The MasterCard’s 2014 Global Destination Cities Index is an indicator that evaluates 132 major tourist destinations in the world. This indicator has determined that in the last 5 years the expenditure by international tourists has skyrocketed. The growth rates of international visitor arrivals and their cross-border spending in the 132 destination cities covered by the MasterCard Global Destination Cities Index exceeded world real GDP growth over the 2009 to 2014 period. The number of visits to the top 20 destinations in the world is 5% higher than the previous year, and would have been higher had it not been for the political instability in Thailand that has affected the number of arrivals in the country. London continues to be the first city in the world regarding tourism expenditure which is expected to give the city a total 19,000 million dollars this year.
An article from Smart Cities Council indicates some clues no how to increase tourist visits and spending. One of the ways to increase tourism spending is to provide tourist information on the destination with mobile applications containing complete information such as maps, information on services and tourist attractions, events and tours, among others. Also, free wifi points can ease the discovery process of a destination for travellers because it allows them to use these applications for free without paying roaming charges.
But not everything consists on offering mobile applications for tourists. Barcelona, for example, is carrying out an interesting strategy of commitment to smart cities with actions aimed at both tourists and residents. This has been possible, among other reasons thanks to the designation of Barcelona as Mobile World Capital, hosting the main world congress for mobile phones and promoting initiatives such as Mobile Ready, which promotes the transformation of sectors such as tourism, commerce and creative industries by phone. Among other measures, several actions have been implemented as the restructuring of the bus network, providing city connections and real time information on the status of the network as well as USB points at bus stops where it is available to charge your phone. Other applications have been created, such as real-time information on the local bicycle system “Bicing” and parking in the city.
In the tourism sector, the main aim is to improve the life experience of the traveller through the use of technology and mobile applications, and one of the most interesting examples is the use of six sense visits to Casa Batlló in Passeig de Gracia. More information on this link.
Article: DCB Turisme i Desenvolupament Local @DCBTurisme