When I went backpacking through Europe over 20 years ago, the first thing I would get my hands on when I arrived in a new city, was a map. I wanted to know where the landmarks were and how I could get to them. These maps looked exactly like the one I held up at the 2021 Tourism Research Cluster and Consumer Research Lab Symposium. Big, bulky and barely holding together.
It doesn’t matter what your background is, or what language you speak—everyone understands a map. It’s one of the most powerful communication tools we have. However, my paper map here is outdated and may lead you down a road that no longer exists.
The symposium, held at Curtin University gathered industry leaders and academics to discuss the digital future of the tourism industry in Western Australia; particularly the critical moment currently facing the industry. The discussions were thought-provoking and gave valuable insight into future digital mapping opportunities.
Increasingly, tourism agencies are going digital as visitors steer clear of the ‘typical’ local tourist centre wall of pamphlets and paper maps. Rather, they are relying on their mobile phone to unlock destination information quickly and on-the-go.
Thanks to the Google Maps extensive Points of Interest database, as well as the ‘Local Context’ feature and multi-modal transport options, tourists can find local cafes, attractions, and shops within their surroundings and navigate there at the click of a button.
With 91% of Australians using mobile phones, using maps on personal devices has never been more stress-free for travelers; improving the overall holiday experience.
With digital wayfinding, tourists can easily search for and navigate to an attraction whether it is indoors or outdoors.
For example, sporting events can bring in thousands of visitors to a city. With digital wayfinding, visitors can benefit from a seamless experience by navigating from their hotel directly to their stadium seat or to a restaurant inside a stadium.
This is also a great opportunity to integrate relevant information about a city along the journey. Local companies and outlets can send push-notifications to passers-by and showcase the best deals the area has to offer.
Furthermore, one of the speakers at the Symposium was Craig Wells from Wells Strategic, who provides virtual tours or a ‘street view’ for a venue or destination. By integrating wayfinding and virtual tours, tourism agencies can provide a fully immersive solution to elevate the digital user experience that sets them apart.
To learn more about navigating your visitors, read about our indoor navigation partner MapsPeople here.
Data driven insights for industry
Tourism and travel agencies are collecting huge amounts of location-based data, however understanding what campaigns are effective and how to target certain demographics is crucial to making informed decisions.
Liveli recently worked with RedBalloon, a company that specialises in tourism experiences, to analyse how users interact with their online offerings. We proved that it’s possible to visualise which travel experiences have been purchased online, where that experience is located and the location of the purchaser all on a map.
This information can be used to:
Watch our short travel and tourism video below which highlights some of the insights you can gain through location data.
You can also watch our webinar with RedBalloon and Data Runs Deep to explore the wide range of insights you can receive from performing spatial data analysis on your Google Analytics location data.
In fact, this kind of data and its potential is critical for this unique time in the tourism industry, with regional, state and some national borders beginning to open up. Tourism operators are facing a new set of circumstances, with their new target market being predominantly local and domestic tourists. So how can we use data to better understand the wants and needs of these individuals?
Tourism Council Western Australia's ‘Wander Out Yonder’ campaign was largely successful in driving tourists to already-known hotspots like the Kimberley’s Horizontal Falls and Karijini National Park; with accommodation and tours booked out months in advance. Although Perth-based tourism operators and attractions are still struggling in comparison. In this instance, local Perth operators could be looking to the data of the past and looking for opportunities to market what was once popular with international tourists, and instead target local populations or domestic arrivals with special offers and exciting new opportunities to explore lesser-known parts of their own State.
Future planning with data
To look further forward and anticipate the influx of future trans-Tasman visitors or perhaps an uptake in arrivals from other domestic neighbours, the tourism industry would be well positioned to begin forward planning some ways to use past and current data in developing future offers.
With the benefit of location data, industry can leverage what they know about consumers behaviours before, during and after visits to attractions in order to better target their needs and ensure a pleasant, memorable experience.
Liveli has partnered with a number of mapping providers to help you guide visitors and make the most of their trip. These include Google Maps, used by a billion users worldwide and MapsPeople’s leading outdoor to indoor navigation platform.
If you are ready to transform the digital experience for you visitors, get in touch with our team for an obligation-free chat!
About the author: Oliver Looker
Oliver Looker is the General Manager at Liveli.