I am thrilled to announce my participation at ARIVAL 360 as a Speaker! Creators and sellers of tours, activities, attractions, events and experiences from all over the world will come together in this engaging virtual event from October 26 to November 5.
The cancelation of ARIVAL Berlin in March 2020 found me with my suitcase almost packed, and my talk ready and rehearsed. The next few months were for us, as for everyone, the most challenging period we have ever experienced. Even though the future of tourism is still uncertain, this crisis has made us stronger and now it is the time to find new solutions to overcome the challenges the tourism industry faces.
That’s why our participation at ARIVAL 360 fills us with excitement. After a long time, we will be connecting with like-minded operators to exchange ideas. We are sure that all of us have so many new experiences to share and we can’t describe how much we are looking forward to it.
My talk with the theme “The Self-Guided Traveler” will take place on the “Digital and Distribution Day” on Monday, November 2. In my presentation, I am going to put self-guided tours under the microscope to unravel their multifaceted aspects and benefits.
Starting in 2012, it took us over two years of research to understand how we could make the world’s cultural heritage more appealing to travelers. It took us about the same time to develop a specific methodology for the development of self-guided tours. Since 2016 we have been demonstrating our findings to tour operators and tour guides. Self-guided digital tours are a powerful means to engage the existing audience and gain a new one all over the world. A digital tour can be used by anyone, anytime and anywhere.
We’ve also been pointing out that modern-day travelers are seeking new and more sustainable ways of tourism. The traditional way of traveling doesn’t appeal to millennials. According to the latest researches, 75% have installed travel apps on their smartphone and 74% use their smartphone to research their holiday or trip. Moreover, younger generations are looking for more independence during their travels and they are equally -or even more- attracted to lesser-known places and touristy landmarks.
Over the past few years, Andreas and Yiannis and myself have participated in numerous events, panels, competitions and conferences and we were always saying the same thing: We need to use the power of technology to promote our cultural heritage, make museums appealing to a younger audience and make landmarks accessible to everyone. Digital touring is the future of travel. The worldwide lockdown proved it in the most difficult way. Especially now it has become apparent that an even larger audience turns to self-guided tours either by choice or by need.
It took a worldwide pandemic for tourism professionals to notice the power of digital means in traveling but today cultural institutions, OTAs and tour operators have started listening to our arguments. I may have had to make some changes to the speech I had written for ARIVAL Berlin but to me, it is important to see that the main points remain the same.
I am looking forward to attending as many as possible from the 60 sessions that are planned for this engaging 5-days event. Participants will be able to join small-group discussion roundtables led by industry experts on a range of topics dedicated to their revival, including technology, distribution, marketing, operations and guest safety. The Networking Lounge will also be open for those eager to schedule one-on-one meetings with potential business partners, distributors, service providers, and more.
On the “Digital and Distribution Day”, events, talks and workshops will take place from 10 am to 5 pm EDT. I am going to be hitting your screens at 11:20 (EDT) sharp.
I really hope to virtually see you all there!