Geographical location is already changing the trajectory of the tourism industry

Geolocation has become an indispensable tool when doing tourism. With the advent of “smartphones”, most of their users use applications associated with geolocation on a regular basis, and even more so when they are in a city they are visiting for the first time. But its use goes beyond searching for a memorial, restaurant or shop. Start-ups well understood the potential of this tool and it was just emerging Solutions that have an impact on the tourism sector. Businesses have realized that they can improve their profits and public organizations have found a great ally to achieve a better traveler experience and above all to achieve more sustainable tourism in their cities.

“Geolocation benefits everyone, both users and public bodies and companies, if they handle the data well. Startups are starting to promote these solutions and there is already a lot of collaboration between the public and private sectors,” he explains. Irene MarquinProfessor and Director of the Business Intelligence Degree at CEU San Pablo University. We are talking about a tool that has an impact on many sectors and can be applied to an infinite number of things, as we see in tourism. “Big data is used and gives us an infinite amount of information, such as the flow of travelers or the visits they made during their stay. If you know how to handle it well, you can make the traveler waste less time in queues, do more activities, spend more money and have a better experience, which will make them recommend the destination more,” the teacher gives as an example. Thanks to “big data” You can also predict the traveler’s tastes and “that way you can set up personalized itineraries and make recommendations for places to have fun,” he adds.

This information is also very valuable to entrepreneurs who want to open a hotel, restaurant or store. “It allows you to see where these traveler flows go, the busiest areas,” Marroquín qualifies. Also, with geomarketing, “If you study geographically defined databases, you can make decisions to improve sales. And if you know what kind of tourism it is, where it’s going…you launch customized marketing campaigns.”

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Public bodies are beginning to see the advantages of using geolocation. “If you know there is more or less flow throughout the day or months, you can adapt bicycles, transportation, parking systems…you can adapt it to the time zone,” says CEU professor San Pablo. But they also have a great help in achieving sustainable tourism. “You can mobilize tourism towards the areas that interest you, those that are less dense and thus make them more sustainable. Or you can design a better transmission network.”

But despite their potential, for the user the use of these tools can be somewhat aggressive and he may even fear for his privacy. Erin Marroquin states that when there is transparency in the use of data, which is anonymous, “privacy is not violated”. However, he understands users’ concerns because “there are uncertainties about how they handle data and we know companies like Facebook have breached data,” he adds.

It has been on the market for 13 years Orientation keys, a tourism intelligence company with analysts working on all continents and having both private and public sectors as clients. “We help destinations anticipate tourists and understand their interests in order to attract tourists,” he explains. Juan A. Gomez Garcia, the company’s head of Market Intelligence. With tourism picking up after the pandemic, the problems that were there before have returned in some places. This means that many tourists are in the same place at the same time. “It is important to understand who arrives at the destination and how they behave. This is where geo-identified data comes in, which we receive through the use of mobile applications.

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Specialists in planning corporate trips, they have very valuable information, such as the number of people traveling with reservations, arrival and departure dates, reason for stay, stopover … and all these data have more value, thanks to geolocation. “We’re implementing it in an innovative way with some of our destinations. Crowds are managed, parking is located, the flea market is…”, he offers as an example. One of the projects that ForwardKeys has been working on in Valencia is to study the behavior of cruise passengers. “We wanted to understand where they go, if they’re in town after eating, and what attractions they take advantage of that go unnoticed,” explains Gómez-García.

“With the geolocation data, cross-referenced with others and applied by professionals, several conclusions can be drawn for the adaptation of procedures. The accuracy of the data is incredible, and data transit is very important because it gives us unlimited possibilities,” notes the head of market intelligence. He acknowledges that the tourism sector has traditionally been slow to adopt technology across many variables and that there are gaps in adoption using data. “There is a revolution in the use of data, which has accelerated the spread of the epidemic. Knowledge of the traveler is needed to anticipate it. It is widely used and more and more geolocation data is being adopted,” he qualifies. And remember, in this data usage fever, some mistakes are also made. “Destinations and companies must define their needs and their problems. So…it’s a matter of being strategic and realistic when it comes to using data and going on adventures,” he notes.

Reef for startups

In the midst of a fraternity pandemic Javier and Luis Alberto Melero creature He increasesSmart tour guide. “As tourists, it seemed strange to us that in 2020 there was no technical solution to accompany you on your travels. It occurred to us to use the mobile phone, to turn it into a local companion of the site that explains to visitors the secrets and places of interest, ”says Javier Melero. The solution they have created is a platform where any tourist destination, monument or museum can offer information to its visitors without the need To the development of any program, he adds: “We are one application for all destinations, and therefore it is easy for the visitor to install the application because he knows that he will use it.”

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At the moment, this technological tool provides information on 3500 important landmarks in Spainin four languages. A large part of them are in Andalusia, where they belong, and they have an agreement with the Military Council, but they are expanding in other cities and they hope little by little to reach other countries. On the platform, customers can embed and update their content in real time. “We don’t have to worry about technology but focus on creating engaging routes and monitoring what the visitor does. We provide very valuable ‘big data’,” Melero explains.

Geolocation is also an engine City MeProyect Jido Shinoka, a lover of travel and tourism, launched in 2018 to create this application in which there are virtual tour guides. “It’s on a ‘smartphone,'” explains the site’s founder, “they guide by the character of the place, their accents, and offer stories, myths, data, and recommendations for sites.” It contains 700 votes for each city (over three hours of content), which can be accessed by downloading the app.

“With geolocation, you can walk in, sign up for about 30 POIs and the sound will jump out on its own. So do not miss any interesting details. 80% of the content is about art, culture and history and the remaining 20% ​​is about gastronomy and plans, ”remarks Shinoka. The app has two formats and premium offers detailed information by neighborhood. By creating a virtual guide to New York, it’s another example of how geolocation technology is already changing the course of the tourism industry.

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