2018 Winning Case Studies on Innovation in Tourism

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2018 Case Study Award Winner (HongKong)

The students suspect there is a reaction on the part of some visitors against science and technology and that they feel nostalgic for the days when technology was simpler. They believe Hong Kong can harness this feeling to create a new attraction for visitors. “Blending technology into nostalgia can provide visitors a new experience to retrieve nostalgic feelings of the past in this civilized city so that visitors can make a deep tour to live in old Hong Kong.” The team proposes that a blend of old and new could be achieved by building on the popularity of Hong Kong’s trams to create a special tram. Part of it would be a kitchen cooking local street food dishes; part would be an area for eating, and part would be an “experience area.” This last section would be equipped with technology, including both virtual reality and augmented reality equipment that would deliver information.

2018 Case Study Winner (Hungary)

The students have reviewed walking tour programs in cities in Hungary, and show us a typical tour as an example. Based on their research, they have decided they can develop a program that is both more capable and more fun, and can be priced to compete. They propose to adapt the approach that makes possible city treasure hunt games, plus the approach used in Geocaching apps plus the collecting missions found in the game Pokémon Go. They would combine them to create an app they call “Explore APP: Be Your Own Tour Guide,” or EX-APP. They review six technical and marketing steps needed for developing EX-APP. Options for creating the app include the students doing the work themselves on “MIT App Inventor 2” or hiring a technology company to do the work for an estimated 6,000 Euros, which would require finding sponsors.

2018 Case Study Award Winner (Ireland)

The nine-student team chose two award-winning venues to examine very different examples of innovation. They then placed the venues in the context of what helped them succeed and in the context of the competitive and investment challenges the tourism industry in Ireland faces. Of particular concern is the potential impact of neighboring United Kingdom leaving the European Union. The methodology they used included visits to the venues and their managers and interviews with officials at state, county and industry organizations. Venue 1 is the 800-year old St. John’s Castle in Limerick which offers visitors everything from immersive interactive exhibitions with computer generated animation to activities for children. Venue 2 is a restored ancient peat bog in an area has been inhabited for some 6,000 years. The 60 acres of today’s Lullymore Heritage and Discovery Park combine trails, advanced technology and exhibits to help visitors explore the human history and natural world of the Irish Peatlands. A helpful glossary of terms and 48 online references are included.

2018 Case Study Winner (Russia)

The students think well-designed “smartglasses” could function as a “virtual assistant” or guide for tourists. The glasses would combine different “augmented reality” applications . One, for example, would enable wearers to explore the changes Moscow’s Kremlin went through over the centuries. The use of neural network technology would allow visitors to “navigate around the places they visit and discover places, choose a café or restaurant worth visiting, call a taxi or find the nearest metro station.” The students would create at least six special tours of Moscow to reflect different visitor interests, as well as glasses for children and their interests. The students asked a friend and mentor at Hewlett Packard Enterprise for how much it would cost to make their concept a reality and were advised that it would be about US$900,000, with the cost of software development being about US$500,000. Financial analysts advised the students that they might make a profit in about 18 months.

2018 Case Study Winner (South Africa)

The area around the small Sutherland and Carnarvon communities in South Africa’s Northern Cape Province is the perfect place at night to look upward at the Galaxy. It is so perfect that the area is home to both South Africa’s largest telescope and an array of radio telescopes. The skies are clear, and there is no night-time light pollution because there are no big cities in this high altitude, semi-desert expanse called the Great Karoo. The students think more visitors would be good for the local economy and that they would be attracted by the same things that make the area so attractive to astronomers: the night skies filled with planets and stars. The students created a comprehensive SWOT (Strengths-Weaknesses-Opportunities-Threats) analysis of 17 issues in order to develop 19 recommendations. They range from creating an “Astro-Tourism Route” to protecting the conditions needed by the astronomical equipment there.