I have the good fortune to travel to many countries for clients and have witnessed the use of data and connected technology to not only improve visitor experiences but to also protect natural landscapes from overuse. The best example that comes to mind I saw in Tianzhushan UNESCO Global Geopark, located in Qianshan County, Anqing City, Anhui Province, P.R. China, pictured below (yes, I climbed that mountain – well, the one beside it).
This geopark receives 8 million visitors plus per year to this one location and they needed to address overuse and visitor experience. Real time data to the rescue (along with a monitoring team and natural looking infrastructure, that’s a camera with sensors, not a tree, in the picture below).
With this real time system the geopark can:
- Close trails when they are at capacity and open when they are available again
- Monitor for fire, mis-use, hikers in distress,etc.
- Deploy maintenance and cleaning crews efficiently
- Accurately provide visitor counts for future infrastructure development and funding
- Ensure visitors are not overwhelmed with long lines or too many hikers in one area
- Protect this natural asset for future generations
While this example may not be required in #SaintAwesome just yet, using data and connected technology to make better decisions will lead to growth and the need for sustainable mechanisms such as this will become reality.
I am that friend that loves to take hop-on hop-off tours to learn a little and decide where to explore further. Many use location activated interpretation. I’ve also used self-guided location-activated interpretation head sets at Giant’s Causeway in Northern Irleand and at the Palace of Versailles in France. And finally, in Iceland, I used a location activated app for a self guided driving tour of the Golden Circle.
In Saint John we can harness the power of data and connected technology too! We can improve visitor experience, improve business practices, make better decsions which will increase profits and create new opportuntites. But first we need to share the data … more to come on this topic soon.
Drop me a note with your favourite technology finds on your travels! firstname.lastname@example.org