So, you’re thinking about a holiday? Taking some time off after the Christmas period, a break to somewhere new? While some of us might appreciate a more laid-back retreat by the pool, others may seek a more adventurous break to far away destinations. But no matter the type of time-off you’re craving, you can be sure there will be an element of smart tourism solutions involved somewhere along your holiday.
You’ve booked your flight, packed your bag and arrived at the airport. Step one complete. Now for the really stressful part. Checking in. The dreaded checking-in queues at airports are the stuff of nightmares, a process we’d all rather avoid. While some travellers can download boarding passes onto a smart phone and avoid the queues altogether, the rest of us with luggage are not so lucky…
There are smart solutions in place today though, which have been designed to make processes such as check-in a little less stressful. Digital kiosks have been around since the early 1980’s, and first started appearing in airports in the 1990’s. As the technology has developed and reached new levels of integration and personalisation though, digital kiosks have become more widespread and can provide more advanced services.
Today, digital kiosks allow passengers to access general airport information and to manage their flight details, such as checking-in and weighing luggage, allocating seats, selecting a meal plan and tailoring any other specific requirements. More modern digital kiosks connected over 4G can offer travellers higher functioning speeds and be remotely managed by airport staff, freeing up employee time and, more importantly helping to reduce waiting times at desks. Step two complete!
Digital kiosks are also commonly found in hotels as a form of automated check-in, allowing guests to check-in to their rooms at any time of day or night and eliminating the need for around the clock hotel staff – reducing wage costs for the hotel. As a more efficient process, it is also faster to complete for the traveller who can now also check in at a time convenient to them. Step three complete!
So, you’ve landed at your destination and you’ve checked into your hotel using digital kiosks. Now for the fun part – exploring your new surroundings. Part of the fun of exploring a new country or city is getting lost and discovering new and exciting places. If you’d like to find your way back to the hotel via the quickest and easiest route however, a GPS application might come in handy. Available on all smart phones, GPS applications are now more precise, revealing on-point locations thanks to satellites located worldwide constantly picking up your signal – and it’s free to use. Travellers can also use cellular towers to pick up a signal if satellite GPS is unavailable, as your mobile constantly scans between cellular and satellite to ensure reliable location tracking for users. Travellers can also send their exact coordinates from one device to another, which comes in useful if you’re a little lost. In extreme cases the tracking information can even be sent to emergency services, for example if they need to isolate a lost hiker’s exact location.
If you’re not feeling so adventurous and would rather “explore” your surroundings from the pool-side however, then virtual reality (VR) might be the option for you! Transforming our digital experiences, VR can now immerse users in 360° views of realistic video, ranging from gaming to “visiting” unique tourist destinations. Many travel companies now encourage potential customers to “test” an experience at a destination or hotel using VR, enticing travellers to book by enabling a “try-before-you-buy” tactic. VR users can also explore less accessible locations or experiences such as diving with great white sharks or walking along the Great Wall of China, while other VR experiences take users on a journey of buildings or surroundings, offering a close-to “real-life” experience of prominent locations. VR is becoming more common place in historic buildings, museums and galleries as well, providing users with disabilities or those with limited resources real-time accessibility to tourist destinations.
Your holiday is now over and sadly it’s time to go home. And although we have only covered a small handful of smart tech solutions that are now common place in the tourism industry, you can be sure that from step one to your last, you have been using more IoT solutions than you imagined. Key to enabling these however, is reliable and high performance connectivity to ensure a smooth user experience. Able to connect anything, anywhere, 4G LTE provides a simple, flexible and effective solution for connecting high value IoT applications such as these. When deploying an enterprise-grade network, such as those delivered by Westbase.io’s solutions, you can integrate connectivity seamlessly and use it to remotely manage your applications with ease, while ensuring all data is kept secure. To find out more about how Westbase.io can help to connect your IoT solutions, take a look at our dedicated website page by following the link provided.