Global destinations are constantly striving to improve their technology offering to tourists in order to enhance the overall travel experience as well as help make a destination more liveable, resilient and better able to respond to challenges.
The inaugural International Travel & Tourism Awards will showcase six of the very best technology providers after being carefully selected by a panel of expert judges with the chance of being crowned Most Innovative Use of Technology within a Destination.
The winners will be announced to an audience of more than 500 leading industry figures during a glamorous awards ceremony at London’s Grade I-listed Tobacco Dock, not far from WTM London’s ExCeL venue (Tuesday 6 November).
A short summary details the shortlisted companies below, identifying the technology products that the tourist cannot be without when visiting particular destinations.
- Kyiv City Tourist and Information Centre created the Kyiv City Guide, a mobile application that will guide tourists through the most famous locations of Kyiv. The app enables the guest to create their own route, with it even working off-line, when where is no Internet connection. There have been more than 10,000 downloads of the app and is not only popular with tourists, but the locals alike.
- Miral Asset Management embarked on a digital transformation project to create an integrated guest experience, which will be at the heart of the YAS Island vision for 2022, the main aim to reach 22 million annual visits. The Yas Connect program includes mobile applications, an upgrade of CRM solutions, social media management and integration, frictionless identity and identity management and the required infrastructure to achieve that.
- Mohamed Abdalla Al Zaabi, CEO of Miral commented: “Creating personalized seamless experiences by harmoniously bridging the gap between physical and digital was our main priority. The goal was to allow visitors to plan their journey before they arrive, tailor their experiences to their desires and continue to revisit their memories as they leave Yas Island.”
- South African Tourism, the country’s national tourism authority, collaborated with Google’s Street View Camera Loan Program partner Drive South Africa, to coordinate the crowdsourced project Google Trekker South Africa.
South Africans and nature-lovers from around the world can view virtual South African safaris, exploring 170 trails in the country’s 19 national parks, as well as dozens of nature reserves on Google Street View, after the help of more than 200 South African volunteers got involved.
The project included the collection of Street View imagery using Google’s 360-degree backpack camera (the Google Trekker), video production, social media and YouTube campaigns, and a highly successful launch media campaign that earned over 300 pieces of digital, print, radio and TV coverage.
The project forms part of South African Tourism’s strategy to stimulate domestic tourism amongst the rapidly growing middle class.
Andre Van Kets, Co-founder, Discover Africa Group commented: “We are delighted to be shortlisted for these prestigious awards. Thanks to the hard-work and commitment of over 200 South African volunteers, anyone can now explore South Africa’s stunning national parks, reserves and hiking trails on Google Street View.”
- Vegas: Alter Your Reality by the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority is the creative interpretation of the Vegas experience from the minds of five artists, and the first and only destination virtual reality art program. The five two-minute 360 videos, first shared via VR headsets during a four-day activation at Miami Art Week, saw all five experiences viewed by 94% of attendees. During the activation, the Visit Las Vegas website saw a 61% increase in site visits and has since made 11.9 million total impressions and 232 total placements.
- Walks and City Connect created the Walk On Walk Off – Flexible Tour Pass which is a flexible pass that doesn’t require pre-booking and offers a completely paperless QR code solution.
The project utilized a new online learning management solution, a slack logging integration, multiple internal and partner API integrations, “straight to gate” ticketing technology with OTA partners, and data logging to indicate tour performance and identify redemption patterns.
Stephen Oddo, CEO, Walks commented: “Walks is honoured to be shortlisted for this award. Innovation is at the core of what we do, and we see Walk On Walk Off as launching a new sightseeing category. Our mobile passes make walking tours more flexible, offer visitors more variety, and provide seamless distribution and redemption.”
- Global pocket Wifi provider, GlocalMe by Hong Kong uCloudlink Network Technology Ltd enables international travellers to access mobile internet globally with a GlocalMe empowered mobile device at local-comparable or more attractive rates.
Tony Zhang, Marketing Manager, uCloudlink commented: “uCloudlink is the first global mobile data service provider. Our CloudSIM technology enables international travelers to access internet without SIM cards and data roaming cost. “GlocalMe” is our personal mobile data service brand in the partner business. Now we have successfully served 300 million users, daily peak users exceeding 600,000.