2020 was a black year for tourism: according to UNWTO, international tourist numbers dropped down to 65% in the first six months, and this massive drop in global travel demand translates into a loss of 440 million international arrivals and about US$ 460 billion in export revenues from international tourism.
Forecasts for summer 2021 are more encouraging, thanks to anti-Covid measures that the tourism and travel industry is putting in place; the primary trend, however, seems to be local tourism.
Local tourism challenges for summer 2021
The problem is that tourism offices and smaller towns do not always have the opportunity to invest big budgets and resources in exploiting their cultural heritage with engaging experiences for tourists and information in several languages.
However, Augmented Reality can help the world of local tourism, offering fun and unique experiences in different languages and enhancing even the offer of the smallest locations, making them appealing for tourists of all ages.
Of course, AR can be expensive for tourism professionals who want to adopt it relatively quickly and without big budgets to invest. But no worries here is where Aryel comes into play!
Thanks to Aryel, the first do-it-yourself AR marketing platform, even smaller entities can implement augmented reality into their marketing mix, offering unique and highly engaging experiences to passing tourists. Let’s see how!
AR Points of Interest
For tourists visiting a new territory rich in history and culture, every corner hides a treasure of priceless historical and cultural interest that is not always valued as it deserves for budget-related reasons.
Thanks to AR, however, you can simply provide these places with a small QR code to allow tourists to discover all the information and directions in the language they prefer, even with an automatic translator or solutions for special needs.
Also, thanks to AR experiences based on geolocation (a technology that Aryel supports), it is possible to automatically activate the experience as soon as the user reaches a specific location, offering them engaging experiences without putting signs and boards in the territory — which is particularly useful for wildlife parks and sanctuaries.
AR for language barriers
Another problem that tourism professionals often face is offering foreign tourists the information they seek in their own language.
Nowadays, and this trend is expected to grow even more in the post-pandemic scenario, areas of tourist interests have to provide information in as many languages as possible; and it’s easy to see how challenging this can be: putting up signs and information panels in more than one language is expensive and space- and time-consuming.
Moreover, it is difficult to include all the necessary languages; thanks to AR, however, this becomes finally possible.
Let’s make a quick example: museum. Instead of the classical three-language panels (usually in most common European languages), tourists will just have to scan a QR code or frame the artwork or artifact itself to get the information and details in the language they prefer.
AR for more engaging tourism
Sometimes attracting the attention of tourists, especially the younger ones can be challenging, especially for those tour guides who would like to enhance their offer and provide more engaging experiences to customers.
Thanks to a platform like Aryel, even freelance guides or small organizations can create AR experiences to make visits more engaging and immersive, adding treasure hunts, quizzes, and fun experiences.
For instance, visiting the ruins of a castle, tourists could see a 3D-WebAR reconstruction of the building on their own devices thanks to a simple URL, or have fun with a quiz, which also provides valuable feedback on what the group has learned during the journey.
AR in airports and stations
Often it’s hard to find your way around airports and train stations, especially in a country where you don’t speak the language.
Thanks to Augmented Reality, however, it’s possible to give tourists all the directions they need, creating virtual signs highlighting points of interest and “drawing” personalized routes that guide the user towards the destination.
Cab and bus companies can even highlight their vehicles thanks to a QR code placed on flyers or information boards, offering discount codes while getting valuable information about the habits and demographics of those who use their services.
An example? If a company discovers that mainly Chinese tourists activate its AR experiences and choose its services, it might decide to hire drivers who speak this language to offer a better experience to customers.
Of course, there are many other ways AR can improve tourism, both locally and internationally, and these are only some of the possibilities.
From giving travelers the information they need while exploring a new city to immersing themselves in new cultures without language barriers, WebAR technology — such as Aryel’s one — is the key to enhancing and enriching their whole experience abroad.