Viva Beacons! Spanish Tourism Joins the IoT
Sismotur, a Spanish company positioned where tourism and technology meet, was searching for a way to help tourism destinations market themselves and enhance the experience of visitors at the same time.
As part of their effort, they’ve created a beacon-based worldwide smart tourism signage network called Inventrip. This was a natural choice since Sismotur already had extensive experience in designing and installing tourism signage systems in more than a hundred destinations. Recognizing the value that beacons could bring to clients and tourists, Sismotur designed their first pilot beacon program at the end of 2014. A simple app was enough for this POC and it was immediately clear that beacons were the foundation of the next phase of growth for the company.
In addition to being simple to set up and deploy, another reason that beacons appealed to Sismotur was the fact that the networking standard, Bluetooth, is nearly universally widespread and familiar to anyone with a smartphone. Both Android and iOS make it easy to quickly enable Bluetooth and this low barrier to adoption was key to going ahead with the project.
They envisioned their newly beaconized signage network as the ideal way to welcome visitors to a destination and provide all the information they needed. Beacons were the key to transforming passive signage into active virtual tourism offices.
To consolidate everything into one communication channel, Sismotur developed the Inventrip application. Inventrip was designed to have a simple interface and be ready with answers to common visitor questions like:
- “Where am I?”
- “What am I looking at?”
- “What is there to do here?”
with contextual information based on location. The app also makes it easy to make a sightseeing plan by choosing from a number of suggested destinations and activities. All text and graphic content for the Inventrip app was cached to make it fully functional offline.
This is an especially useful feature for people travelling outside the range of their home phone service provider and who are anxious about costs involved with data transmission.
The first deployment, with a hundred beacons, was in Ribera del Duero, a major destination for wine lovers and Wine Region of the Year in 2012, as named by Wine Enthusiast Magazine. Now, when visitors come in search of the delicious local Tinto Fino, all they have to do is be within range of a beacon-equipped Sismotur sign and they can get answers, advice and directions that will make their stay easier and more enjoyable than ever.