Tourism businesses from across Lincolnshire got the chance to experience for themselves new digital technologies which could transform the industry at a conference in Lincoln on Wednesday (14th November 2012).
A Microsoft Surface table, micro-chipped posters, a video postcard kiosk and 3D holographic images were just some of the technology on display at the Lincolnshire Chamber of Commerce’s Transforming Tourism event at the Lincoln Showroom.
The interactive playground was organised and run by digital experts from Lincolnshire County Council’s onlincolnshire project to demonstrate how digital technology and superfast broadband can enhance the visitor experience.
Carol Emerson, who owns Elms Farm Cottages near Boston, said: “The interactive technology playground was fascinating and I was particularly impressed with the video kiosk; I can just imagine how this would appeal to visitors from other countries like America.
“Boston attracts a lot of tourists from the States and if they had something like this at Boston Stump for instance it would be an added attraction. I realise people can use their phone these days to record video messages but older people don’t necessarily have a smart phone or know how to use it.”
As well as the opportunity to create an e-postcard and send it to friends and family around the globe, delegates were also shown smart posters embedded with micro-chips which signpost people to more information when scanned with a smart phone and digital displays which can recognise human emotion and deliver a tailored advertising message to that individual.
Angela Driver from onlincolnshire said it is important Lincolnshire businesses get to grips with the new technology available so the county doesn’t get left behind the rest of the UK.
“We realise it’s difficult these days to keep up to date with new products and services coming onto the market, so to help people understand the opportunities the Internet can provide we’re organising a series of wired-up events across the county. Some of these will be existing events like the Transforming Tourism conference and others will be specially organised as part of the onlincolnshire project.
“Lincolnshire County Council is also organising free seminars and workshops which are open to anyone and one-to-one support and advice for businesses in East Lindsey, Boston and Lincoln, the details of which can be found on our website onlincolnshire.org.”
The Transforming Tourism conference was organised by the tourism and hospitality sector of the Lincolnshire Chamber of Commerce.
In addition to the technology playground there were talks from guest speakers including historical architecture expert, journalist and TV presenter Jonathan Foyle, Mary Powell from Lincolnshire County Council and Professor David Sleight and Shaun Lawson from the University of Lincoln.
Delegates also had the chance to attend seminars on using PR to promote their business through the media and digital marketing. The event was hosted by BBC Radio Lincolnshire presenter Melvyn Prior.
Simon Beardsley, Chief Executive of the Lincolnshire Chamber, said: “Transforming Tourism was the first conference of its kind arranged by the Chamber to help tourism and hospitality businesses in Lincolnshire.
“Not only did it give businesses an insight into key projects that are taking place to improve the visitor experience in Lincolnshire, but it also showed delegates what benefits digital technology can bring to their profitability.
“But the most insightful presentation focused on how story telling can help sell Lincolnshire and was given by keynote speaker Jonathan Foyle, a Lincolnshire-born BBC presenter and Chief Executive of World Monument Fund Britain.”