Mobile Apps for Visiting Cities

post by : Roulet Marc



General information

In just a short period of time, mobile devices have become a central part of people's lives. Nowadays technological advances and the ease of access to information and new products gives more power to the customer who is constantly seeking a better product or service at the lowest price possible. A costumer is no longer as faithful to a particular brand as before: if he can get a better product elsewhere at a better price, he will switch over.

In this regard, companies are forever seeking to improve their products or services in order to attract more customers and retain those they already have.

Mobile apps: advantages and disadvantages

Mobile apps designed to enhance a tourist's experience of a city have many aims, such as to provide that tourist with a tool that will enable him/her to visit a city and its attractions according to his/her own interests.

Moreover, many, if not all, are free and cater for a wide range of activities such as walking tours or museum (audio)guides. As well as being interactive, they provide user rankings for particular sites of interest.

Advantages

Most are free and provide useful tips to better experience a city. They are designed in such way that they are personalised for each user according to what they are looking for. The user has the ability to choose what he/she wants to do and when he/she wants to do it, which makes him/her independent and autonomous. It is a free alternative to hiring a tour guide which some might prefer. Some apps can be used offline, which is especially useful for international tourists without an mobile internet plan who wish to use a mobile interactive map of a city. Last but not least, many such apps offer discounts to many sites and attractions as well as restaurants around a city.

Disadvantages

These apps tend to prevent users from interacting with locals, for example, the way they would if they had to ask for directions. A tourist who has studied the app prior to their trip will not explore a city the way they would, had they not downloaded it. Although the apps might be a substitute for a tour guide, they cannot replace the passion and the personal anecdotes that these tour guides might want to share.

In Switzerland?

There is no official app for the main Swiss cities like Geneva, Bern or Zurich. However, transport apps for these cities exist, and some are better than others. Interestingly, some major nightclubs also provide mobile apps for their users, this is the case for the Bypass in Geneva for example.

Finally, many museums in Switzerland use the same app, which is museums.ch.

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Extreme tourism

post by : Marti Naomi



What is extreme tourism?

Extreme tourism involves travel to moderate or extremely unsafe places or to participate in adventurous and potentially dangerous activities. Travelling to dangerous environments means difficult environmental conditions for human survival (for example: desert, polar region, mountains, rain forests, etc.). It also indicates dangerous places that have been devastated by natural or human disasters such as region affected by nuclear catastrophe (Chernobyl). The travellers can take part in dangerous activities that often involve high physical conditions and a strong adrenaline rush (for example: rafting, bungee jumping, ice walking, cage diving with white sharks, trekking across a desert, etc.)

The target market

People interested in taking extreme holidays are young and adventurous. They usually earn a good income, are not married and have no children. They are seeking for adventure, adrenaline or personal challenge. The thrill of an unknown experience is appealing and also a way to ‘escape’ mass tourism and popular destinations. It exists travel agencies specialised in organising adventure trip. They will organise the activity, the accommodation, food and medical assistance if needed.

Critics

Extreme tourism has expanded in popularity in recent years because travelling has become affordable for quite everyone. Nowadays, people are willing to pay more to add a unique experience to their trip. This type of tourism is mainly criticised due to the environmental damage that those activities might cause in certain areas. For example, the increase of tourism in Antarctica brings pollution and foreign organism that may threaten the continent ecosystem. Extreme tourism is sometimes referred as “shock” tourism, which consists in visiting dangerous areas, such as countries at war. The critics are concerned with the unnecessary risk of visiting such unsafe places, as well as the morbid curiosity that leads people there.

And in Switzerland?

Switzerland offers a wide range of extreme activities/sports, such as skiing, canyoning and bungee jumping thanks to its natural resources (mountains, rivers). During the whole year and everywhere in Switzerland it is possible to undertake such activities. While professionals in this field can take part the Matterhorn ascent or base jump from very high cliff, people more amateurish can enjoy the adrenaline rush of rafting or rap jumping with experienced guides. Unfortunately, several activities like skiing and snowboarding have a big impact on the environment as they require a lot of infrastructures that damages the nature.

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Segway, the new way

post by : Maffli Lisianne



General information:

The Segway PT (personal transporter) is an eco-friendly self-balancing, electric vehicle, that you steer solely by your weight and with the intuitive handle. The first prototype was created in January 2002 in the USA, and the first sale to the public was made in November 2002 on “Amazone.com”, but came to Europe only recently. There exist several versions of the Segway: the I2 SE is the most standard one, it goes indoors and outdoors, and the x2 SE goes outdoors and off-road. There are many accessories that could be added to both versions, such as cases, torches, and camouflage. The Segway can be used for personal purposes, for tours, events, promotion, and law enforcement and security. You can find Segways almost all over the world, and they are in perpetual amelioration.

 

Negative points:

The main competitor for Segway is the new “Oxboard” product, which is taking over the market, especially in the cities, because of its small size, its efficiency, and its convenience. The duration of the battery of the Segway does not allow us to use it for a whole day. For personal uses, a Segway driver card is required, and costs 29 sFr. The legal age of driving the green vehicle is 16 years old. In Switzerland, it is prohibited to drive a Segway on the road. And it is not affordable for everyone.

 

Application to tourism:

The Segway is already used by a lot of resorts and theme parks. Not only they use it for their own purposes, but also they rent it to their customers in order to commute inside their properties. The usage of Segways for city tours is becoming more and more popular. It allows tourists to visit a city in a funnier and relaxing way. Regarding the ski resorts, they can make profit with the Segway also in summer, by offering off-road discovery tracks. By doing so, they may increase the visit during the summer season, and develop the loyalty of their customers. The market of personal transporters is incessantly growing and has a bright future for the tourism industry.

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Instagram dans le marketing touristique

post by : Ricard Leila



De nos jours, il est essentiel pour chaque entreprise, chaque marque et chaque secteur professionnel d’avoir une présence sur Internet et notamment sur les réseaux sociaux. Le secteur du tourisme ne fait bien évidemment pas exception à la règle. Donner envie aux clients à l’aide de support papier ne fonctionne plus, il faut vendre du rêve, des émotions et provoquer l’effet « wow ». Pour ce faire, les prestataires touristiques utilisent les réseaux sociaux et varient, afin de toucher le plus de personnes possibles. Un de ces réseaux qui a séduit les professionnels ainsi que les utilisateurs est… Instagram.

Bien plus qu’une simple plateforme où l’on publie des photos, Instagram est désormais un véritable outil marketing et tout particulièrement dans le cadre du tourisme. Ce réseau a su séduire 400 millions d’utilisateurs et compte de nombreux professionnel de la branche parmi ses adeptes. Que cela soit les destinations, offices du tourisme, hôtels ou compagnies aériennes, ils ne doutent plus, ils utilisent Instagram pour promouvoir leurs produits ainsi que leurs marques.

Ce rapport répondra aux questions suivantes : Tout d’abord qu’est-ce qu’Instagram ? Qui sont ses utilisateurs, sa communauté ? Pourquoi utiliser Instagram dans la promotion touristique? Quels sont les avantages d’Instagram que cela soit pour les professionnels de la branche ou les utilisateurs ? Comment la Suisse parvient-elle a intégré ce réseau social dans ces entreprises marketing ? Et quelles sont les solutions possibles pour une utilisation optimale d’Instagram pour les prestataires touristiques suisses ? 

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Sharing Economy

post by : Mumenthaler Bettina



General information and definition

Sharing economy means the systematic sharing (lending) of resources, in order to maximise the use of the good/service. 

For a big part of Generation Y, also known as the Millennials, the attitude towards possessing a lot of goods has significantly changed. They don’t consider it desirable to boast with accumulating and owning a lot of expensive but mostly unused things. They are more and more opposed to the arrogant behaviour of the young rich who often show off with their possessions. For them, the action of sharing becomes more and more important, both money- and mindset-wise. Things should be used instead of just owned. For example, one shared lawnmower for a small neighbourhood.

There’s a big discussion about the concept of the sharing economy nowadays. A lot of experts are favourable to it as they say it’s good for the environment if goods are used longer than usual. Furthermore, they appreciate the new attitude towards consumption which becomes more conscious and sustainable. A negative point is the limited public that can profit of the sharing economy. You have to be an active user of the internet in order to get to know the platforms.

Future

According to the Time Magazine, the concept of the sharing economy is one of the ten ideas that will change the world in the future. One of the main reasons is the environmental factor. Looking after the environment has become more and more important. The fact that you make your contribution by sharing goods is not only thanked by nature gut also makes yourself look better.
Another idea that might be important for the future of the sharing economy is the social factor. In an increasingly anonymous world, we yearn to have social connections and may it be only with strangers with whom we share a lawnmower. The sharing economy “involves the re-emergence of community”, says Rachel Botsman, an expert of the sharing economy.

 

Application in tourism

As for the tourism branch, two inventions are changing accommodation and transportation completely these days. Airbnb introduced a new form of overnight-stay by creating a platform for private individuals to offer a spare bed in their apartment or similar accommodation. Uber used the same idea of privatizing for the transportation. Car drivers are able to offer spare seats in their cars on a journey from A to B to a large online community. The progress of mobile devices facilitates the access to online platforms where these “shared goods” can be offered, searched and booked.
In tourism, the sharing economy is on the rise: In Australia the amount of nights spent in shared accommodation (Airbnb, couch surfing) rose by 20% between 2007 and 2011. We suppose that in Valais the number of Airbnb accommodations is not as high as in major cities in Switzerland or its surrounding countries. Therefore, we see a great opportunity for locals in the tourism destinations to offer their spare beds to visiting tourists and offering them a much more personal Valais-experience.

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"SwissPass - the key to your mobility"

post by : Chappuis Ludivine



 

What is the SwissPass?

We all remember the old support for our public transports membership card. But since the 1st of August 2015, they have been replaced by the red SwissPass. It works with a microchip, as the ski passes do for example. The ticket inspectors check our travelcard with an electronic scanner. This one enables to verify the validity and the duration of the type of subscription we choose. Another essential thing about this new product is that it is valid many years.

 

What are the advantages?

As we mentioned above, this card is valid several years. Therefore, it is automatically renewed every year, unless we cancel the travelcard. Cancelation notice has to be sent two months in advance. This applies already to mobile phone contracts. In comparison with the old system, we don’t get a new card every time, this is very eco-friendly! Furthermore, every SwissPass owner profits from an online account in order to stay updated about the new offers and stay informed of their memberships validity.

 

Access to partner services

The access to partner services is the main advantage and innovation of this new product. They are currently integrated to the SwissPass, such as Mobility Carsharing, PubliBike, SwissMobile and even the ski passes, more various activities will be added in the near future. Concerning the Mobility Carsharing, “we only pay for a car when we really need it.” The pro of PubliBike is to hire a bike from any place and bring it back to any station (ride from A to B) and finally, SwissMobile provides us with routes for walking, cycling, mountain biking, skating and canoeing. Thanks to this, we can easily plan our leisure activity and save maps on our mobile device. Once it will be possible to buy our ski passes in advance and put them on the SwissPass, we won’t have to queue in front of the cashier at the ski resort.

 

Application to tourism

The SwissPass is mostly for Swiss inhabitants. Travelling by public transports becomes easier, because you can have all in one card and for that reason, it may influence the mobility of people and could encourage them to travel around in Switzerland. By the way, the main slogan from SBB CFF FFS is “SwissPass - the key to your mobility”. With this new scanning system, it allows the SBB CFF FFS to estimate the number of passengers as well as their journeys. This leads to more efficient research in statistics and to target the top destinations. Once they are known, the goal is to attract people in other places, so that mobility could extend almost in every region, which would have a direct impact on tourism growth engendered by Swiss people.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NWLG2v73sOM

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1hmTJX4xgJY


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iBeacon - the device which could change your World

post by : Brehonnet Marine



Still partially known in Europe, it became rapidly popular in the Anglophone countries (USA, United Kingdom and Australia). There was already some of them on the market under Android exploitation system but two years ago, one of the biggest worldwide known company launched silently his own new technological product, targeted mostly in business, tourism and hospitality sector. Apple created in autumn 2013, the iBeacon under IOS exploitation system. As simple as his name, this new device is low-cost and revolutionary. Indeed, it is an information transmitter based on a micro localization. It works, mostly inside, on a short distance, in the contrary of a GPS system which works more effectively outside on long distance.

How does it work ? At first, companies using the iBeacon have to place it strategically, as the beacon is static, it has to be fixed preferably in a passing place. Secondly, customers have to download an app and activate their Bluetooth connexion. As the iBeacon permanently sends a signal, when the customer is passing close to the information transmitter, the connexion between both devices will immediately pop up useful information, advices or promotions on the phone through the app. For instance, you are browsing around in the shopping mall and get close to the Macy’s iBeacon, you will, in a second, receive their current sales, opening schedule, information about their new collection and even more.

 

In conclusion, the iBeacon has an enormous potential in many industries but mostly in tourism. It is economic, ecologic and has a nice sober design.

In our opinion, it is possible to push even more the concept by using the beacon in transportation and hospitality depending on the customer segment. Nowadays, tourists or visitors are also travelling a lot by car, we thought of developing the innovation in parking. An app could be designed to mix parking information and guidebook. Indeed, the parking part could locate your car and give you the closest parking lot, with the availability and prices. As soon as you are parked, the app would register your car GPS coordinates. After your city tour, wherever you are, the app gives you the way back to your parking space. The other useful tool of this app would be a guidebook which according to your location provides sightseeing, restaurants, museums and more.

ABI Research[1] foresees between now and 2019 that the United States will have around sixty millions iBeacon device on their territory.

 

 

For more information and details, click on the linked PDF.

 

 

 

 


[1] ABI Research is a technology market intelligence company with a 25 years’ experience in advising and informing businesses on technology and market investment. https://www.abiresearch.com/pages/about-abi-research/

 

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DMO Mini-Fallstudie Neuchâtel

post by : Eyer Lara



Neuchâtel ist eine Stadt und eine politische Gemeinde in der Romandie, Hauptort dess gleichnamigen Kantons. Neuchâtel hat ungefähr 33'000 Einwohner. Neuchâtel bietet sehr viele Sehenswürdigkeiten wie beispielsweise das Schloss. Zudem ist Neuchâtel im wirtschaftlichen Bereich sehr wichtig. Firmen wie Philipp Morris AG oder Bulgari haben ihren Sitz in Neuchâtel. Die Uhrenindustrie spielt eine grosse Rolle in Neuchâtel, wie auch der Tourismus. 

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Tourism, Environment, and Sustainable Development: Environmental Conservation

post by : Burkhard Danielle



Butler, R. W. (1991). Tourism, Environment, and Sustainable Development. Environmental Conservation, 18, 201-209. DOI: 10.1017/S0376892900022104.

Paying more attention to the development in touristic destinations and their surrounding areas has become a more and more important subject (Butler, 1991). This trend started when the awareness of being sustainable appeared, when tourism was often accused as having one of the largest impacts on the environment. However, the tourism needs the environment to perform well. Even though all touristic regions use environmental resources, some have not taken it into account when they developed their resorts. For many touristic destinations, it became difficult to change something because the costs and the impact on the economy in those destinations would be too heavy. However, for those that are just starting to be attractive for tourists and are now developing their strategies it is the opportunity to learn from the mistakes of the others and consider the environment. Touristic destinations that exist for some time have four different solutions to solve their problems: They can diminish the number of tourists coming to the destination or they can limit it before there are too many. Both of those solutions will be very difficult to fulfill, because most people are traveling to where they want and when they want. Making those restrictions or changes can have a huge impact on the people willing to travel to the area. It would also be a problem to make the local population agree on those solutions.While a lot of destination are attracting mass tourism, which are mostly to blame for all the damages done to the environment, the destination can decide to attract only people that are interested in alternative tourism and that care about the environment. The downside of this solution is that many people who travel today will not be able to pay for that way of travelling.By making the resources that the destination is offering, like archeological areas, more resistant for the damage done by tourist, it might be possible to fewer the impacts on the environment. E.g. you cannot go visit the inside of Stonehenge because there is now a way around it which helps the historical place to not be affected by the tourists.The last solution to change the impact that tourism has on the environment is to educate not only the companies, governments, touristic regions, but also the tourists. It would be possible to do so by teaching them how to be sustainable in the long run and how to develop that. The education of the tourists needs to take place in their places of origin and not at the touristic destination. In this way, they will improve their knowledge about how to take care of the environment and how to travel sustainable. Overall, being a destination that attracts mass tourism you need to be aware of the impacts that it has on the environment and on how to keep them as low as possible. On the other hand, for destinations like Switzerland that are attracting the wealthier tourists and value quality over quantity, they have to make the local population and the government aware of the best regulations for the tourism destination. The most important part is that people become aware that tourism is as important as any other industrial sector and can have a huge influence on the economy of a country.

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Medical tourism

post by : Morgagni Michael



Horowitz, M. D., Rosensweig, J. A., & Jones, C. A. (2007). Medical tourism: globalization of the healthcare marketplace. Medscape General Medicine9(4), 33.  

In the recent past medical tourism has emerged wherein citizens of highly developed countries travel to less developed areas of the world to receive a wide variety of medical services. A staggering number of patients travel to developing nations for healthcare. It has been estimated that the global medical tourism industry currently generates annual revenues up to $60 billion, with 20% annual growth. Many medical destinations boast modern facilities with advanced technology and appealing accommodations. Medical tourists are presently traveling to faraway countries for:

  • - Cosmetic surgery                                                                           - Dental procedures
  • - Orthopaedic surgery                                                                       - Gender reassignment procedures
  • - Cardiac surgery                                                                               - Ophthalmologic care
  • - Bariatric surgery                                                                              - Organ and cellular transplantation

Popular  medical destinations; Central and south Amercia,  India, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand, Belgium, Italy, Germany, Israel and Canada.

The global Healthcare Marketplace: There are two groups of tourist patients: The middle-income patients evading impoverishment by expensive, medically necessary operations and the other group seeking cosmetic surgery, dental reconstruction, fertility treatment, gender reassignment procedures, and other treatments not covered by health insuranceSome patients, particularly those undergoing plastic surgery, sex change procedures, and drug rehabilitation, choose to go to medical tourism destinations because they are more confident that their privacy and confidentiality will be protected. Finally, some patients have medical care abroad for the opportunity to travel to exotic locations and vacation in affordable luxurious surroundings.

The continuing evolution of medical tourism: The medical tourism industry is fuelled and driven by patients who are unsatisfied in terms of health system and want to find the same services outside their country that are affordable, timely or simply available. It is increasingly apparent that medical tourism is changing the healthcare in industrialized and developing countries around the world, and there is every reason to believe that this trend will continue to evolve.

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