More cities are making use of Smartphone’s and augmented reality (AR) apps to capitalize on tourism and assisting visitors in finding restaurants, shopping and places to visit. One of those places is Hong Kong. The Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) teamed with Cathay Pacific Airways to introduce mobile apps for tourists.
The Hong Kong Tourism Board and Cathay Pacific Airways introduced a combined effort project; one of the first Smartphone travel application series in the world to incorporate augmented reality. Their “Discover Hong Kong” mobile app series was introduced May 17th.
Both the HKTB and Cathay Pacific Airways have worked together prior to this project. The Chief Operating Officer of Cathay Pacific commented that the two have had a long and prosperous partnership over the years. They have supported several large events together, and worked on organizing promotions abroad.
The Chairman for HKTB commented that with mobile technology improvement and Wi-Fi becoming more advanced and widespread, they got the idea to take advantage of the technology to advertise their city and boost their home’s economy.
The Discover Hong Kong mobile app series consists of two applications. The Discover Hong Kong AR app has more than 100 attractions, 5,000 retail shops and 2,000 restaurants; as well as open air markets and shopping malls located all over Hong Kong.
Using the Smartphone technology, GPS and the AR program lets visitors have a ‘virtual’ guide with them at all times. They can hold up their phones and see information overlaid on actual buildings and shops, giving them information about what there is to see or do at that place. They can also access travel routes around the city.
The other app available is “Discover Hong Kong City Walks”. This app guides tourists around four different themed walking trails around urban Hong Kong. It acts as a personal tour guide also, by giving visitors detailed information about attractions along the way.
Apple has the apps now. Android will have them later this year.