post by : Roulet Marc
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.
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.
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.
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.
Another Berlin example: http://techcrunch.com/2014/09/22/timetraveler-app-allows-you-to-see-the-berlin-wall-story-in-augmented-reality/
Roulet, Marc - 701_e (2015); Teixeira Araujo, Anabela - 701_e (2015); Thomas, Marine - 701_e (2015)