Unleashing QR Codes for Travel and Tourism

Feb 12, 2013

Vya Staff

Whether looking to celebrate Mardi Gras or finding warmer climate climes to escape the deep chill of February, it’s a sure bet that travel will be on the minds of many this month. For tourism and travel providers, attracting customers requires breaking through the ad and promotion clutter to help potential customers find your offering.

QR codes can help.

Instead of just describing a destination in a print ad, companies that employ QR codes open up the world, enabling potential travelers to experience the journey firsthand through video or additional imagery, sign up for more information, download travel guides, and so much more. All made possible by a quick, easy scan from a smart phone or device.

2-12-13_thumbYet while adding a QR code to a print ad is a great first step, some tourism operators are taking QR codes to the next level to promote their destinations and/or services to the marketplace. In the following paragraphs, take a look at some clever applications of QR codes within the travel and tourism industry that we discovered recently:

Stepping Carefully in Rio
Proving it is more than just a fun place to visit (although it definitely is), Rio de Janeirois stepping up a level on information delivery as well. Recently, the city added QR codes on its sidewalks to encourage tourists to learn about the wonders of “The Marvelous City.” From maps to historic site data, the QR codes provide a wealth of information toRio visitors.

Developing the Human Touch in Taiwan
QR codes are not just about sharing knowledge: They can help generate awareness too. In early December, the islandof Taiwancapitalized on this idea in a big way, assembling more than 1,300 Taiwanese volunteers to form a human QR code promoting tourism in Taiwan. Used in this manner, the actual creation of the code itself became a publicity-generating event, with the ability to use the code becoming a secondary (yet still important) benefit.

Making the Cross-Sell Easier
Imagine this scenario: You’ve just arrived at your hotel for a long-awaited spring break vacation. While you are excited to get the fun started, you’re a bit tired and hungry too…but where to eat? Oh wait, there’s a QR code in the lobby! After scanning it, you see a video of a juicy, grilled hamburger, along with a convenient reminder of how easy it is to get food delivered. Problem solved!

QR codes are super-effective at the cross-sell and up-sell process. Hotels with beauty salons and restaurants can provide videos or coupons via QR codes, tell visitors about entertainment or tour opportunities, even encourage return visits. It’s all possible with QR codes.

Taming the Mobile App Zoo
Mobile apps are a great tool for travel and tourism, but only if they are downloaded. Fortunately, QR codes are an effective, convenient way for visitors to grab mobile apps on the fly. (Take a look at how the Miami Zoo does it.) Want to know more? Check out our recent workshop about using QR codes to help people easily download your mobile app.

Helping Museums – Quietly of Course!
Museums, galleries, and similar destinations have long been incorporating technology into the experience, particularly through the use of audio tours. Today, these institutions can supplement or even supplant the audio experience, using QR codes to immerse the visitor in information such as tour data, additional artist/venue details, etc.

Conclusion
As discussed in an earlier blog entry, statistics show that smart phone users who scan QR codes likely have disposable income available…cash that could be used for travel and leisure. Take advantage of this fact by incorporating QR codes into your marketing mix, considering how QR codes can be used to attract and retain travel and tourism customers. Sure, you can start simply by adding detail to a print ad, but are there other, unique ways to apply QR codes elsewhere? As shown, any blank surface, from ceilings to floors and everything in-between, can become a canvas for your QR code messages, helping increase the ties between you and your customer.

Learn how Vya can help simplify local marketing through our marketing resource management systems, solutions and print expertise.

Tags: Blog, mobile marketing, QR code, Travel

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