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According to statistics from Statista, almost 2 billion people will be using AR in 2024. As a result, many businesses in the travel and tourism industry are using augmented reality to increase sales, engage customers and conduct creative marketing campaigns. But what specific ways can a company or organization take advantage of AR in travel and tourism?

#1 Engaging marketing campaigns

It’s hard to stand out from the crowd and get noticed when we’re constantly bombarded with marketing campaigns and ads. So it’s often more important to get through to potential customers effectively than to be the cheapest, for example.

So how do we get our message across in the travel and tourism industry? By making our offer and promotional materials fun and interactive. Travel agencies can use AR-powered solutions to enhance their booking experience and show the offered destinations in a new and engaging way.

How could this work in practice? Let’s look at an AR Travel Catalog 4Experience developed. As you can see in the video below, using AR in travel improves the customer experience by making it more engaging. People also tend to talk about things they liked and enjoyed, so we can easily increase our brand awareness too.

#2 AR applications for hotels

Have you ever hesitated when booking a hotel room because you weren’t sure how it would look in real life? Different sources claim that visuals are the second most important factor when it comes to deciding on a specific hotel. It makes sense as almost all of us are very visually oriented.

So what can we do to enhance the presentation of a hotel? 360-degree tours of the building and rooms can be a game-changer. Of course, immersive showcases work best with virtual reality solutions, but augmented reality can get the job done too.

You can further increase the likelihood of people making a reservation by providing an interactive AR app for use in the hotel itself. Instead of asking employees, guests could use the app as an AR guide. It could also provide fun activities like a treasure hunt for children. Many parents would appreciate being able to relax while their kids look for virtual treasures.

#3 AR tours of cities and regions

Woman using AR city tour guide app to navigate around the city

Applications of AR in travel are not limited to the private sector. Cities and regions that want to promote tourism can now do it in an innovative and interactive way. Using an AR app opens up an exciting and engaging way to give real-time self-guided tours. Using just a smartphone, the user can see directions, pointers and hints overlayed onto a live image of his surroundings.

To further improve the app, we could create an AR mascot, a virtual tour guide to accompany tourists around the city. Moreover, such apps can be used to improve the experience at tourist attractions. For example, by recreating buildings that no longer exist or are ruined or by giving additional details about the object a person is looking at.

Augmented Routes is a great example of an augmented reality tour app we created. Our client wanted to create a tourist guide application with GPS-based content and lots of AR. The app also uses object recognition to read markers and displays interesting information, insights and animated models to improve the tourist experience with AR in travel.

#4 Enhanced museum experience

Augmented reality is also a way for museums to make their exhibitions more engaging, informative and memorable. Markers placed next to exhibits could trigger interesting animations or videos, 3D recreations of items and places from the era and other additional information. For example, you could have two AR knights appear on the ground and have a duel next to an exhibit showing medieval armor or swords.

Besides augmented reality, museums can also use virtual reality to recreate historical buildings and events, further improving the travel experience. If you allow visitors to experience historical events as if they were there, they will learn and remember more. A museum we worked with made great use of this idea with a VR storytelling about the Warsaw Uprising of 1944.

#5 AR-based translation apps

Many tourists find language barriers problematic. Of course, we have dictionaries and online translators. But what if the country we’re visiting uses a different alphabet and the locals don’t speak English? How do we type in unknown letters or symbols?

Once again, augmented reality comes to the rescue. You can scan any text using your smartphone camera and get an instant translation. We can also create a module that identifies specific objects, tells you what they are called and gives you their pronunciation in the local language.

Augmented reality app development

If your professional life is related to tourism and recreation, we hope this article gave you an idea of the multiple benefits AR in travel provides. We strongly recommend implementing augmented reality in your organization. It’s still something novel and interesting, so people will be naturally drawn to it.

Types of augmented reality applications

Augmented reality solutions can be placed in a downloadable app or accessed through a web browser (WebAR). Read more about the differences between web-based AR and downloadable apps.

There are two primary event triggers in AR: markers and locations. Markers are activated when the user points their smartphone camera at them, and locations are activated when the user is in a specific location. The latter can be especially useful for AR in travel applications.

Start your journey with AR in travel

There are many possibilities for using AR in travel. It all comes down to identifying your needs and acting accordingly. For example, if you own a business, you can use augmented reality to gain a competitive advantage and outperform your competition. And if you work in the public sector, you can inspire people to learn history and promote your region.

It’s our mission and goal to help you take your organization to the next level with AR in travel. Our business consultants would be happy to discuss the possibilities that lay ahead. Read more about augmented reality in the travel industry here and schedule a free consultation with one of our experts.

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Marketing Specialist | + posts

Marketing specialist with four years of experience. Having spent part of his childhood in Ireland, he's fascinated with its culture and language. Loves history, football and any form of writing.