. 

2. Visitors can skip steps easily

 

When talking to a chatbot, it can take a lot of time or steps for users to get the algorithm to understand their query. Most of the time, visitors want to fast forward, scroll through, pause, change the subject, skip a few steps, etc. instead of having a full-on conversation. This is possible with MySmartJourney as the platform allows visitors to get the information they need in a matter of seconds. 

3. Visitors have more control

 

Chatbots are programmed so they follow a series of instructions in order to get users the information they need. In fact, sometimes they don’t understand users so they can’t help them. With MySmartJourney, visitors have more control over their journey by choosing the way they browse and access information. The platform allows businesses and organizations to personalize the customer journey and make it more interactive. This gives users more control over their customer journey! 

4. Chatbots only answer to keywords

 

Chatbots mainly respond to keywords that they have been fed through machine learning and algorithms. However, with MySmartJourney, this is not the case. Content on the platform goes beyond text as the platform allows you to display images, videos and audios. 

5. Plurality of interactions and gamification of content  

 

A chatbot is an innovative solution but it can be quite limited when it comes to communication as it only offers customers simple one-to-one conversations. On the other hand, MySmartJourney opens up a world of interactions and possibilities. For example, companies can create information tapes, treasure hunts, hero quests, audio guides, instruction manuals, etc.

Want to create unique physical digital experiences ?

 

MySmartJourney is a platform used for the creation and design of digital routes for tourist and cultural sites. It’s an easy-to-use, fun, interactive tool made to build informative, useful and entertaining digital multimedia journeys.

 

Our digital solution is used by companies in different industries: 

 

  • Museums, art galleries and historical sites
  • Associations, circuits and tourist routes
  • Municipal parks, walking trails and resorts
  • Hotel establishments and traveler services
  • Artisanal producers 
  • And much more! 

 

Personalizing your digital journey has never been easier. With MySmartJourney, the possibilities are endless. Get in touch with us today ! 

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People waiting in line
2022-09-28 | 20:31

What are the best waiting room ideas?

How many times in your life have you been sitting in a waiting room or waiting in line and got bored thinking about the time you were wasting? We all know how boring waiting in a hotel lobby or waiting for a guided tour or multimedia experience can be

Designing a fun waiting room or waiting line that offers interactive or stimulating activities is key to making sure that the time your customers have to wait is an entertaining experience. There are different options that you can consider to make this experience more interactive and stimulating. 

4 tips to make your waiting room area more engaging 

1. Get the basics right

Make sure you have all the basics in your waiting room or in your premises! Good lighting, comfortable and ergonomic seats and music are some of the essentials that you cannot miss. Wi-Fi is very important for people who want to optimize their waiting time while working or browsing the Internet. Magazines and newspapers may sound a bit old-fashioned, but they are always welcome.

2. Mural walls

Mural walls have different benefits. The color and design give your waiting room or space a special touch that leaves no one indifferent. Murals come in different sizes, and themes so you can collaborate with an artist to design a personalized one. Pick a theme that suits the average age of the people who pass through your doors. 

If they are children, you can look for a theme related to animals, nature, space, etc. These murals will keep the little ones entertained, something their parents will thank you for. Unique mural walls encourage curiosity and stimulate memory and creativity which can be boosted by creating some simple activity sheets to look for hidden items within the wall illustration.

3. Table games and books

Books and board games are a simple option, but they help to make the waiting time more enjoyable. This is a good option for all ages which won’t eat too much out of your budget. Make sure to include individual games like card games and puzzles for different ages.

4. NFC technology and QR codes to entertain

An excellent alternative to surprise your customers is to include NFC technology or QR codes in your waiting room or space. This technology allows you to share different types of content with your customers. All they have to do is scan the QR code with their mobile phones to have access to personalized content or activities. This is a perfect way for them to spend their time waiting.  

You can create games related to your business, share information about your products or services in audio and video and broadcast movies or funny videos. These are just ideas but the opportunities are unlimited. Your clients will be able to access the content using their mobile phone without registering or downloading a specific app. 

The only thing that they have to do is bring their mobile phone close to an NFC device that you can install in your waiting room area or use QR codes to access the content. This technology is 100% flexible since it allows you to change the content as many times as you need, depending on what you want to communicate. 

During specific times of the year (at Christmas, for example), you can create relevant content. If you want to learn more about our technology and how it can help your business, feel free to contact us. An expert from our team will assess your needs and offer you a customized NFC technology or QR code solution so that you can make the most of your waiting room area.

Features of our solution 

Overview

There are several options to make your waiting room fun. You just have to make sure to take into account who are the people who pass by your waiting room and why they are there.  Among the different alternatives, there are some cheaper ones such as having board games or coloring books, but you have to bear in mind that you will have to renew them regularly.

If you decide on thematic decoration, you will need a larger budget, but the experience will also be unforgettable, especially for children. Finally, if what you are looking for is to surprise the people who pass through your waiting room, and generate specific content for different profiles that entertains them during the waiting time, you should think about incorporating NFC or QR technology. With this technology you will turn waiting time into a fun experience that your customers will remember! 

Create contactless and interactive journeys 

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Modern Couple Wearing Masks in Art Gallery
2022-09-28 | 20:48

7 Secrets to creating the perfect audio tour

Exploring new towns or cities, museums or attractions is an exciting activity for many, which gives insight into a wide range of interests. From history to modern day innovations, there is always something to learn about everything. However, the traditional guided tour can get monotonous and frankly quite boring. 

Therefore, it is increasingly important for companies who are offering such tours to provide alternative options to the traditional tour that many find difficult to engage with. One of the easiest ways in which businesses can offer alternatives is to implement audio tours as a substitute to a guided tour. 

An audio tour is preferred by many due to the less rigid format of a tour that it provides. In order to help you introduce audio tours, we have created a guide on all you need to know about audio tours. 

What is an audio tour? 

An audio tour or an audio guide is a tour that is primarily led by auditory tools. The main difference between an audio tour and a guided tour is the fact that there is no tour guide per se, the audio that you are listening to is your tour guide. 

In place of a regular in-person tour guide, an audio tour consists of pre-recorded information that is loaded onto a device and given out for people to listen to individually. This allows visitors to go around at their own pace and take things in a leisurely manner, which is preferred by many. 

However, it is important to understand that audio tours do not have to be limited to spoken word. In fact, audio tours can create an immersive experience, especially if used in conjunction with other technological advancements that can be used for tours. Even without these additional aids that you can use, you can include music and dramatics within your audio tour to make it more fun and exciting for those using it and listening to the tour. 

Create the perfect audio tour

How do audio tours work?

Fully understanding how an audio tour works will help you when and if you are planning on including an audio tour as an option in replacement of a guided tour. The first step in getting the audio tour ball rolling is to record the audio. Depending on your format, this can be done by a single person or you can hire different people for different functions in your tour. 

Once the audio is recorded, you then need to upload them to the device that you have chosen to use. You then have options on how you want to implement your studio tour within your exhibits or attractions. Whilst some companies choose to simply have their customers click on the relevant button for the relevant information, others are more advanced and the device can identify the location and play the relevant information or some choose to leverage QR codes, which allows visitors to use their phone to gain access to the information. 

There are different options in how an audio tour works and functions, which gives you options as to how you would like to administer your audio tours. It is wise to assess your target audience in order to determine what mode of audio tour will be perceived best by visitors. 

7 tips to create the perfect audio tour

Now that you know exactly what an audio tour is and how it works, we are here to provide you with some top tips to ensure you can create the perfect audio tour for your audience. If you think your visitors will benefit from an audio tour, here is how you can create the perfect experience for them. 

1. Keep it short 

The first tip is actually quite a simple one, which will limit the amount of work that you have to do. We recommend keeping each clip at one minute or less. This is because if you start including morsels of information that last anything more than a minute, you will fall into the same problem you encounter with in-person tours when it becomes monotonous.

By committing to smaller bite size pieces of information, you will be able to get all the key information over to your visitors, without boring them. It will also allow them to take in the sights of the landmarks or exhibition without having a constant stream of dull information being fed into their ears. 

2. Use different voices 

Using different and unique voices is a great way to engage listeners. We have all had those experiences, maybe in a classroom, or in your weekly meeting, with people whose voices drone on and on and put you to sleep. That is exactly what you want to avoid in your audio tours. 

Therefore, when you begin the recording process, we recommend testing out a few different voice actors until you find one that you feel is interesting and engaging. On top of that, do not feel as though you have to limit yourselves to just one voice. Using multiple different people to narrate a story brings it to life and encourages people to pay attention. So, if it is in your budget, see if you can hire multiple interesting voice narrators, if not, ensure the one you use has a fun and unique voice. 

3. Create interesting content 

The content of an audio tour is the most important aspect. If you have bad content, you have a bad audio tour, it's as simple as that. It is a bad idea to simply recite names, dates and historical facts. Although these are important and integral to include in the tour, they should not make up the entirety of the tour. 

Instead, create somewhat of a story, with an interesting and inclusive narrative that will get everyone interested in the facts and history. If you are having a hard time generating content, we suggest looking elsewhere and gaining inspiration from places such as blogs and social media to see what it is that people are interested in and then incorporate those ideas and themes into your tour.  

4. Multiple languages 

It is important to remember that most of the time, when there are audio tours available, they are for significant landmarks or museums, which are prominent tourist attractions. That therefore means that the people who are going to want to be using the tours are not all going to speak the same language. 

You need to accommodate for these circumstances in order to ensure you are creating an inclusive experience and no one is left behind. So, when you are planning on recording your voice-overs and when you are looking for voice actors, you should look for actors in a range of different languages.

Of course, it is illogical and impractical to think that you can cover and translate your tour in every single language to accommodate every single person that might possibly walk through your doors. A great way to know what languages you should cover is to assess your target audience. If you know from what country people who visit are from, you can prioritize translation into those languages first. 

5. Leverage feedback 

Whilst we are on the subject of target audiences, you should take advantage of the opinions of your target audience as that is what matters most at the end of the day. If you have previously run in-person guided tours, gather feedback from them and use them to better your audio tours. 

If visitors have singled out things that they think are particularly good or highlighted parts of the tour that they find boring, use that information to adapt your audio tours. You should also gather more general feedback on the kinds of things they were expecting from your attraction and the information they were hoping you were going to provide. 

Collating all this information and feedback will put you in a better position when you begin writing the script for your audio tour as it will ensure that the content you are creating reflects what your customers want to hear and learn. 

6. Record in a quiet place 

The recording process is almost as integral as the content, because no matter how good the content is, it does not matter if you can’t hear it. You might have created the best audio tour ever, but if it does not sound good, no one will ever know. The best way to achieve a good, natural sound is to record in a quiet place. 

Although a professional recording studio might not necessarily be in your budget, you really do not need one. All you need is a quiet room with no background noise and a room with a high-quality microphone. This will allow you to create the illusion of a recording studio without the huge price tag.

7. Use mobile phones 

Getting visitors to use mobile phones to access audio tours is probably the best, easiest and safest way in which you can run your audio tour. Not only is it convenient, because in today's digital age, practically everyone has access to a smartphone, it is also cheaper and more convenient as it means that you don't have to invest in expensive high-end auditory gear for your visitors to potentially lose or break. 

Companies such as My Smart Journey can help you implement this method of audio tour throughout your city or exhibit. We use QR code technology to create immersive experiences that people love! The concept is simple: at each main attraction, or anywhere where you want customers to be able to access a certain part of your audio tour, you place a QR code. Customers then use their phone to scan the QR code and gain access to that specific part of the tour. 

You can also have more fun with it and make it more interesting with the My Smart Journey platform. Our platform includes an easy-to-install process, which means that you can experiment with the kinds of things you include in your tours. You should take advantage of this and create more specialized experiences. 

For example, if there are parts of the tour that would particularly interest kids, create a game that they can play and link it to a QR code. Alternatively, if you have the opportunity, you could also create VR experiences and immerse your visitors into a new time and place through the simple scanning of a QR code. 

Ultimately, getting visitors and customers to use mobile phones is the best way to run an audio tour, especially in the wake of the pandemic. It is a far cleaner and more hygienic practice as there is no transferral of germs through devices. It is also convenient as it means that visitors are responsible for their own device, meaning you will not lose equipment or have to deal with damaged audio devices. Moreover, and most importantly, it opens up the door to greater opportunities in the types of experiences you can offer as you will not be limited to audio only. 

My Smart Journey Demo

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NFC Technology. Unrecognizable woman maiking contactless payment with smartphone to terminal
2022-09-28 | 20:35

What does NFC technology bring to hotels?

What is NFC technology?

NFC technology stands for Near Frequency Communication. It allows two devices to talk to each other when in close proximity and is becoming increasingly popular across hospitality and retail industries. 

The use of NFC information technology is creating more seamless customer and guest experiences. The most common use of NFC technology that you might have seen in practice in your everyday life is with contactless payment. Services such as Apple and Google pay on mobile devices work as the transmitting device and the card machine is the receiving device. 

Despite the frequent use of NFC technology in the financial industry, many overlook the ways in which it can improve other customer experience and improve the efficiency of daily tasks in areas such as the hotel industry. 

What is NFC in the hotel industry?

Many underestimate the dynamic and inventive ways in which NFC technology can be used. Here are some ways in which NFC technology is leveraged in the hotel industry:

Room Access

One of the most common uses of NFC technology in the hotel industry is to allow guests to access their rooms without needing a traditional hotel room key. The technology itself can work as the locks on your door and create a more secure and reliable system for safe and easy room access. 

Hotels can place NFC tags on all of their doors and give hotel guests a unique code in a mobile app that allows them and only them instant access to their room. Placing your phone up to the access point on the door will open it instantly and will also ensure the door locks securely. 

Wifi access

The implementation of NFC technology can also be used to ensure access to wifi is easily obtained by guests throughout your hotel. By placing little QR codes in both common areas and hotel rooms, you can ensure everyone can access wifi easily as soon as they need to. 

The distribution of QR codes throughout your hotel for wifi access will improve the overall customer experience. All guests need to do is place their phone over the QR code for it to be read which will then send them to a page to register for the hotel’s wifi. A real-time solution to a 21st-century problem. 

Payment

Offering guests contactless payment is a must as they are likely used to using it outside of your hotel. You can offer contactless payment for anything within your hotel that requires payment. However, be aware that there is usually an upper limit to how much you can spend on contactless, meaning paying for the entire stay on your phone might not be possible. 

Nevertheless, you can minimize card use in all other areas of your hotel. For example, implement contactless payment in your restaurant or bar as well as for room service, or your gift shop. Regardless of where you use it, it will undoubtedly improve your guest experience and might even increase profit since customers are more likely to pay for something if they don’t have to search for a card and manually enter their pin. 

Maintenance 

An often overlooked use of NFC technology is for reporting maintenance issues. It can improve the very foundations of your hotel business and how it is run. Again, distributing small QR codes around the hotel, and especially within rooms can help so that maintenance issues are reported swiftly. 

Instead of guests having to ring the front desk or find a member of staff to fix their issue, they can use the QR code in their room. These codes will redirect guests to a maintenance form to report their problem. This can then be accessed by staff members to resolve the issue as soon as possible. 

How does NFC technology work?

You know what NFC technology can do, but it is often difficult for people to get their head around how exactly this form of innovative technology works. Given the fact that this is relatively new technology, the confusion is understandable. 

As the name suggests, near-field communication (NFC), needs two devices that are in close proximity to each other. The system itself barely uses any power so there is no pairing system necessary, just a momentary chip activation. 

Once in close proximity to one another, the NFC-enabled device is activated and data can be passed between the two devices. It is actually a simple process which makes consumer experiences more smooth, seamless and secure than ever before.

How can NFC benefit your hotel?

Efficiency 

Implementing NFC technology within your hotel will undoubtedly improve the overall efficiency of every aspect of your business. Using it to allow guests to flag up maintenance issues will ensure your staff and management are instantaneously made aware of any problems and can fix them as soon as possible. 

Using it to allow people to register their stay will ensure they are in the system immediately and can begin their stay right away. Basically, NFC technology allows you to remove the middle man which saves you money but also inevitably improves the speed and efficiency at which things get completed within your establishment. 

Security 

Often, people are wary of moving away from traditional room keys or room cards as they think digital solutions will compromise security. This could not be further from the truth. 

NFC technology means your room key is on your phone and in the 21st century digital age, phones are looked after and accounted for far more than keys. With the key on a guest's phone, there is no easy way to access the room. The perpetrator would have to figure out how to unlock the guest’s phone first. It is therefore far safer to have the key on the phone than it is to have a traditional key. 

Customer experience

Ultimately, a successful business is measured against customer experience and the use of NFC technology is guaranteed to improve customer experience. The possibilities are endless with this form of technology and you can be as creative with it as you like. Whilst you can use it simply to improve efficiency within your hotel, you can also be more innovative. 

For example, you can use it to make some experiences more interactive and fun for the children staying at your hotel. Distributing stations throughout the hotel that create a virtual game for redirecting kids towards quizzes and online or on-site games is a great way to ensure you are using NFC technology to cater to all your guests. Alternatively, you can use it as a virtual tour guide with QR codes that direct guests towards the best restaurants and attractions around the hotel or even within the hotel itself. 

If you have ideas as to how you can be inventive with your implementation of this technology, contact MySmartJourney. Our team will be happy to collaborate with you to ensure the experience you want to create is achieved.  

Our platform is easy to use and flexible which enables you to leverage NFC technology in a way that benefits your business. For inspiration on how you can best use NFC technology, click here to see some of our success stories. 

How are you missing out if you are not using NFC?

Realistically, if you are not using NFC technology, you are living in the past. This type of technology is a tangible process that is being implemented throughout different industries as you read this. In order to keep up with today’s digital age, you need to seriously consider introducing NFC into your business. Not only does it improve efficiency, but it also improves security and the overall customer experience. 

Implement NFC technology

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Women holds a smartphone and a shopping bag together
2022-09-28 | 20:41

What is Phygital Marketing? 

What is Phygital Marketing?

Phygital is a hybrid of the words physical and digital. Phygital marketing merges online and offline marketing strategies to enhance and personalize the customer experience. The rise of phygital marketing comes to no surprise with people becoming increasingly reliant on digital technology but still craving physical experiences. 

When considering digital and physical realms, most choose to see these two as distinct but this couldn't be further from the truth, as today, the digital sphere is inherently interconnected with the physical sphere. Consider the link between online shopping and physical stores. 

Did you know that 63% of shopping experiences begin online? (source) Even so, a great majority of people prefer shopping in physical stores. It’s not rare that people find pieces of clothing they like while browsing online in the comfort of their home and then go to the physical store to try them on. This is where phygital experiences come into play. 

Benefits of Phygital Marketing

Phygital marketing is a must in 2021 if you want to boost sales but what are the specific benefits that phygital marketing can bring to the table? Here are just a few:

Caters for everyone

Phygital marketing caters for everyone. As it merges physical and digital shopping experiences, you make sure that those who prefer to shop in person and those who prefer to shop online are catered for

For example, the click and collect options that are frequently offered by retail stores are a great way for businesses to cater for both in-person and online shoppers. The click and collect service allows you to shop from home but still provides an in-store experience. 

Takes some pressure off your staff 

Distributing digital features throughout a store can help take the pressure off your staff as it allows consumers to be in control of their own shopping experience when in stores. Having products labeled with QR codes that direct shoppers towards all the relevant information they might need to know about a particular product reduces the number of people bothering staff for information. 

This in turn allows staff to direct their attention to other more pressing issues in the store and use their time more effectively throughout their shift

Better for the environment 

The environmental benefits of phygital marketing are not always considered, but the way in which physical marketing can cut down on the use of paper and other such materials is one of the best things about it. 

One key example of this benefit is the printing of receipts. Printing receipts is a waste of paper, especially because there are alternative options. Physical marketing can replace a printed receipt with an e-receipt that is sent to your email, which can minimize the negative environmental impacts of the store. 

Perfect for Covid-19 

The Covid-19 pandemic forced many retail stores into phygital marketing. As stores were forced to close, many had to find a solution to stay in business. That answer was phygital marketing. During the pandemic, many stores started to offer curbside pickup which meant that consumers could still browse the contents of the shop online, and could come to the store to pick it up. As the pandemic has shifted many people’s habits, this curbside pickup format will likely remain post pandemic as it is convenient and simple. 

Increase engagement 

The main advantage of phygital marketing is the way in which it advertises your store and the freedom it gives marketing teams. Incorporating touch screens, having an interactive storefront, and even incorporating augmented reality into the shopping experience is a way to engage shoppers who are not necessarily in-person shoppers. 

If you are able to grab the attention of passers-by with your phygital marketing strategy in physical stores, the likelihood of them either taking time out of their day to visit your store or going home to see what all the fuss is about exponentially increases. 

If the benefits of phygital marketing have intrigued you, and you would like to find out more, visit MySmartJourney to discover how they have been incorporating phygital marketing into businesses across Canada. 

How to Develop a Phygital Marketing Strategy 

Now that you are aware of the benefits of phygital marketing, hopefully you are considering integrating it into your own business plan. If that is the case, here are a few tips to help you develop a phygital marketing strategy:

Know your target market 

One of the cardinal rules of marketing is to know your target audience inside out. The first step is to identify who your target audience is. Knowing who you are catering for will allow you to create marketing campaigns that can be directed towards them specifically

For example, if you have a younger target market, they will likely be doing most of their shopping online so you need to see how you can entice them into stores. On the other hand, older generations like to shop in stores so you need to research how you can encourage them to also explore online shopping. 

One of the best ways to get a comprehensive understanding of your target audience and what they want is to encourage customers and consumers to give you feedback and to routinely check reviews to see how you can improve your offer. 

Leverage apps 

A great strategy to create a successful phygital marketing experience is to leverage apps. Apps are a brilliant tool to use because they are already in your consumers’ pockets. MySmartJourney provides companies with a scalable platform to make it easy to provide physical digital experiences. 

With something as simple as QR code, customers with the app can get an abundance of information directly to their mobile phone, making the practical transferral of information seamless. Moreover, if you want a more interactive and fun use of phygital marketing, you can redirect consumers to quizzes and games through the app to bring a creative and interactive element to your marketing campaign. 

Create an experience 

Going shopping is no longer an in and out experience, retail stores are continuously trying to find new ways to make the experience more interactive, fun and inclusive whilst still staying accessible to all. 

There are a multitude of different ways in which you can create these unique experiences, from distributing games throughout your stores, like those that you can achieve or more advanced forms of technology such as holographic try on stations where people can see what outfits would look like on them without actually trying anything on. 

Whilst some of these more advanced uses of technology might sound like something from the future, as phygital marketing starts to become more prevalent, stores are going to continue to experiment with new and unique ways of merging the physical and digital spheres. 

Examples of phygital experiences 

Whilst there are lots of different forms that phygital experiences can take, here are just a few to give you an idea.

Amazon Go 

Amazon Go stores have been slowly popping up all over the world. They were founded in 2018, by none other than Amazon and currently have 21 locations around the world. Amazon Go stores are changing the way that we do our everyday grocery shop. 

With minimal staff, the Amazon Go shop is the ultimate phygital experience. It works by scanning a QR code upon entry. Once inside the store, you simply fill up your basket and leave, there is no need to check out because the sensors throughout the shop can identify what you have bought and automatically charge the card linked to your account. 

Glossier 

Glossier is an online beauty store which does not have physical stores. However, their phygital marketing campaign involved setting up pop-up shops in different countries throughout the world. Pop up shops are a great way for online stores to create phygital experiences.

Nike 

The clothing and sneaker brand Nike had an in store shoe personalization. Customers were able to digitally create a shoe of their own design. The shoe was then created in the store and they could take it home that day. 

Overview 

Phygital experiences are the future of shopping. In today’s world, the digital and the physical spheres are inherently interconnected so retailers must learn to adapt to this new reality. To learn about how you can integrate phygital marketing into your business, visit MySmartJourney!

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City of Montreal cityscape with blue skies and Leonard Cohen Mural
2022-09-28 | 20:20

Phygital marketing in tourist destinations

With the recovery of the tourism industry after the health crisis, travel agencies, tourist offices and operators of tourist attractions are facing stiff competition for new customers. This is why many companies are adopting innovative marketing strategies. Thanks to the digital revolution, the phygital strategy is an effective way to promote tourist destinations and offer an optimal user experience.

What is destination marketing?

Destination marketing refers to the set of communication actions whose goal is to encourage potential customers to visit a tourist destination. It is about highlighting attractions and arousing the interest of travelers through relevant content and adapted tools. 

Why is destination marketing important?

Destination marketing is crucial in the tourism industry because it allows:

  • Define customer expectations;
  • Segment the customers (couples, families, friends, students, etc.) in order to offer them the appropriate theme;
  • Promote the cultural and natural heritage of the destination;
  • Promote tourist activities and establishments;
  • Attract more visitors to sporting, cultural and economic events;
  • Promote the assets of the tourist destination and its advantages over its competitors;
  • Disseminate a relevant brand image;
  • Reach new markets;
  • Follow the marketing actions of competitors;
  • Optimize the budget allocated to tourism;
  • Get a clear vision of the future marketing strategy.

6 ways to make your destination stand out

What is the impact of phygital marketing in a global marketing and sales strategy?

What is phygital marketing?

Phygital marketing is a new trend that combines the physical and digital worlds of a product. This approach aims to take advantage of the strengths of both concepts:

Digital marketing: 

  • Reach many customers with the least amount of costs
  • Deliver a fast online experience
  • Availability 7 days a week and 24 hours a day

Physical marketing:

  • Allow the customer to handle and try the product before buying it
  • Streamline the customer experience in a real shop
  • Build trust through direct communication

Phygital marketing links the physical and digital environment in a virtuous circle, from one to the other, to the other continuously.

The impact of phygital marketing in the tourism sector

Phygital marketing is now an essential lever to improve the digital and physical experiences of travelers:

  • Attracting more visitors
  • Accompanying the traveler

Attract more visitors

Phygital marketing has several implications for the future of destination marketing. It affects consumer behavior and the way travelers experience a city. Phygital experiences combine digital communication with physical space.

Tourism destinations that take advantage of QR codes, NFC technology, and augmented and virtual reality technologies attract more travelers as they make their stay more engaging and rewarding. 

How do museums attract visitors?

Accompany the traveler

Phygital marketing offers visitors all the information they need for their trip in real time and according to their location. For example, a traveler can scan a QR code on site to obtain the opening hours of a tourist or cultural site.

Thanks to QR and NFC technologies, travelers have access to the following information: 

  • The routes and means of transport available;
  • Information related to the opening and closing of a place (museum, park, shopping center, etc.) as well as a guided tour of these places;
  • Visitor reviews of an attraction (e.g., this ride is rated 4.7/5 by visitors);
  • Influencing and monitoring consumer behavior before, during and after their visit.

What are the benefits of phygital marketing for cities?

Phygital marketing brings several benefits to cities, among others:

  • To promote the culture, history and local products of the destination;
  • Encourage tourism investment in the region;
  • Develop the city's economic activities;
  • Increase the turnover of transport companies of different sizes;
  • Create new jobs related to tourism, trade and transportation;
  • To protect the city's heritage and contribute to the well-being of the local population.

8 destination marketing strategies to attract travelers with phygital

  • Investing in contactless technology
  • Creation of phygital experiences
  • Invite the use of social media
  • Face-to-face experiences that include virtual content
  • Collaborate with influencers who come on site
  • Fine-tuning the digital customer experience

There are several marketing strategies you can adopt to increase awareness of the destination and attract more visitors. All the actions to be implemented should take into account the characteristics of the attraction as well as the needs of the targeted clientele.

1. invest in contactless technology

Contactless technology allows visitors to quickly access rich text and visual content on their mobile device and make payments. This solution is based on easy-to-use triggers:

  • QR codes: The QR code is a two-dimensional code that can store a large amount of data (website URLs, text, contact information, etc.). To access it, simply scan the code using a QR code reader application or directly with your smartphone's camera.
  • NFC Tag: NFC technology allows a limited amount of information to be exchanged with a wireless device using a chip contained in an adhesive tag.
  • Short URL: This is a short and easy-to-remember web address. It is used in case of incompatibility of the mobile device with the QR code and the NFC tag.

MySmartJourney offers turnkey solutions to turn your attraction into a smart tourist destination, without the need to create a website or mobile application.

How does our digital route for tourist and cultural sites work?

2. Creation of phygital experiences

It's about putting technology to work in the physical environment of the destination. This offers several tangible benefits to visitors:

  • Reduce waiting time by purchasing tickets online;
  • Offer a 3D and 360° virtual tour;
  • Use contactless technology to guide the customer during their visit;
  • Ask the visitor to share their opinion.

Tool for creating digital paths

3. Social media

Social media such as Facebook, Twitter or Instagram are powerful channels for digital tourism marketing. The massive use of these platforms allows for promotional messages, contests, photos and videos to be broadcast to many potential customers. 

Businesses can leverage QR codes and NFC technology to share social content and improve engagement with users. For example, a hotel can place physical signs in rooms so that guests scan it and are redirected to an Instagram post that shares the best bars and restaurants in the area. 

4. Face-to-face marketing experience

Experience marketing consists of stimulating the sharing of content created by your customers in physical locations. This strategy aims to turn customers into ambassadors of your destination. People appreciate this method because of its authentic and spontaneous aspect. And the content discovered is ultra relevant because the visitor is right there!

5. Work with influencers who come to the site

Collaborating with one or more influencers is an effective way to increase the visibility of your tourism destination and engage consumers. Influencers are creators of content such as:

  • Publications on Facebook or Twitter;
  • Blog posts;
  • Photos posted on Instagram or Pinterest;
  • Videos on YouTube or TikTok.

Influencers are people with a large community who trust their opinions more than an organization. Influencers can have anywhere from 10,000 to over 100,000 followers. In addition to the number of subscribers, you need to consider other criteria in order to achieve the desired results:

  • The influencer's environment and its relevance to your message;
  • The activity of the influencer during the last weeks;
  • The interaction between the influencer and his followers;
  • The level of solicitation (requests for partnerships, interviews, advertising, etc.);
  • The cost of collaboration.

Invite them to visit your locations and make content on the spot that they will share on their social networks. Then, put this content forward via QR codes or NFC technology in your physical locations exactly where it was filmed.

6. Enhance the digital customer experience

In order to encourage visitor engagement, you need to take care of the design, functionality and customer journey through your website, mobile app or MySmartJourney web app. Make sure your website is compatible with different devices (computer, mobile phone and tablet).

Create an intelligent customer experience

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portrait of a girl at the museum
2022-09-28 | 19:41

How museums can meet visitors' post-covid expectations

Museums all over the world are determining when and how they will reopen. When they do, they will find a world that has transformed. To successfully resume operations, they must not only monitor the danger of infection of the Covid-19 virus for visitors, volunteers, and staff but also optimize the museum experience.

Museums are seeking assistance from one another as well as peer institutions around the world. They are attempting to coordinate activities to pool expertise, establish public trust, and encourage visitors and audiences to embrace agreed-upon practices. However, since these institutions vary in focus, each museum must develop its own unique approach. The location of each museum, as well as its specific purpose and content, require unique solutions.

Tips to meet visitors’ post-covid expectations

Here are key tips to meet museum visitors’ post-Covid expectations:

  1. Offer mobile self-guided tours
  2. Eliminate the need to touch displays
  3. Sell tickets online to avoid queues
  4. Reduce crowding
  5. Maintain visitor counts within your museum at all times
  6. Provide easy-to-access information

1. Offer mobile self-guided tours

Offering mobile self-guided tours that visitors can access on their mobile phone is one of the easiest strategies to meet visitors' expectations in the post-Covid era. There is no need to buy audio guide equipment or headphones. Visitors won't have to be worried about using a shared audio device, and museum staff won't have to be concerned about sanitizing audio equipment all the time.

Museum spaces can utilize QR codes or NFC technology to orient visitors and share information for their self-guided tour. This way visitors can enjoy the exhibits at their own pace. The QR codes can also provide information about merchandise found at the museum boutique!

2. Eliminate the need to touch physical displays

Some museums contain physical displays with audio or video material. Others provide information on flippable pages for visitors to view. It's critical to provide material to visitors without requiring them to interact with items. Physical displays can be cleaned regularly, but they don't provide the convenience visitors are looking for when it comes to safety. 

Virtual storytelling technology was once very expensive and difficult to implement, but that is no longer the case. Technology is becoming more accessible, as well as more user-friendly. Museums can leverage QR technology and near-field technology (NFC) to create immersive experiences that bring a museum’s collections to life. These technologies can be utilized to create interactive museum tours and displays on mobile devices without the need for equipment.

A curator can emphasize content to make an exhibit fully accessible or give museum visitors more ways to interact with the exhibit's information in an online format. This can be done via content publishing tools like QR codes, which allow museums to include web-based interactivity in their exhibits. The MySmartJourney platform can also be used to replace audio guides and create self-guided tours.

The no-contact museum of the future for a post-Covid world

3. Sell tickets online to avoid queues

The days of standing in line are over. Lines can exacerbate visitors' anxieties about Covid safety, and they're not fun to wait in regardless. That is why investing in online ticketing is key for modern museums

4. Reduce crowding

Timed entry is another technique to reduce long lineups and crowds in museums. This feature is available on many ticketing platforms. It allows visitors to visit the museum on the hour or half-hour they booked to minimize long lines and to ensure that entry is staggered. Visitors must choose their time window ahead of time and each time slot has a limited amount of tickets available.

Automated ticket activation can also be beneficial. Museums can use QR code technology to scan digital tickets, so if a visitor walks through the door with his mobile device in hand, the ticket is immediately activated and cannot be reused or transferred. This kind of automation isn't required at museums where crowding isn't a serious issue. To keep lines flowing and prevent crowding, having staff members scan QR codes is a great allternative.

5. Maintain visitor counts within your museum at all times

You can expand the capacity of your museum now that social distancing regulations have loosened in most regions. However, Covid norms may make visitors uncomfortable. For example, if your pre-Covid occupancy was 800, and you allowed a maximum of 250 visitors at one time during the peak of Covid in 2020, you could set your new occupancy amount to 650.

If you're not sure if you should reopen at full capacity, ask visitors and staff for their opinions. It may be more enjoyable for everyone to operate at 70-90 % of prior capacity. If you receive a lot of foot traffic, make sure you make it obvious on your website that buying tickets in advance is strongly recommended.

How do museums attract more visitors?

6. Provide easy-to-access information

You must ensure that you provide clear information and directions to your visitors to access toilets, hand sanitation facilities, restaurants, and other key features on your site. Given Covid's sustained impact, visitors will assume that this information is available on your mobile app or website.

You might add a page to your app that explains what amenities are available and where they are located. If you have a huge museum, you may wish to include this information on specific pages as well. Essentially, you want your visitors to realize that you care about them and ensure they have a positive experience while they are in the museum. It's critical in the post-Covid era to give contactless experiences to those who anticipate them. 

The majority of museums are not entirely funded by endowments, and sales are very important. Positive online reviews and word-of-mouth recommendations will come your way if you deliver a fantastic experience for your visitors. By leveraging the MySmartJourney platform you can personalize the museum experience and provide visitors with useful resources and content that will enhance their visit – all on their own devices.

Create digital tours for your museum

MySmartJourney is a leader in creating interactive tours for museums and exhibitions. Our platform enables you to bring the virtual and physical worlds together to educate, entertain, and surprise visitors. Our tools enable you to tailor unique journeys for your customers. These interactive and digital strategies can be customized in both content and scale to optimize customer satisfaction and engagement.

Contact us now

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People Using Smartphones in Art Gallery
2022-09-28 | 19:57

Marketing Your On-Site Experience

MySmartJourney is a platform where users can build informative, useful and entertaining media content to impress their customers, visitors and users. Contrary to many software that are exclusively app-based, the tool is fully web-based and allows clients to personalize virtual experiences quickly and easily. This article highlights tips on how to improve the customer experience strategy in the cultural and entertainment sector through phygital marketing

How to market on-site your experience in 12 easy steps 

1. Media & PR

Announce the release of your experience and web app by writing a compelling press release and share it using a public relation distribution website. You can also send it directly to your local media outlets, including television, print, and radio. With the rise of social media,  we also recommend reaching out to local bloggers and influencers who may be interested in promoting and advertising the experience. Invite them to get a first look and attend your launch event. 

What is MySmartJourney? 

2. Hold a launch event

Hold a launch event to acknowledge and celebrate the release of your new web app. Make sure your partners, board members, narrators, and media attend the event to share how to project was developed and what inspired it. You can also share audio and video samples of the experience and have speakers share their contribution. 

3. Press conference with QR codes

Hold a press conference to coincide with the launch of the experience. Invite the media, the press, and the public to attend your launch event to highlight your new personalized experiences. You can also invite bloggers and social media influencers to the event to generate more buzz. 

Display clear QR codes for guests to test the web application and live the memorable experience. Make sure that the QR codes are placed at chest height and in places where people naturally converge or linger. Finally, make sure that there are enough QR codes interspaced around the event, but not too many to make it overwhelming, so that guests have the best possible experience. 

What is phygital marketing? 

4. Display signs

Use clear and visible display signs across the venue and at the entrance. Whether it is a web link URL, a QR code, or an NFC chip, make sure to provide information on how to access your content. Your signs should be intuitive and provide easy access to your content. 

5. On-site promotion

Promote the experience with displays in the entrance to grab visitors' attention as soon as they arrive. Put a display or QR code on the counter at the front desk or in the entrance. Invite staff to distribute leaflets at each entrance and make sure that they are fully trained on how to use the QR codes. There should be clear instructions on how to access the information. You can also use T-shirts for staff and volunteers that say "Ask about our experience" or have a QR code on the back and distribute leaflets with the experience access information on them.

6. Promotion on the website thanks to short URLs

Use short URLs to allow visitors to have easy access to the most up-to-date information about exhibits, events, and experiences. Your website is the perfect location to promote your newest experience, as well as highlight any useful visitor information. 

7. Create small displays with a central short QR/URL code

Aside from the QR code displays across the venue, it is useful to create small displays with a central QR/URL code on them. These can be placed on the counter at the front desk, at your local visitor's center, or on tables. A couple of strategically placed small displays will be instrumental in increasing the traffic to your website. 

How museums benefit from QR and NFC technologies

8. Use of social media with photos of signs and short URLs

It is highly recommended that you share photos of your signs (what they look like and their location) on social media. Not only will this ensure that your signs are easy to locate, it will also provide additional marketing for the exhibition. 

9. Train team members on how to use QR codes, NFC chips and short URLs

Use your front desk and staff to promote the experience as they often engage directly with customers. Make sure they understand how to use the QR codes, NFC technology and short URLs. You might even consider inviting all of your employees to take part in the experience. Doing so will not only keep them up to date, but it might also encourage them to use their personal online network. 

How to get funds to create a mobile digital journey

10. Update the content of the web application in real time

MySmartJourney tours and experiences are easily customizable and editable, allowing for infinite updates and changes. By keeping your content new and exciting, you will attract new visitors and existing visitors will stay engaged and keep coming back. Furthermore, new features provide the perfect opportunity for promotion and marketing. You can update the content of the web application in real time.

11. Integration of a personalized Google Map

Integrate a personalized Google Map into the experience to highlight points of interest, as well as general visitor information. Personalized Google Maps are easy to integrate and provide a useful resource for customers by allowing them to zoom and in and out of the venue to find what they are looking for or experience a new exhibit. 

12. Featured during a specific event

Feature a QR code, NFC chip or short URL during a specific event related to the web application or experience. For example, the 24 Hours of Le Mans featured QR codes on the side of the vehicles during the drivers’ parade linking to the web page of the event. These codes were strategically placed at the center where all the spectators were looking thus increasing traffic to the website. 

Create personalized experiences with MySmartJourney

MySmartJourney provides interactive experiences for museums, art galleries, historical sites, municipal parks, resorts, artisanal producers, traveler services, hotels and much more. Our platform allows you to merge the physical and online worlds to educate, entertain, and amuse visitors. 

With MySmartJourney, you can personalize unique journeys for your visitors. Our interactive and digital solution can be tailored in both content and scale to maximize customer engagement and satisfaction.

Start your Smart Journey

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Closeup of a young woman holding and using mobile phone
2022-09-28 | 19:44

How to get funds to create a mobile digital journey

Nowadays, mobile phones are a huge part of everyone’s daily life. This has created a new genre of connected consumerism and has changed the relationship people have with brands and organizations. This has led businesses to rethink their marketing and communication strategies to offer their customers the best mobile digital journey.

Mobile traffic accounts for more than 50% of all website traffic and considering that this number will increase over the next few years, providing an engaging mobile experience is essential for businesses that seek to achieve sustainable growth and stay competitive. Understanding this digital journey and how it affects the customer experience helps businesses provide value to their customers.

What is a mobile digital journey ?

A mobile digital journey is the path followed by a mobile user from the awareness stage right through to the purchase stage. It includes all the interactions that take place online between a customer and a brand. 

Mobile devices offer consumers a unique way to experience brands and consume content. This often leads to the creation of a new digital funnel that requires more understanding and expertise. With the many digital tools available nowadays, customer expectations regarding their journey on a website or an app have reached new heights. Mobile customer journeys provide data and insights to help brands personalize the customer experience and meet customer expectations. 

Benefits of self-guided tours 

Why create a mobile digital journey ?

 

Creating mobile digital journeys allows businesses to detect points of friction encountered by the customer and remove them in order to offer customers a seamless journey. It also allows them to gain a better understanding of customer needs and habits.

 

Understanding how people move through this journey provides the necessary data to support them through each touch point along the mobile digital journey. These insights allow the company to seize potential opportunities and increase revenues. 

Here are a few reasons why creating a mobile digital journey is important for businesses:

Reaching high-value audiences with personalized experiences

 

In today’s heavily saturated market, personalization is the way to stand out and make a difference. Every individual’s mobile apps, browsing history, social media feeds, etc. are unique to them. 

 

A personalized experience is a meaningful experience and one that is likely to result in the customer taking action. However, personalizing and tailoring a mobile digital journey effectively requires knowledge of the business, its goals, and the target market. Once these three aspects are covered, it is easier to determine the right content to display at the right time and to the right person.

Making the customer journey easy

 

From the moment customers discover your business or website to when they decide to take action and make a purchase, you can use the mobile digital journey to ensure that they have a seamless experience. For this you can use different digital tools that will guide your customer through your website or app and give them the information they need to make a decision.

Optimizing your landing rate

 

Once the customer is interested enough to click and navigate through the brand’s website or app, their experience should be enjoyable. Creating a mobile digital journey helps optimize the landing rate of the business’ website or app because the customers are curious to discover what the business offers. At this point, with a clear digital journey in place, they shouldn’t have to guess about where to find anything. 

Building a relationship with your customers

 

The more a business studies customer insights, the more one-to-one relationships can be built. Hyper-personalized messages and experiences make customers feel heard and appreciated. Incorporating these important details through a mobile digital experience makes it easy for customers to reach out to a brand if they have a query, but also for the brand to answer them directly and meet their needs. A little extra guidance and communication can go a long way, especially in the digital world where there is very little human contact.

Gaining insight into customer behavior

 

A mobile digital journey provides valuable insight into customer behavior and helps businesses understand their target audience better. Analyzing the outcomes of a mobile digital journey allows a brand to narrow the targeting, see where customers are most likely to convert and improve the overall mobile experience.

Tips to get funds to create a mobile digital journey

Creating a mobile digital journey is not an easy thing and oftentimes businesses turn to government grants in order to create mobile digital journeys. 

Here are a few tips on how to get funds to create a mobile digital journey, through government schemes and grants :

The Digital Development Agreement for Tourism Businesses 

The Digital Development Agreement for Tourism Businesses pursues the priorities set out in Quebec's Digital Strategy, in particular by supporting the enhancement of the digital intensity of regional tourism businesses. The aim is to achieve that by carrying out digital development projects for example.

Regional Tourism Partnership Agreement – Part 2

 

The Regional Tourism Partnership Agreement revolves around submitted projects that are structured and contribute to renewing and improving the region's tourist offer. The 2nd Part  of this Agreement focuses on the support of collective projects to encourage tourism through innovation and improving customer experience. Also, one of its main goals is to adapt businesses to new environmental and health realities after they have suffered the repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Regional Tourism Partnership Agreement – Part 3

 

The 3rd Part of the Regional Tourism Partnership Agreement, more specifically category 7, encourages the development of digital projects. This is achieved through the financial assistance of the company to increase its virtual and digital interactions with its customers

in order to reduce physical contact and health risks, while improving their experience.

The Tourism Relief Fund

 

The Tourism Relief Fund is a government grant in the form of loans ranging from $50 000 to $500 000 and is aimed at projects that will help improve the tourist offer in Quebec. The Fund’s objective is to promote the emergence of innovative and structuring projects. It is considered a helpful tool that contributes to improving the competitiveness and innovation of tourism businesses, all for the goal to strengthen and renew Quebec's tourism offer.

Recovery Plan for the Cultural Sector 

 

The Cultural Sector Recovery Plan has 5 components. The part related to developing a mobile digital journey is Part 1 and it is referred to as the “Exploration and digital deployment”.  Cultural organizations with successful projects may receive funding of up to $ 100 000. The projects submitted are responsible, among other things, to increase the quantity of Quebec related content online and its distribution, to optimize the discoverability of this content, and to accelerate the appropriation of the digital universe by cultural organizations.

#RelanceCultureQc – Digital Outreach

 

After such an uncertain few years, as a part of the economic recovery plan for the cultural sector, the Ministry of Culture and Communication in Quebec decided to implement the

#RelanceCultureQc project to support the community by calling out new projects for digital outreach. It aims to support those who wish to share their cultural events and content online and to allow the community to experiment with new approaches and different formats.

​​Want to personalize a mobile digital journey ?

Want to create unique and fun experiences for your tourism business? Look no further! MySmartJourney is a tool used for the creation and design of digital routes for tourist and cultural sites. It’s a platform made to build informative, useful and entertaining multimedia digital journeys that not only attract customers and visitors but also make them feel empowered. 

Our platform is easy to use with no programming skills required. Our contactless technology that can be installed in minutes. Depending on your business, you can personalize a tour builder for museums, art galleries and historical sites, tourist circuits and routes, municipal parks and resorts, hotel establishments and traveler services.

  

Get in touch with us today! 

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Art Gallery Visitor Scanning QR Code
2022-09-28 | 19:33

How museums benefit from QR and NFC technologies

Technology has established itself as one of the most crucial parts of modern life over the last two decades. It's pretty hard to picture a life without digital gadgets, the Internet, or computing tools. From business and leisure to communication and information, our reliance on technology is all-consuming in almost every aspect of daily life, changing the way we see and interact with the world. Even museums are starting to leverage technology to enhance the museum experience in 2022. 

Why is technology important in museums?

Museums and exhibitions are more memorable when visitors have physical experiences, and the ideal use of technology is to make visitors aware of the exhibit rather than the technology. This is true for both adult and family-oriented museums. 

Some of the most important goals of museums are to educate, evoke emotion, and immerse visitors in culture and more. Museums are able to connect with people on a deeper level by incorporating technology and interactive solutions into displays, engaging them not just mentally but also physically, making their visit and experience more unforgettable. Given the pandemic, museums are looking for innovative methods to make their exhibits more engaging and safe and modern technology makes this possible.

Phygital marketing in museums 

Benefits of QR and NFC technology in museums 

It enhances the museum experience 

Virtual storytelling technology was once expensive and difficult to install but that is no longer the case today. Technology is becoming more accessible, and it is also getting more user-friendly. Museums can leverage tools like QR technology and near-field technology (NFC) to bring collections to life through immersive experiences. These technologies can be used to create museum tours or make exhibits more interactive. It can also help cultural mediators put an object in its proper context.

A curator can highlight content in order to make an exhibit completely accessible online or give museum visitors more opportunities to interact with the exhibit's information in an online format. This can be accomplished via content publishing techniques such as QR codes, which allow museums to include web-based interactivity into their exhibitions. Mysmartjourney’s platform can also be used to replace audio guides and create self-guided tours

8 trends that are transforming museums 

It allows you to share valuable objects of cultural heritage

Most museums only show a portion of their collection. For example, only roughly 8% of the artwork in the Louvre is open for public viewing. Major museums across the world typically keep masterpieces hidden from the public eye in order to keep them safe and well conserved. These works can be made available online for anyone to see using virtual showcasing technologies.

High-risk materials, artifacts, and photographs are presented to the public in a variety of ways using digital content. There’s the possibility to make 3D models of objects that can be accessed online through QR or NFC technologies. Museums can use technology to disseminate collections that are in storage, together with contextual metadata. Museum visitors can interact with these previously unknown collections online through photographs and text. Museums may broaden their reach and make precious artifacts more accessible to the public by giving virtual offerings.

It provides access to the visitor guide

No one likes to wait for a tour guide to visit a museum. With the help of QR Codes, visitors can say goodbye to long lines at museums. Museums can implement QR Codes to create a visitor guide or add QR codes for each artifact so that visitors can go on a self-guided tour at their own pace and get all the information they need related to the history of the exhibitions, and other important details. 

Incorporating VR and AR technologies into the video guide can improve the visitor experience. In addition, QR Codes can be used by museums to bridge the gap between online and offline experiences, thereby enhancing visitor engagement. QR codes for tour guides assist museums in achieving higher attendance rates by reducing lines and offering an equally enriching experience.

The no-contact museum of the future

It promotes greater accessibility 

One of the most significant advantages of virtual museums is that visitors are not restricted by the museum's location. Digital tours, events, and exhibitions accessed through QR and NFC technologies throughout the world allow visitors to immerse themselves in museum collections regardless of location or geographical constraints. This opens opportunities for marginalized communities or people who are simply interested in visiting museums in other nations. 

Schools will soon be able to utilize technology to take students on virtual school visits to museums all over the world, as technology becomes more affordable and accessible. This accessibility also promotes inclusion. Elderly folks, individuals with restricted mobility, and people with disabilities can all benefit from using technology to enjoy exhibitions from home.

Virtual museums also provide an alternative to visiting museums during periods when they are closed, such as during the coronavirus lockdowns. Museums can employ virtual storytelling to share their exhibitions by using content publishing platforms that can be shared across a variety of devices. 

It attracts more visitors

Museums are frequently a source of new content. Using social media platforms for museums allows visitors to have digital access for online consumption, which improves visitor interaction. Museums can share images of their exhibition spaces, along with information about them. It gives visitors important information about the exhibit, entices new visitors, and re-engages those who have previously been. 

Some of MySmartJourney’s clients use the platform to attract attention on social media. For example with a quiz on "what type of exhibition corresponds to your mood of the moment?" or even to tell fun facts with gamification. It redirects to the museum's online ticket office.

They can also create links that direct users to products in the museum shop, share links to social media to request a review, or even add a link to the ticket office to buy a ticket for the next temporary exhibition.

How do museums attract more visitors? 

It allows you to collect visitor feedback

Every industry, including museums and art galleries, relies on visitor feedback. It's nearly impossible to find out how exhibitions are received, highlight problems in visitor journey mapping, and re-engage with visitors without collecting feedback. 

Feedback must be precise, represent the exact journey map, and be seamless. Museums can place feedback QR codes in common gathering spots so that visitors can scan the code, bookmark the link, and later fill it out while strolling through the museum. Encourage visitors to submit comments by providing freebies, a free ticket to a future event, or even access to upcoming events.

8 ways to bring fun to your museum

It allows you to share events

Museums and art galleries hold events on a regular basis to highlight new collections or prominent artists. Event invitations are sometimes hidden among other emails and texts, making it difficult to find details about the event. To avoid this, use location QR codes and event QR codes to include crucial event facts such as the headliner artist, the date and time of the event and the link to purchase tickets. 

Visitors can save the event to their calendar and RSVP without having to go to another website by scanning the QR Code. Include social media accounts on the same landing page so that people may follow the event on social media. Incorporate event QR Codes into the museum's common rooms, print advertisements, and walkways so that interested visitors can scan them to learn more about the next event.

Want to digitize your museum? 

Mysmartjourney provides interactive experiences for museums and exhibits. Our platform allows you to merge the physical and online world to educate, amuse, and surprise visitors.  

Whether it's a children's museum, an art museum, or a science museum, our tools allow you to personalize unique journeys for your visitors. Our interactive and digital solutions can be tailored in both content and scale to maximize customer engagement and satisfaction.

Contact us now

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People at a museum
2021-09-29 | 19:44

What exactly is cultural mediation ?

What does cultural mediation mean?

Cultural mediation in the process of connecting individuals with other cultures in a seamless and informative manner. 

We, as humans, have a wide range of connections to various cultures and societies, which are not always easy to identify and decipher within the wider context of our lives and the world. 

The social environments that we have the opportunity to be exposed to propose intriguing and exciting possibilities, but these possibilities are not always easy to grasp and understand. That is where cultural mediation comes in. Cultural mediation is the process of helping individuals fully comprehend alternative cultures through involvement and participation

Cultural mediation is integral in supporting people on their journey to understand other cultural norms and encourage cross cultural coherence. Different social environments create different boundaries and modes of knowledge. Cultural mediation works to bring together these concepts of cultural difference to enhance understanding and acceptance across boundaries.

What does a cultural mediator do?

Unsurprisingly, cultural mediators bring together ideas of culture and mediation in order to facilitate cultural development and cohesion. Ultimately, cultural mediators work as a source of knowledge as they convey information between two or more cultural sources with great ease and accuracy. 

In addition to creating coherence between parties, individuals and cultures, they also facilitate dispute resolution in order to promote clarity and unity. They have a deep well of knowledge and are easily able to recall information in order to explain concepts of cultural norms and differences. Moreover, they are often proficient in different languages so they can ease comprehension between different parties, individuals and cultures. 

Although cultural mediators can be real life individuals, in this 21st century setting, cultural mediation has also transferred into the digital world. Businesses and web interfaces have been developed in order to allow cultural mediation to bridge the gap between the physical and digital world. 

Cultural mediation has evolved into the digital sphere

How does Vygotsky's theory explain cultural differences?

An individual who has been influential in the world of cultural understanding and difference is Vygotsky. He devised the Vygoatskian principle to explain the concepts behind cultural mediation. 

The Vygotskyian principle emphasises the importance of tools and signs in developing our cognitive functions. According to his theory, the tools and signs that we encounter throughout society become internalized and inform the development of our everyday abilities, such as learning, problem solving and memory. This therefore means that society and culture are the mediators for our abilities. 

Vygotsky focuses on the development of children's cognition in order to best demonstrate his theory. If you think about the process of how children learn, his theory becomes easier to grasp. It can be broken down as follows:

  1. Children begin with very little knowledge about the world around them.
  2. As they grow, they begin to form opinions, beliefs, critical thinking and problem solving skills.
  3. They acquire these skills by observing the world around them and asking questions.
  4. These observations and answers are internalized and eventually form a child’s understanding of the world around him, and enhances a plethora of their abilities. 

Vygotsky’s theory highlights the importance of mediators in developing understanding in children, which can also be translated into the importance of understanding across cultures within adults. Although adults are fully competent in understanding their own cultural beliefs and systems, they are not so competent in others. 

Therefore, a similar process is at work in cultural mediation amongst adults. Adults observe other cultures and internalize behaviours and modes of thinking that align with these differing cultures. 

Art and cultural mediation

Cultural mediation’s interaction with art is an important one, as it allows for an exchange of meaning and significance within artwork, which makes it more accessible to a wider group of people. Art is an extremely creative medium, and cultural mediation allows this creativity to thrive as it promotes an exchange in knowledge and exploration of works of art. 

Although a comprehensive understanding of the culture and context that surrounds a piece of work is not required to appreciate the content of the piece, it can help to enhance your experience of the art. Whether you have a particular interest in a specific piece of art, or a broader interest in the world of art, cultural mediation can help you understand as much as possible in order to get the most out of it. 

Art and cultural mediation go hand in hand.

Why is cultural mediation important for museums?

As highlighted, an in-depth knowledge of art, including a well rounded and comprehensive breakdown of the cultural background of pieces is integral in order to compose an all encompassing understanding of the art. 

That need for substantial background knowledge translates into a necessity for cultural mediation within museums in order to ensure visitors are provided with everything they need in order to enjoy their visit as much as possible.

Here are some key reasons to implement cultural mediation in your museum :

1. Helps you connect with visitors

Hiring cultural mediators will inevitably improve your connection to visitors as it creates a more personal experience for them as they make their way through the museum. 

As much as museums are brilliant sources for individuals to feel cultured as they slowly build knowledge and understanding on a plethora of different things, the inherent set up of a museum can often prove to be dreary and in some cases overwhelming. 

Since there is so much information available within a museum, it is easy to get lost in it all, which can sometimes counteract everything that you are meant to be enjoying. Integrating cultural mediators throughout the museum can help to mitigate this. If visitors find it difficult to concentrate, understand or fully appreciate what is in front of them, mediators can step in and offer to help.

2. Provides fast answers

Implementing cultural mediation technology or in person cultural mediators allows your visitors easy and instantaneous access to resources. The ability to quickly answer the questions of your visitors is integral in maintaining maximum engagement

3. Opportunity to create unique experiences

Cultural mediation comes in many different forms. From digitally interactive information points, to cultural mediator led workshops, there are an endless number of ways to provide information.

Understanding your target market and specifying your methods of cultural mediation will help your museum maintain maximum interest from your guests. For example, if the museum caters to children, you could create a digital game that visitors participate in throughout their journey around the museum. 

Each attraction has an accompanying digital feature that lets you learn more about the attraction and earn some points. If you have a more sophisticated target audience, maybe introduce some lectures throughout the day to provide even more background knowledge to your exhibit. 

There are a multitude of ways that you can incorporate cultural mediation into your museum. Any way that you can develop and expand an individual's understanding of your exhibition is a form of cultural mediation, so feel free to be creative and ensure it caters to your visitors.

4. Makes it more accessible 

The format of a traditional museum isn't necessarily accessible to all. However, by implementing cultural mediation practices you can ensure your museum is able to reach as many people as possible.

As mentioned, there are different forms of cultural mediation so you can provide access to your expertise and knowledge surrounding your museum and its exhibits in the digital sphere. This can then be utilized by those unable to physically visit your museum, whilst still providing them with a gateway to understanding more about the pieces they are interested in. 

Discover all the benefits

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Tourists with suitcases
2021-08-23 | 20:21

Best 10 Tourism & Travel trends of 2021

The covid-19 pandemic has reshaped the world in unimaginable ways. Lockdown measures have pushed us to rethink most of our habits. This means that many of the things that we used to enjoy freely are no longer within our reach. Traveling is no exception to this.

Before this pandemic, many great travel plans revolved around wandering through crowded cities, enjoying exotic architectures, having a delightful dinner at exhilarating restaurants, and visiting sensational museums.

With the cancellation of flights in the majority of countries, most 2020 travel plans were unfortunately halted. As such, in 2021, the tourism and travel industry has been looking for innovative measures and approaches that will allow the industry to adapt. This translates into improved safety measures, sustainable regenerative travel proposals, as well as new travel destinations.

While we won’t be able to travel as freely as we used to before, there are still numerous heavenly places to explore. Therefore, we will be talking about the most exciting 2021 tourism & travel trends. 

Will traveling rebound in 2021?

While the covid-19 pandemic has affected many sectors and fields, the tourism and travel industry is one of the most affected industries. This is why governments and the travel industry have been looking for innovative ways to stimulate a travel rebound in 2021 and restore international travelling.

Towards the end of 2020, Berkshire Hathaway Travel Protection shared key findings from its 6th Annual State of Travel Insurance Survey of Travellers. Analysis of the results shows that Millennials and high-income travelers are the groups that are ready to return to travel, driving a strong rebound of traveling. This has made the travel industry rethink its tourism trends for 2021.

Moreover, almost all countries around the globe have already implemented massive vaccination campaigns. With that in mind, travel restrictions are expected to be lifted sooner than later. Therefore, a lot of people are already planning their next international trips.

While the International Air Transport Association projects that global traffic will not return to pre-Covid levels until 2024, shorter travel routes are already recovering faster than international ones. This means that even if tourism trends are not likely to resurface anytime soon, newer and more adapted travel trends should allow people to enjoy some of the breathtakingly beautiful travel destinations. As such, with new 2021 travel trends, a rebound in traveling is expected.

Additionally, data published by Delta Air Lines Inc. has indicated that visits to their website were up by 40% in Q4 compared to Q3 of 2020. Travel enthusiasts are yet to convert their visits to ticket purchases. However, such data suggest that there is a strong interest in traveling. A rebound in traveling is thus expected once travel restrictions are lifted and safety measures are implemented. 

Travel restrictions in 2021

With the new British COVID-19 variant spreading rapidly through most European countries and even internationally, the European union and many other countries have imposed unified travel restrictions for 2021. 

The key travel restrictions in 2021 are:

  • Proof of negative covid-19 test: people willing to travel, especially internationally, are required to take a PCR test. The test should be taken no more than 3 days prior (72 hours) to your flight and a document of your test result should be presented to the airline before boarding the plane.
  • Proof of recovery from covid-19: travelers who have already had the coronavirus and recovered need to present a document proving their recovery.
  • If a traveler contracts the virus after having had a negative test result, they are required to quarantine for two weeks.

Additionally, countries have implemented various local regulations such as mask-wearing, curfews, and social distancing measures.

Please note: The information listed here is not exhaustive, as countries may change their travel restrictions and Covid-related regulations as the pandemic situation evolves. We advise you to stay informed and follow official governmental guidelines and regulations when planning your trip.

Top travel trends in 2021

A woman travels in the mountains

Despite the consequences of the pandemic, the tourism sector is not completely lost. On the contrary, it’s reinventing itself to continue offering you a change of scenery. As traveling is set to rebound this year, new tourism trends are emerging. 

Here are some of the top 2021 tourism & travel trends:

1. Regenerative travel

At a time when it has become extremely difficult to travel, everyone likes to imagine his/her future journey. Regenerative travel is a relatively new travel trend that aims to make tourism eco-friendly.

While sustainable tourism promotes more responsible, less harmful, and more sustainable practices for people and resources, regenerative travel aspires to take action to regenerate resources, heal Mother Nature and ensure a livable planet for future generations.

According to supporters of regenerative tourism, local decision-making is essential. New Zealand is one of the pioneering countries in regenerative tourism. This country tries to balance tourism with its natural resources and the well-being of its communities while taking into consideration all stakeholders, especially the Maori.

Tourism New Zealand, the country’s leading tourism organization, measures its success not only in economic terms but also in terms of the well-being of the country, taking into account the nature, health of its inhabitants, and community identities.As such, regenerative travel is imposing itself as one of the top 2021 travel trends.

2. Domestic travel

With continuous international travel restrictions due to the current pandemic, domestic travel is starting to look like a very decent alternative. While tourism trends in the past few years have focused on international travel, domestic travel is now one of the top 2021 travel trends.

Domestic travel offers passengers the safety and sustainability that has been lacking during this pandemic. It also allows cost savings and provides a familiarity that so many travel enthusiasts cherish.

It provides a chance to discover beautiful local places. Before the pandemic started, most travelers sought to discover tourist attractions abroad. This often meant that local destinations were neglected. With current travel restrictions, local destinations are presenting passengers with wonderful opportunities to discover local historic and cultural heritage.

3. Working remotely while traveling

With the current pandemic, remote working has become a dominant trend. What initially started as an adaptation to lockdown quickly became a much-appreciated working style. Remote working provides digital nomads with the professional flexibility they have always wanted.

No longer tied to a fixed work environment, many people are nowadays seeking to book extended hotel stays, so that they can combine the pleasure of traveling with working in a novel environment. As such, working remotely while traveling is establishing itself among the top 2021 travel trends.

4. Emerging wanderlust

In the midst of current travel restrictions, continuous lockdown, and travel hiatuses, the desire for traveling is only increasing. Canceled 2020 international travel plans mean that most if not all of us, are more than ever craving a trip to our favorite destinations.

Travelers are thinking of planning both domestic and international trips once travel restrictions are lifted and with the current vaccination progress, it looks like we are set for a massive travel bounce!

As such, we can expect the travel industry to come up with innovative tourism trends, specifically designed to capture the attention of travelers who missed last years’ trips.

MySmartJourney is an App that can be customized to share contextualized and interactive contactless information in any public site:

  • It's easy to use and works on all devices.
  • It works in real time and you can update content depending on the context as well as generate reports instantaneously. 

It monitors indicators and data in real-time.

5. Travel safety

If there is one thing that this covid-19 pandemic has taught us is that we have to be more cautious than ever. Nowadays, safety is at the center of travelers’ concerns. Most passengers will not book a trip to a destination that is still plagued with the virus. This is why governments and the travel industry are working day and night to ensure travel safety.

This new wave of tourism trends is seeing travelers prioritize safety and health measures. Public transportation will be abandoned with more passengers choosing to drive their own car or rent one. However, quarantine measures are likely to stay unpopular among travelers. Governments will therefore be looking for alternative ways to ensure tourism safety. 

6. Frugal traveling

Frugal traveling is certainly among the top 2021 travel trends. The current pandemic has had a negative effect on the financial situation of the majority of people. This means that travelers are more likely to think twice before booking their next trip. It also means that travelers will be expecting more value from their trips. 

We are, thus, ushering in a new era of economical traveling. The travel industry will have to adapt by providing more attractive offers, namely more choices, higher value per cost as well as improved flexibility and transparency.

7. Tech at the foreground of 2021 travel trends

Nowadays we are living in an increasingly digitized world. Technology has helped reshape our lives and society in unimaginable ways.  As tourism in 2021 is plagued with many hurdles and concerns, technology is set to play a major role in restoring the belief that safe and enjoyable tourism is still possible.

Technology is one of the major 2021 travel trends since it offers an array of innovative solutions. Travelers in 2021 are expecting to be able to book their hotel stay and airplane ticket with their smartphones. They are also expecting a more personalized traveling experience.

Besides, tech solutions are essential to Covid safety measures. One of the latest technological innovations of this pandemic era is mobile applications that guide users on which locations are safe and which are to avoid.

8. Escapism

The 2020 lockdown has unquestionably affected our mental health. This has pushed the majority of us to look for ways to escape routine life. While most of us seek refuge in our smartphones and social media presence, planning for future trips is a major source of escapism for many of us.

The majority of travelers have spent large chunks of their lockdown time looking for potential travel destinations. With the power that social media has on influencing our daily lives and desires, the travel industry and hotels can capitalize on that by offering VR (virtual reality) simulations of the experiences that travelers can get.

Travelers will be more excited to discover destinations that they have had a virtual experience of. This will help restore tourism in a post-pandemic world.

9. Diversity as a key 2021 travel trend

Since most of us missed out on traveling in 2020, people from all around the globe are set for international travel once travel restrictions are lifted. It’s therefore expected that we will witness an increase in the number of multicultural tourists. Tourism agencies and locals shouldn’t be surprised with a spike in tourists from the Middle East, Africa, or Latin America, etc.

10. Visiting friends and family

While lockdown has separated us from our loved ones, an expected relaxation of travel restrictions is a great opportunity for us to reconnect with our friends and family living abroad. It’s also a chance to indulge in touristic destinations and visit iconic spots in different places around the world. 

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People at an event
2021-08-16 | 15:18

Why use microsites for your events?

What is a microsite?

A microsite is ultimately a site that exists outside of the primary website of a company. It serves as an extension to the original website, although it often has stand-alone features that differentiate it from the main website. 

A microsite can function either as a website on its own or as a cluster of websites, and is often temporary. They are used as marketing tools as they are often centered around specific branded content. 

Microsites come in different forms, such as blogs, infographics or interactive experiences. Their ultimate goal is to elevate the marketing campaign of a company product or event. 

What is the purpose of a microsite? 

The main purpose of a microsite is to add value to the marketing strategy. Creating a virtual area outside of the main company website helps boost the exposure of a specific brand or event campaign. 

Microsites are a successful tactic in promotion and marketing as they allow creators to think outside of the box and leverage non-conventional strategies. A microsite is not restricted to the constraints of a primary website and therefore can afford to be more experimental with its content and set up. 

In addition to demonstrating creative innovation, microsites benefit the greater good of a company, brand or event. Since they inhabit more web space, they have the ability to extend the boundaries of audiences that are reached. 

Although its content, form and visuals are afforded more freedom, they still inherently link to the initial web page. A microsite adds a new exciting layer to an already established company website.

What is the difference between a microsite and a website? 

As microsites require their own URL, individuals sometimes struggle to understand how they differ from websites. However, there are few technical differences between microsites and websites with the main difference being their purpose.

A website is the main hub for a company. It’s the primary virtual and online source for all the information about said company, brand or event. It must adhere to an unwritten set of rules in order to ensure it can successfully do its job. For example, a website has to be easily accessible since it’s the first port of call for customers to find information. 

A microsite, on the other hand, is not the first port of call for your customers. These sites generally have a very specific purpose and so they don’t carry the same weight of information as a website does. 

Nevertheless, microsites still have an important function to carry out as they help the brand/ company reach more people, or reach a specific target group. This targeted experience ensures microsites are able to convey personalized and specific information that may have gotten lost in translation in the wider landscape of a website.

What is an example of a microsite?

There are numerous examples of microsites available on the internet as they are used by different brands and companies. One of the most impressive microsites is one created by the fashion brand Chanel. 

Chanel launched a microsite in 2012 that provided a great case study to look at how a microsite works. Chanel’s microsite was titled Inside Chanel and featured stories about the history and making of the brand. 

The microsite was a fun and interactive way for fans to learn more about the brand, whilst simultaneously allowing the brand to entice more people in by piquing an interest in the company itself. 
As all the technical information such as product information, contact details and delivery policy was included on the main website, Chanel had the freedom to create a unique experience on their microsite. Inside Chanel offered individuals a more intimate look into the inner workings of the brand.

Top benefits of microsites for your events

Now that you know what a microsite is, it’s time to explore its many benefits. Using this strategy to create specific event microsites is a smart marketing move. Event microsites provide an array of benefits ranging from event branding, to event management and event planning.

Here are some of the key benefits of using microsites for your events:

1.  Event branding 

Events are a specific area of business that benefit greatly from microsites. As they are not restricted to the overall branding and marketing techniques used by the company as a whole, event microsites can curate very specific and unique event brands

They help build hype and recognition for events as they are established both from within and outside the brand/company. Event microsites can contribute greatly to the marketing strategies employed. Companies should embrace the opportunities that microsites present as they provide them with the freedom to temporarily rebrand and ensure they cater to a specific target or segment.

2. Easy to set up 

Creating a microsite is extremely easy as it doesn’t require the same level of information, alternative landing pages and specified aesthetics that a website does. 

The great thing about microsites is that they are super easy to create. Events are usually one-time occurrences so the short lifespan microsites makes them a great marketing tactic. A microsite can quickly be made to market a single event and then removed once the event is over. 

Moreover, if the events are annually occurring, the microsite can go live when it needs to and be constantly updated with new, event specific branding and information allowing to keep the core identity of the event whilst also easily changing what you need to. 

3.Search engine optimization

Although creating microsites for the sole purpose of enhancing your SEO is an unsuccessful tactic, if you’re already creating a microsite because it complements your website, you should definitely use this opportunity to enhance your search engine optimization

Using keywords and including backlinks will help drive traffic to your main website. If your microsite is focused and professional, including SEO tactics will inevitably improve your ranking in the search results.

4. Targeted content

When creating a microsite, there’s usually a target audience in mind. Although the brand/company might have a wider ranging target audience, microsites allow it to focus on subgroups for specific events. 

Leveraging an event microsite allows you to branch away from the more generalized content in order to curate more targeted content. This allows you to create a personalized user experience.

5. Cost

The cost of setting up a microsite is one of the most appealing benefits. It requires little investment and the revenue that it brings in is worth the initial investment. Moreover, the kinds of data tracking software that can be virtually installed on microsites allows the marketing team to monitor event registration and interest. 

At the end of the day, microsites are there for you to use how you wish. They are an opportunity to provide customers with a unique experience that they would not be able to get on your main website. Make sure you seize this opportunity to create a tailor-made site that will appeal to your target market.

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museum curator
2021-08-16 | 16:14

How to implement cultural mediation in museums

What is museum mediation? 

Museum mediation is a form of cultural mediation that is specifically tailored to the needs and demands of museums. 

In order to understand the intersection of cultural mediation and museum mediation, you first need to understand the nuances of cultural mediation. Cultural mediation is the forging of connections between people and cultures in a seamless and informative manner. 

It’s a phenomenon that aims to provide individuals with access to an understanding of cultures alternative to their own. As a species, the human race has the opportunity of being exposed to a plethora of different cultures and ways of being. Cultural mediation aims to bring different cultures together in an innovative way. 

Museum mediation takes the basic ideas of cultural mediation and applies it to the settings of museum exhibitions and other similar cultural institutions. This specific form of mediation attempts to disrupt the hierarchies often associated with art and museums in order to make exhibitions more accessible to more people

By providing interactive and participatory concepts and activities alongside the works of art and exhibitions, museums offer individuals a way to better understand the cultural background of different pieces of art. 

Mediation tools are quickly becoming a common practice throughout museums as they provide innovative ways for the public to access art and other cultures. Ultimately, museum mediation offers individuals a deeper understanding of alternate cultures through art. 

What are the different forms of cultural mediators?

A museum’s cultural mediation can be implemented in a few different ways, depending on what best fits your exhibits and target market. For example, the types of mediators you would need to use for children differ greatly from the mediators you would use for adults. 

In person cultural mediator

An in-person mediator is one of the most traditional forms of cultural mediation within museums. These are people who are stationed throughout the museum who are available to help visitors bridge the gap between the art they are seeing and the cultural significance behind it. 

They have knowledge about the exhibit and are often experts in the field who have studied and researched the subject matter and its background extensively. Integrating in person cultural mediators throughout a museum provides visitors with the opportunity to further develop their own knowledge and research on particular works of art. 

Digital cultural mediators

Although in person cultural mediators have been the norm in museums for a long time, the technological climate of the 21st century has also facilitated the introduction of digital cultural mediators. Digital mediators provide visitors with the same knowledge but it’s conveyed in a different manner. 

Digital cultural mediators are popular as they are extremely versatile. Not only are they easy to use, they are also adaptable and extremely accessible. All the cultural knowledge, background research and depth of information can be made available at the tip of your fingers, which makes it a popular option for museums in the 21st century. 

Why is cultural mediation important in museums?

In today’s fast paced and technologically driven world, it’s difficult to get people to engage with things for a long period of time. People need instant answers or constant engagement in order to commit to something. Thankfully, cultural mediation can step in and help museums interact with their visitors! 

Here are the top three reasons why cultural mediation is important in museums

Cultural knowledge

Cultural mediation helps individuals expand their cultural knowledge. It can be easy for people to walk through an exhibition and leave without having learned anything new or taken any of the cultural significance of the art exhibit in. 

Cultural mediation tools within museums encourage visitors to learn autonomously through participatory activities. Cultural mediation helps individuals access autonomy of thought, which allows them to develop a deeper cultural understanding.

Keep up to date

Museum mediation is by definition an extremely flexible tool, which allows museums to continuously create discussions centered around current topics and debates, ensuring exhibits stay relevant. 

It can be easy for museums to be viewed as a simple gateway to the past. However, by introducing different forms of mediation, mediators can present individuals with an alternate way of thinking about the art in front of them and bridge the gap between historic cultural context and modern day interpretations. 

Targeted experiences 

In addition to the broader effect that museum mediation can have on people's understanding of the world and different cultures, it’s also a useful tool within the museum itself. Introducing mediation into museums allows curators to tailor exhibits to appeal to specific target audiences

As mediation can come in different forms, it’s possible to target exhibits to certain groups of people through museum mediation. You can do this by adapting your mediation tools and customizing the experience based on your target audience’s learning style and interests. 

For example, interactive educational games are an appropriate form of cultural mediation for children, whereas a more formal setting or workshop is an appropriate form of mediation for adults and older individuals. By analyzing your target audience and adapting your mediation tools, you are more likely to boost attendance at your exhibitions. 

Accessibility 

Unfortunately, the traditional setup of exhibition spaces is inaccessible to many. Museum mediation can provide a solution to this problem. 

The beauty of mediation is that it’s not confined to a single space or format, it’s completely adaptable. In recent years we have seen museum mediation leverage the digital sphere to make exhibits available internationally. More locally, museums have sent mediators into rural and city areas to bring exhibits to life outside of the museum.  

There is an array of different ways that museums can use mediators to insert their exhibit into the lives of the wider public. Museum exhibitions can have a much wider reach and encourage far more participation and interest into cultural spheres.

How to implement museum mediation?

Implementing cultural mediation into your museum is an exciting prospect, and there are companies who can help you along the way

Here are some ideas to get you started:

Invest in apps

An initial investment into something as simple as an app can help you break down the digital barriers that you may be facing. Curators and museum owners often have an aversion to integrating digital aspects to their exhibits due to the traditional nature of museums. However, the benefits that technology can afford your museum is worth the jump. 

Implementing digital mediators is an extremely simple process, as companies who provide such services ensure their apps are user-friendly and easy to set up. Such apps provide you with the tools needed to digitize content, allowing you to provide a more interactive experience to your visitors. 

The best companies offer options that collate usage data and provide you with reports and feedback to allow you to improve aspects of your museum and overall experience. 

Experience in schools 

In addition to implementing mediation physically in your museum, you can also branch out and create extensions of your museum experience in schools. The school environment is the perfect place to integrate cultural mediation as it’s always a priority for schools to facilitate learning.

Museum mediation that is implemented in schools brings your exhibition to life outside of the exhibition space. It introduces cultural and social information into schools in a fun, informative and interactive way. Simply hiring mediators to go into schools can have the desired effect of making your exhibit accessible and interesting to a younger audience. 

Run workshops

Although school children and students benefit from high energy and interactive forms of cultural mediation, you must also be aware that this is not how everyone learns. Alternate forms of museum mediation should therefore be considered, such as lectures and workshops, that would suit a more mature audience. 

Running lectures alongside your exhibit can give people the opportunity to gain more in-depth knowledge about the cultural surroundings of the art pieces within your museum. It’s a less personal and more generic setting, which is often preferred by people who may be anxious to approach mediators one-on-one. 

Moreover, running workshops is an alternative form of museum mediation that gives individuals the chance to further expand their cultural knowledge. They are more interactive than lectures and still give people the opportunity to have one on one discussions with knowledgeable mediators if they wish.    

Overview 

Cultural mediation goes hand in hand with the information that museums are trying to convey. The context and background knowledge provide individuals with a more in depth and coherent understanding of works of art and other exhibition pieces. 

Cultural mediation allows museum exhibits to be accessible to more people. As cultural mediation can be directly injected into communities and public spaces, museums are able to widen their reach and encourage individuals to cross-cultural boundaries

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Travelling couple
2022-03-22 | 14:26

What is the impact of the Pandemic on Travel?

How to measure the impact of COVID-19 on tourism and travel?

The pandemic had an impact on many aspects of our lives. It is especially true for the travel and tourism industry. The pandemic and the high rate of infection of Covid-19 has forced authorities to impose restrictions on international and domestic travel and it had a huge impact on the industry. It has changed the way we behave, as well as our priorities and, of course, this is reflected in our travel habits. Wakefield Research, a market research consulting firm, conducted a study from April 16 to May 7, 2021, with a sample of 8,000 people aged 18 and older in eight countries. The organization came up with an index of travelers' concerns and new priorities.

The pandemic has not taken away people's desire to travel, it has simply changed their priorities

Covid-19 has limited the ability to travel for months. Now that people all over the world are getting vaccinated, the desire to travel is coming back in full force. Nearly 72% of those surveyed by Wakefield Research are planning a trip in the next 12 months. Most will choose nearby and remote areas, but tourism is also picking up in big cities. 

New priorities for travelers have emerged, which are related to a change in morals and society. Travelers are paying more attention to environmental protection and the impact of travel on the environment. Nearly 59% of those surveyed said they would like to use sustainable suppliers. 

Travel suppliers must adapt to their customers' new priorities

Wakefield Research highlighted several traveler priorities, such as health security, low prices and flexibility.

  • Travelers want to be assured of a full refund if they have to cancel their trip due to Covid. For the same reason, a flexible modification policy is also a priority for them. They want the freedom to choose from a range of packages and prices so they can create the experience they seek at an affordable price. 

  • They also want to take advantage of low prices due to the current situation. While many households are willing to cut back in some departments to increase their travel budget, they still want to be able to travel without breaking the bank, while being able to upgrade if they wish.

  • Because health risks are still very present, visitors want the assurance that enhanced cleaning and disinfection measures are in place during transportation and at the reception area. This complements their desire for a contactless experience in order to limit risks. Nearly 71% of respondents support the use of a vaccine passport when traveling.

  • Finally, travelers want the travel provider they choose to share their values, whether it's through an eco-friendly policy, taking into account the specific needs of people with disabilities, or a policy that promotes LGBTQ+ inclusiveness.

In fact, travelers want a risk-free trip, and they want to be certain that the provider will deliver on their promises. To do so, travel agencies and suppliers need to be transparent and to provide clear and detailed information about policies and precautions taken. This will allow the traveler to feel safe during their vacation. 

Why is MySmartJourney the best alternative for easy travel management? 

With its contactless solution, MySmartJourney brings a product that not only allows autonomous management for companies and organizations in the tourism industry, but also a contactless platform. Its simplicity of implementation allows it to be installed anywhere, either indoors or outdoors. 

Our product also meets the health concerns that travelers have expressed regarding the pandemic. Tourist areas have already implemented it to offer travelers a safe experience because everything is handled from their personal cellphone.

MySmartJourney's platform has proven its efficiency in several areas of tourism

Restaurants and cafes

Air Canada has implemented MySmartJourney's solution in its Maple Leaf Lounges. By placing NFC tokens on the dining tables, customers simply scan their phone to access the restaurant's menu, where they can directly order their meal. This limits the need for waiters to move around the room, and thus offers a contactless service for travelers.

Hotel industry

In the hotel industry, Monville Hotel uses our services to provide its guests with a contactless room service. By scanning a QR code or an NFC token in the room, the customer has access to information about their security, the hotel, and can order items from the front desk. To limit human contact, Hotel Monville has decided to use a robot to bring items to the room.

Regional Tourism Industry

Finally, in order to relieve its offices, the Rivière-du-Loup Tourism Office, provides visitors information on the region and on activities to do in the area. Digital mediation and contactless experiences are also offered for risk-free travel.

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Woman wearing a mask in a museum
2022-03-18 | 15:47

The no-contact museum of the future for a post covid world

National museums have historically supported their communities by offering access to cultural exhibits, artifacts, and art. In recent decades, however, museums have changed their focus away from science and towards offering education and entertainment to the public through interactive exhibitions and experiences.

The recent COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc on museums. Many museums have been forced to make tough choices as a result of stay-at-home orders and mandatory closures. Museums will face the challenges of working in a post-pandemic future after facing the short-term financial effect of COVID-19. 

This new environment can usher in new economic models and alter our perceptions of museum design. This article serves as an insight into what museums of the future may look like, and what innovative strategies and technologies are going to be implemented.  

How has Covid-19 impacted museums?

Museum Closure

One of the greatest impacts is on museum revenue and the economy. In Canada, museums have reported million dollar losses in revenues due to COVID-19 closures. In the province of Quebec alone, almost $7 million has been lost due to a decline in ticket sales and other operational revenues (source).

Staff layoffs

As expected, many layoffs were reported across Canada. Some institutions reported that laying off staff was the only way they could remain operational. Museums, at the moment, are in mass debt and cannot afford to pay staff and maintain the museum itself. A sad reality is that many worldwide have and will lose their job.

New Rules for Reopening

As part of the province's Restart Plan, the government of British Columbia has announced that museums will be able to reopen in mid-May. Worksafe BC has released new recommendations for the museum industry to assist employers in ensuring that their workplaces are safe for returning employees and volunteers.

The following steps are recommended by the Association of Manitoba Museums:

  • High-touch screens must be kept closed at all times.
  • Wherever practicable, online ticket sales are used.
  • Until attending, all staff and patrons use the self-screening method.
  • Employees with COVID-19 symptoms must remain at home.
  • External signs suggesting COVID-19 physical distancing protocols must be written.
  • Physical distancing is clarified to staff, and floor markers are placed where service is rendered.
  • To avoid crowding, entry to venues, including queues, is regulated.
  •  A single point of entry must be preserved by museums.
  • Hand sanitizers must be accessible for public and staff use at all entrances and exits.

Boiled down, all these recommendations are to reduce contact and exposure. This has, however, prompted debates on how museums can adapt to the changing world. If they are to survive, reclaim their lost revenue, and function as normal then they have to go the extra mile to attract visitors.  

The Future of Museums

The show experience, gift shop, and ticketing process could all be enhanced in some way. As we wrestle with the pandemic, here are some of the ways the design of museums post covid could shift:

Ticketing and Traffic Control

Many museums around the world still allow visitors to buy tickets online or at a kiosk, and this is not likely to change. In a post-Covid world, it’s likely to become much more popular, probably averting the need for ticket lines entirely.

Visitors will still experience queues and need lobby space even though they buy their tickets online. It is envisioned that there will be sculptural and artistic lobbies, most of which are enclosed within an outdoor courtyard and allow lines to shape in the open air. Open-air museums, such as those that have historical villages, already have an advantage in terms of architecture.

Furthermore, six-foot spacing marks on the floor are everywhere! Typically, they are made out of tape, stickers, stencils, and whatever else business owners have on hand to show customers where they can stand safely. This is not likely to change in the future of museum design — but it may look more attractive and purposeful.

Six-foot design and architectural features, such as unique tiling patterns or strategically positioned carpet squares, or even ridges around the floor at six-foot intervals, may be used to mark future museum floors.

Exhibit Design

Wide open rooms flanked and packed with showcases or art are common exhibition spaces at art and cultural museums, which has a disastrous impact on social distancing on crowded days. Exhibits and their configurations need to be reworked to keep the six-foot gap in mind. This poses a very difficult problem for exhibits aimed for children in science and space museums. 

A strategy to combat this is using a labyrinthine design concept, in which you enter in one location, follow a curated route across the exhibit to avoid passing the same place twice, and exit in a different location – basically like IKEA!

One future solution is to create a virtual reality museum, but this is a risky direction to take. Museums may be enticed by the possibility of placing their entire collections online to prevent disease transmission, but what happens to the buildings?

It also brings up the question of maintenance costs. With everything accessible online, a museum building will simply become a million-dollar storage unit. And if that happens, people who pay membership fees to help the museum could question why they should continue to pay for a building that looks and feels the same as it did before the pandemic because no one can use it the same way they could before the pandemic.

Gift Shop

Designers and architects will need a way to prevent germs and viruses from spreading in museum gift shops, where visitors pick up objects and put them back on the shelf for others to touch.

One creative strategy is to turn the gift shop “into its own museum” complete with a pick-up slot. What this means is that the merchandise will be in glass cases and displays and customers can order it from their phone without touching the object.

Otherwise, museums may transfer their shop online which offers a completely hands-free gift shop experience. You look online and order at a pick-up location rather than touching the merchandise in the store.

Staff Roles

Museum staff have been widespread victims within the museum industry because of Covid. As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, tour guides, in-house instructors, and museum interpreters have all been laid off in significant numbers. 

Some museum employees can lose their jobs as a result of future improvements, such as online ticketing and hands-free gift shops, once it reopens entirely. The museum industry has had to pivot and reconsider what it means to work in a museum. 

The pandemic is pushing museums to reflect on each employee's role and how it can be reconfigured for the future, whether it's facilitating an outdoor theatre, offering workshops to small groups, or even creating online content.

Experience instead of Event

If we step away from bigger events and distribute the activity and risk, we will end up with an event calendar where something happens every weekend and holiday – nothing big or dramatic, but something smaller, important, and interesting. 

This tells future tourists that the museum is still buzzing with activity. Although this can be just as costly, it's easier to have ten days with 200 visitors each rather than one day with 2,000. A single person may lead the event, illustrate an action, or participate in living history.

Multimedia Content

Would the public feel comfortable picking up a headset and device that has potentially been used by hundreds of visitors in a socially distant world? Companies like MySmartJourney are reinventing multimedia content to provide an effective and innovative experience from your phone.

As stated before, visual displays, interactive exhibitions, and information areas are in need of redevelopment to ensure crowds do not cluster, customer experience is maintained, and Covid is not spread. MySmartJourney solves this by providing a tool to create and deploy multimedia content.

In the museum environment, QR codes, short URLs and NFC transmitter access points would be dotted around displays to allow you to access a wide range of information to complement your visit.

Their features include multimedia integrations through uploading audio files, videos, quizzes, and virtual reality whilst also being able to process information requests for management by implementing signage systems, linking booking systems and contact forms, and sharing FAQs. As a customer, this means you will be able to access instant and updated information in a contactless way.

Digitize your museum

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Waiting room in minimal style
2022-04-05 | 13:27

What are the best waiting room ideas?

How many times in your life have you been sitting in a waiting room or waiting in line and got bored thinking about the time you were wasting? We all know how boring waiting in a hotel lobby or waiting for a guided tour or multimedia experience can be

Designing a fun waiting room or waiting line that offers interactive or stimulating activities is key to making sure that the time your customers have to wait is an entertaining experience. There are different options that you can consider to make this experience more interactive and stimulating. 

4 tips to make your waiting room area more engaging 

1. Get the basics right

Make sure you have all the basics in your waiting room or in your premises! Good lighting, comfortable and ergonomic seats and music are some of the essentials that you cannot miss. Wi-Fi is very important for people who want to optimize their waiting time while working or browsing the Internet. Magazines and newspapers may sound a bit old-fashioned, but they are always welcome.

2. Mural walls

Mural walls have different benefits. The color and design give your waiting room or space a special touch that leaves no one indifferent. Murals come in different sizes, and themes so you can collaborate with an artist to design a personalized one. Pick a theme that suits the average age of the people who pass through your doors. 

If they are children, you can look for a theme related to animals, nature, space, etc. These murals will keep the little ones entertained, something their parents will thank you for. Unique mural walls encourage curiosity and stimulate memory and creativity which can be boosted by creating some simple activity sheets to look for hidden items within the wall illustration.

3. Table games and books

Books and board games are a simple option, but they help to make the waiting time more enjoyable. This is a good option for all ages which won’t eat too much out of your budget. Make sure to include individual games like card games and puzzles for different ages.

4. NFC technology and QR codes to entertain

An excellent alternative to surprise your customers is to include NFC technology or QR codes in your waiting room or space. This technology allows you to share different types of content with your customers. All they have to do is scan the QR code with their mobile phones to have access to personalized content or activities. This is a perfect way for them to spend their time waiting.  

You can create games related to your business, share information about your products or services in audio and video and broadcast movies or funny videos. These are just ideas but the opportunities are unlimited. Your clients will be able to access the content using their mobile phone without registering or downloading a specific app. 

The only thing that they have to do is bring their mobile phone close to an NFC device that you can install in your waiting room area or use QR codes to access the content. This technology is 100% flexible since it allows you to change the content as many times as you need, depending on what you want to communicate. 

During specific times of the year (at Christmas, for example), you can create relevant content. If you want to learn more about our technology and how it can help your business, feel free to contact us. An expert from our team will assess your needs and offer you a customized NFC technology or QR code solution so that you can make the most of your waiting room area.

Features of our solution 

Overview

There are several options to make your waiting room fun. You just have to make sure to take into account who are the people who pass by your waiting room and why they are there.  Among the different alternatives, there are some cheaper ones such as having board games or coloring books, but you have to bear in mind that you will have to renew them regularly.

If you decide on thematic decoration, you will need a larger budget, but the experience will also be unforgettable, especially for children. Finally, if what you are looking for is to surprise the people who pass through your waiting room, and generate specific content for different profiles that entertains them during the waiting time, you should think about incorporating NFC or QR technology. With this technology you will turn waiting time into a fun experience that your customers will remember! 

Create contactless and interactive journeys 

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Traveler waiting for her airplane
2022-03-22 | 14:15

Pandemic and Travel - Le Gueuleton Touristique

This year, the Gueuletons touristiques (only in French, but here is a short recap), published by the Réseau Veille Tourisme and the Chaire de tourisme Transat de l'ESG UQÀM, chose to focus on the impact of the pandemic on travelers' habits and on the issues that the tourism industry had to face.

We chose to focus on the fourth chapter, but here is a quick summary of the previous chapters.

  1. The first chapter focuses on the Quebec traveler. In their travels, they seek an authentic experience with the territory they visit.
  2. The second chapter presents the growing interest in local travel and the development of a local clientele that can build customer loyalty.
  3. The third chapter presents the issue of the shortage of workers in the tourism industry and the pressure this puts on tourist sites.

The fourth chapter discusses the adaptations that the tourism industries have gone through during the pandemic.

How is the pandemic changing travel habits? 

1. Digitalisation of the Tourism Industry

It started with improving the customer experience by using digital technologies. In a survey of 6,000 travelers conducted by the Amadeus Agency in September 2020, 84% said technology gave them back their confidence, if it addressed their concerns: fear of catching the virus, government-imposed quarantine, fear of getting stuck abroad. By using technology, they wish to wait less in lines and crowding in public spaces (38%); less physical contact (31%); protection of financial data and personal information (31%).

Technologies can also increase traveler’s confidence. They allow better communication of essential information to customers, such as sanitary measures, modification or cancellation of their reservation and allows better management of their requests.

Technology also allows tourists to plan their trip more efficiently. They can explore their future destination through virtual reality. They can also manage their travels through virtual queue and time slot reservation systems. 

2. The Importance of a Contactless Experience for Tourism Recovery

One of the ways to revive tourism, as identified in the Gueuletons Touristiques, is a contactless customer experience. Quebec tourists want to be able to travel again. A survey of visitors to Montreal's Quartier des spectacles, conducted by Léger in summer 2021, found that 54% of participants are willing to attend a festival once the lockdown is over. This rises to 71% among visitors under 34 years of age.

This is why it is important to create virtual or hybrid experiences that meet health guidelines without disappointing visitors.

3. Popularity of Destinations Offering Contactless Options

A contactless experience is a must for travelers. In a study conducted by Blackbox Research in July 2020 among 10,000 people from 17 different countries, 76% would have a preference for countries offering contactless experiences. 

Developing a contactless experience for visitors is not an easy task. To be successful, tourism businesses need intuitive and effective tools that everyone can use. That's where MySmartJourney can help!

MySmartJourney is the solution for a contactless tourism experience

MySmartJourney has developed a solution that allows web content to be delivered to visitors even when they are on the move. The information can also easily be updated by staff at any time. This technology can easily be integrated into the customer journey, and can be presented in a fun and entertaining way, while encouraging compliance with health guidelines.

To close this chapter, it is important to consider technology as a key player in the tourism revival. Relocating customer contact points to the web allows respect for sanitary measures, but also makes it easier to keep in touch with customers. In this perspective, reviewing our technological bases is essential to offer a better experience.

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