CRUISE EXECUTIVE SAYS TOUR OPERATORS MUST EMBRACE NEW TECHNOLOGY TO REMAIN COMPETITIVEMonday 27th September 2010
John Tercek, Vice President Commercial Development for Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. says tour operators must embrace downloadable tours in order to meet the demands of cruise passengers.
Tercek was addressing attendees at the Second International Conference “Black Sea Cruise 2010” September 16-18 hosted by the Port of Odessa [Ukraine], in collaboration with the Association of Mediterranean Cruise Ports (MedCruise) and the Black and Azov Seas Ports Association (BASPA)., a gathering of over one third of the world’s cruise fleet and 130 representatives from 16 countries.
Tercek said his company is looking into the business opportunities offered by walking tours that incorporate virtual guiding using smart phones and iPads that could be rented by passengers in port.
‘Within two years these are going to be everywhere,’ he said. “These devices would work using GPS, and present great potential for cruise passengers who prefer to walk around a destination by themselves without being on a scheduled tour.”
“The iPad would provide a particularly strong alternative to a traditional paper map as it is able to overlay the route with interactive video and photos,” Tercek elaborated. Additionally, there is potential to provide different commentary on the map, such as interactive material to interest children accompanying the adults.”
Tercek urged tour operators to incorporate this in their offerings as soon as possible to stay ahead of the curve, as savvy entrepreneurs are likely to offer these tours as iPhone applications in the near future that passengers can download themselves. He said this could have serious implications for tour operators’ revenues.
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