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

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Location-based tourism, BBC-style

Here's another example of a digital graffiti type location-based tourism application. More and more of these are popping up now, it appears that despite all the reservations and problems associated with the deployment of true LBS, people are trying anyway - and good on them!

BBC's 'Coast' project, offering "39 new interactive walks exploring the past, present and future of the UK's coast - including 12 you can follow using your mobile phone." (Also see related articles from digital-lifestyles.info, textually, & mobhappy.)

I can already see a huge opportunity for something similar to be done along New Zealand's beaches, given how much of it we have! Of course, our nation's history is not as extensive as the UK, but I'm sure there would still be many fascinating Maori or colonial stories for interested visitors.

However, from the focus group that I've conducted so far, I've learnt that travellers are rather wary of mobile services such as digital post-it notes, as they are perceived to detract from the face-to-face, human interaction side of travelling (which is apparently the whole point of travelling in the first place). Basically, a location-based tourism application must be implemented in a way that still encourages active discussion between travellers, instead of creating an environment where users become shut in their own virtual cocoons...

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