How tech-savvy visitor attractions are reaching out to new global audiences

By Hannah Smith

The pandemic has changed life beyond anything we could have dreamed this year would hold. As I am writing this from my kitchen, my colleagues and clients are working from theirs. Apart from vital services, everywhere has shut their doors. But, as the saying goes, when one door closes, another opens…

The virtual doors have opened for some of our favourite visitor attractions as their physical doors have closed. Audiences can now explore and enjoy these attractions from the comfort of their own home.

Attractions can continue to engage with their audiences during this challenging time by making the most of their digital presence through online collections, events and virtual tours. Providing unique, creative and educational experiences online can help attractions to retain and grow their fan bases, securing a loyal audience for when the world is ready to reopen for business.

Research from our upcoming Holiday Trends 2020 report highlights how important online initiatives are for mental wellbeing when we all have limited access to the outdoors. Video content (particularly opportunities to learn a new skill) and live streaming activities are among the most valued ways people can keep connected to attractions.

Holiday Trends

Just a few attractions offering stand-out digital experiences

  1. Anyone missing their daily commute on the train, tube or bus should head over to London Transport Museum’s online collections and browse signs, sound recordings, maps, photos and more..
  2. Hastings Museum and Art Gallery has introduced a digital museum which offers a full programme of events every week including lectures, music groups, collection talks, Lego live, activity and drawing downloads along with a weekly competition/
  3. The British Museum has teamed up with Google to offer a virtual tour through an experience called ‘Museum of the World’. The interactive platform (History connected) allows us to explore the museum’s collections along a historical timeline.
  4. The National Gallery offers a 360 degree panoramic tour of its galleries, powered by Google, allowing digital visitors to immerse themselves in these masterpieces remotely.
  5. It’s not just museums and galleries that are offering virtual experiences. Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Gardens were one of the first to offer a ‘home safari’ with live Facebook posts seven days a week.
  6. Kids young and old will be happy to hear Disney theme parks are allowing you to take their rides virtually.
  7. Explore the lights of Las Vegas through the Neon Museum’s new digital app. It features 25 of the collection’s most famous artefacts and artwork. The app includes audio recordings, fun facts and stories on signs from The Las Vegas Strip, including the Hard Rock Café, Golden Nugget and Moulin Rouge. Check out the app https://www.neonmuseum.app/guide Password: neon)

Hippo attractions

If you’re looking for even more, then Google Arts & Culture features online collections and events from over 2,500 institutions around the world.

As more of these ‘at home’ experiences develop, these may become alternatives to boxsets, Amazon or Netflix series as we look to enjoy our favourite experiences without leaving our home.

Keep an eye out for our Holiday Trends 2020 report next week, as we look into exactly how destination intentions have changed in the last 3 months, and dive deeper into the data and insights beyond the current headlines.

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