Before I get into the meat of this, let’s talk stats because this is important.
Mobile is huge. The Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Agency reports that 74% of Canadians have a mobile phone…that’s 25.5 million people!
Gartner, Inc. projects that by 2013 mobile phones will overtake desktop PCs as the most common way people access the Internet.
According to a recent study by Google, local search is the most common Smartphone activity (95%).
So let’s look at some ways tourism operators can use QR Codes, and the mobile channel in general, to ensure their visitors have a top-notch experience worth talking about.
Bring Your Interpretive Signs to Life!
A typical interpretive sign is comprised of text and images, imagine if you could turn that static sign into an interactive exhibit.
You can, with QR Codes! (what is a QR code?)
Big Fish Media is located on the Bay of Fundy, where we experience the highest tides in the world. It really is an incredible phenomenon. Imagine if interpretive signs at places like the Reversing Rapids and Hopewell Rocks included a QR Code that links to a fantastic video endorsed by the local tourism department.
That is exactly the sort of thing QR Codes were meant for…linking offline content to online content. By including QR codes on your signs, you give visitors an opportunity to scan it with their phone and open up…a video, website or app that they can watch or interact with for a richer experience.
Bonus: as long as you go with the right provider, QR codes are trackable. This means you can view reports that will tell you which locations are getting the most activity, and exactly how much activity they are getting on a weekly or monthly basis.
Live example: San Antonio
Provide Information on Demand
Let’s face it, not everyone wants to talk to the staff, or read a brochure.
Appeal to the growing demographic of mobile-savvy consumers; invite your visitors to scan a QR code or text a keyword to a shortcode (aka. phone number) for a quick digest of must-know information.
These QR codes would be placed on signs, in brochures and many other possible locations depending on your goals and desired outcome.
Whether they were in the planning stage of their trip, or already there, you could engage your clients and potential clients in a very meaningful way.
A Modern Tour Guide
The Universal Island of Adventure in Florida has fun conversation bubbles that tourists can stop and stand under for a unique photo op. Let’s put a mobile-friendly spin on this.
Picture something similar, but with an invitation to scan a QR code for some special information about a nearby historical site or tourist attraction.
Visitors would spot these and be drawn in to find out more.
This is a great alternative to walking tours for those who prefer to explore independently. Perhaps your sign would link to a video or audio file of a tour guide explaining the area, just as they would during a walking tour.
Live example: Canadian Museum for Human Rights
Put Everything They Need to Know in the Palm of Their Hand
You probably already have a really great website…but, what does that site look like if browsed from a mobile phone? Try it right now, visit your site from your phone and have a look.
If you’ve already created a version of your website that is optimized for mobile it probably looks really great, kudos to you!
If it looks like a teeny, tiny version of what you see from your computer then it needs an update – desperately needs an update.
I bet there are a lot more people touring around your city with a mobile phone than a laptop! Wouldn’t it be great if visitors could find a fantastic place for dinner and plan their next day activities – while sitting in their hotel room, phone in hand?
Bring your Brochures to Life
Text marketing and QR Codes are fantastic ways to make a static brochure or poster engaging.
Consider including a QR Code on your brochures that readers can scan to open directions or receive a coupon.
Live example: Tourism Partnership North Whales
Interested in implementing any of the above into your marketing plan? Big Fish Media provides mobile marketing consulting and we’d be happy to meet with you to discuss your goals, so you have the right solution!