Leveraging their digital: tourism sector in 2020
In 2020 the tourism sector lost 85% of their revenue with flights reduced and travelling not recommended due to Covid-19. However, we noticed how tourist related businesses leveraged their digital platforms to continue to showcase Ireland and all it has to offer.
This must have worked as Ireland was named the “best destination in Europe” by the Travel Weekly Readers Choice Awards for the seventh year in a row. Tourism and travel businesses have been pressured to show their creative business thinking and have done so successfully. Many of them used digital through several ways – video tours, live streams and using social media to share imagery are just a few examples.
In this article we collected several great examples of how tourism related businesses in Ireland have adapted to the new normal, and helped their customers fulfil their traveling plans and dreams through digital.
Travelling and exploration is a source of inspiration for many of us. Ireland is one of the few countries in the world where galleries and museums are free, which has always been a draw for tourists. But what can companies do when the doors of their physical locations (museums, galleries, factories, etc) have to remain closed? The answer is video tours. Video tour is a tool that has been used in the real estate industry for a long time, and in 2020 more and more travel businesses started using it. Even though video tours can’t fully replace the real-life ones, they can be a good substitute to give someone a taste of one’s favorite tourist attraction, and get one inspired to visit it first thing once the lockdown is lifted.
Some of the virtual tours you can check:
With the most recent restrictions galleries have had to shut their doors but once again, have turned to digital to showcase their latest exhibitions with full virtual tours.
It may not be as good as experiencing it in person but it’s the next best thing. An example of this can be seen with the Wolfwalkers: The Exhibition in the Butler Gallery, where you can virtually walk through the exhibit. Another example is the Science gallery exploring their first virtual exhibition with a 360-degree trip to INVISIBLE.
Not only are virtual tours popular but galleries are using their websites to show their collections. An example is the Chester Beaty Library displaying their digital collection. Finally, for art lover's National Gallery of Ireland has added a second tour through the halls with a possibility to closer appreciate the artwork.
Live streaming was a popular tool used by many organisations last year. Some examples were not created just for Covid-19 times but were advertised more to allow their audience base to feel more connected. Examples include Dublin Zoo’s live camera footage of the penguins, elephants, and giraffes. Another example is the famous Temple Bar live feed, with many logging in to see how empty the streets were especially at the beginning of the first lockdown around St. Patrick’s Day. It fascinated the world that the typically manic Temple Bar was empty.
Webinars, lectures and workshops
In addition to virtual tours, several players in the sector came up with something more hands-on. For example, EPIC The Irish Immigration Museum broadened their site functionality by adding lectures and workshops . As did the Little Museum of Dublin arts. Now on their site you can find an excellent collection of lectures on various topics.
An interesting example we found on the site of National Museum of Ireland - Decorative Arts and History (Collins Barracks). They have created what they call a “Museum at home” section with classes and online activities for families.
Overall, we have seen firsthand how the tourism industry has leveraged their digital platform during a time when travel is discouraged, and people are encouraged to stay home. We look forward to seeing an even greater number of innovations from the tourism sector in 2021.
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