Tourist attractions have begun to implement new technologies to enhance visitors’ experiences. Some historical sites use technologies, such as augmented realty, to bring the past to life. Meanwhile, new tourist attractions are being planned every day that use technology to create the attraction itself… In a way that would’ve been impossible just a couple of years ago.
Examples of Futuristic Sites
New tourist attractions that use extensive technology as their main draw are bringing more tourists to areas.
The Saadiyat Island Cultural District is designed to teach visitors about the area’s culture. However, the advanced modern architecture and sites are a part of the draw. The attraction holds the world’s largest concentration of cultural relics and consists of 2.8 million square meters of land.
Another example of a futuristic tourist attraction is the so called ‘super trees’ in Singapore. The attraction consists of massive man made trees with a bridge that allows for visitors to explore the canopy. At night these ‘super trees’ light up with a spectacular show of colours. There is even a restaurant hidden in the site for visitors to relax in.
Already existing tourists sites have started to use technology to improve visitors experience. One of the most common tools used is augmented reality. Augmented reality or AR is when you are able to look through a device, usually a smart phone, and view virtual elements that interact with the real world. AR is most well know for it’s use in the popular game app Pokemon Go. Museums have been experiencing a decline in vistors and AR is one tool being used to attract more visitors (the majority of which are millennials).
Use of augmented reality is allowing visitors at some historical sites and museums to use their phones to view extra information by pointing them at objects, architecture, and locations. This allows visitors to see different periods of time and visualise the history of the place or object. Advantages of AR include site navigation, gamification, education, and even time killing between one part of the attraction and another.
Some examples of sites that use Augmented Reality are The National Museum of Natural History in Washington DC, the Swedish national Museum of science in Stockholm, and the interactive discovery centre in Belfast.
Despite the many benefits that technology advancements have brought to tourist attractions there are some new concerns. Largely these focus around concerns about a possible drop in visitors due to experiences available online replacing on site visitors. Many sites and visitors are using photography, film, and even 3D scanning to post experiences online for people to enjoy virtually. It is unclear whether these virtual experiences quench peoples motivation to visit the physical sites or mearly peak their interest.
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What do you think? What tourist attractions have you visited that use technology? Is increased availability of information online decreasing visitors? Leave your thoughts in the comments.