Having just returned from a 3,500km road trip through the Southern States of the USA, I am excited by the opportunities there are for location-based services in the tourist and travel industry. There are so many web sites and applications out there, but unless you are very savvy, being a FIT (Free Independent Traveller) on the road wanting to see and experience as much as possible is actually difficult, tiring and time-consuming.
I have spent a lot of time writing about what I think the industry needs both in New Zealand and internationally and the opportunities for developers to use tools such as those provided by various location-based services providers such as GeoSmart. I’ve written about it from the perspective of how certain industries such as hospitality, attractions, regional tourism operators could better achieve their goals and how the public can use these apps. This was the first time I have spent a length of time driving a rental vehicle through parts of the USA I have never visited before and I now have an even better perspective of the strengths and weaknesses of the sites and apps out there.
The news is good for some apps and not so good for others. I firmly believe that in future we will become connected in an almost neural fashion (not talking wires to the brain here) in a way that each of us can have the experience we want and find people and places that will allow us to have the perfect experience, whilst supporting those businesses that are trying to making a living from providing those experiences.
I’m still working through how to share this information and help make some of these things happen. My blogs will form part of this, but I look forward to talking with the developer community, tourism operators and others, presenting at some more conferences this year and also exploring ways for GeoSmart to be involved in partnering in solutions that could be world leading.
I now understand a little about why people asked me when I was in the USA, “Why are you doing a road trip?” I knew why, because I wanted to see how real America lives, not the people in the city brown stone apartments, but real people in small town USA. I wanted to eat where they did, listen to music where they did and experience the country without the hype. The problem is that there are so many delights and so many pitfalls and without having months or years to do it in, so little information accessible in real-time about what is around you.
If this is of interest to you, follow this blog and some of the links I will share. If you want to do something about your industry, develop or improve applications or help push the world towards solutions that really work. Please feel free to contact me through this blog, or through LinkedIn.