Brainstorming new, post-pandemic self-guided tour ideas…
July 8, 2021 8:43 PM   Subscribe

I am looking at creating curated/customized self-guided tours/itineraries to sell online to customers, and I want to figure out a more modern format that would really work and be fun for younger people (most tourism resources still cater to baby boomers…)

The world has changed and a lot of people don’t want in-person tours or paper, they just want things that can be accessed on their mobile devices. Most app tours I’ve seen either weren’t good or weren’t profitable ventures so I’m trying to think up new approaches/angles that are easy, convenient, and savvy. At first I thought of creating customized interactive PDFs with links to video and stuff (access to special scavenger hunt clues, etc.)… but I’m not sure how to format it best for mobile. I’m open to suggestions or links to resources.

I would also love to hear if you’ve ever found a product or service that really helped you feel welcomed to a city in a new way… and what you would really like to see in a product like this if you haven’t.

Thanks in advance! :)
posted by miss lynnster to Travel & Transportation (6 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Maybe think about expanding it out to national parks as well?
Hiking has expanded to a much wider group thanks to the pentup-ness of covid, few people have much knowledge about an area or the resources to pay a guide, but once you get out there there's always this sudden overwhelming enthusiasm for wanting to know more about the flora, fauna, history, how indigenous people lived on that particular land, etc. I would love a well designed ap like a little interactive guidebook following me along the trail for a hike. (Would have to be downloadable if there was no reception)
posted by hotcoroner at 1:27 AM on July 9, 2021

I love curated food/beverage tours when I go to new cities.

This started when I moved to the Atlanta area and a chef friend made me a list of his favorite restaurants and what to try at each one. A friend and I did an afternoon food tour and it was fantastic. I actually told my chef friend he could sell this service. He did the same thing for me when I went to Chicago. In Chicago, the dinner tours were three or four places in the same neighborhood, and we went from one to the next, and shared a couple of plates at each one.

The first time I was in Grand Rapids, I got a local to do it with a brewery list and specific beers to try at each place. That was also awesome.

It was a great way to get to see a new place and try great things without having to dig through reviews or websites. It was also nice to have the menu suggestions, it made the whole thing really easy and fun.
posted by August Fury at 5:47 AM on July 9, 2021

I did this Google Map tour recently, to go with a video shown to children in grades 1 - 5. You can easily add multiple photos, a description, an activity and a link to a video for each map marker. You can embed the map and its interactivity in an app of your own with the Google Maps API.
posted by DarlingBri at 9:13 AM on July 9, 2021 [1 favorite]

You should look into augmented reality. Phones approximately know where they are with gps, and now with several companies building up databases, they can know exactly where they are and what they are looking at. One app I saw a few years ago would overlay historical photos over the camera view, and were starting to incorporate 3d models of long vanished buildings and statues.

Unity is one popular program for building AR apps. Spend 40ish hours with the tutorials and you may be able to make some basic apps, and will be able to better talk to developers.

If you have a good AR app you will be in a good position in 5ish years when AR glasses become more widespread.
posted by Sophont at 9:46 AM on July 9, 2021 [2 favorites]

The Museum of Vancouver had an augmented reality app back in 2013 where you can overlay on your phone scenes from the 50's, 60's, and 70's focusing on the historic use of neon signs.

The Mural Festival earlier this year (2021) also featured AR to showcase virtual murals.
posted by porpoise at 10:37 AM on July 9, 2021

PDF and mobile are pretty much incompatible. You will want to stick to native web formats.
posted by COD at 2:01 PM on July 9, 2021

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