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LBS & tourism through the eyes of a postgrad marketing student in New Zealand.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Virgin's city guide podcasts

Netimperative: Virgin Atlantic podcasts city guides
"Virgin Atlantic has launched a new service that enables New York travellers to download audio guides to their portable MP3 players.

The first podcast is a series of four audio guides to New York. They begin with a guide to the ten coolest restaurants, the second is an insider's guide to shopping.

The third is all about 'off-the-beaten-track' New York while the fourth is a guide to the ten things you just have to do, if you're on your first trip to the Big Apple.
Breda Bubear, head of advertising and communication at Virgin Atlantic said: "We believe that providing travellers with relevant destination content will help them plan their trip, and giving it to them in a portable format will enable them to make the most of their time away."

The podcasts are to be followed by guides to other destinations as well as more in-depth broadcasts on the airline’s destinations, from live radio shows to what’s on guides and personal experiences."
I like how the Virgin offering is somewhat personalised, depending on what type of travel experience you're looking for - obviously the 'new media travellers' will be interested in more of the 'off the beaten track' type of guide. And seeing as the portable digital audio function is converging into the mobile phone anyway, it makes perfect sense for these podcasts to be available on your mobile. Combine the cityguide podcast with mapping, throw in some context-awareness, and you have a really value-added, immersive travel experience!

It seems that there are so many different ways to approach location-based tourism, but all of them seem to be arriving at a similar point - after all the literature reviewing and expert interviewing I've done thus far, it seems a lot more important to concentrate on the affective, consumer side of things, rather than the structural, industry/technology side of things, because that's already been well established... Hopefully I can find some really interesting results from my focus groups, and make a real contribution to the whole area of location-based services research!


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