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QR Codes in TourismDanielle Goodfellow Brenna Herzog Sam HerrmannTrends Assignment Professor Brey October 3, 2012
Forming QR CodesQR Codes are a two-dimensional barcode that is intended to have its contents translated at a highspeed. The abbreviation QR is derived from the word Quick Response. QR Codes were created withinthe country of Japan, where technology was suffering, and has only became widespread within theMiddle East and Europe. QR Codes became a big and important hit when they were originally used fortracing parts by automobile manufacturers. Later on, corporationsstarted to see a new possibility forwhere QR codes could be consumedthroughout the world. The most profitableuse for QR codes is inthe telecommunications business where the cellular deviceappears to be the maincarrier of theiracceptance.QR codes are seen all over society, from publications to pictures to business cards. A cemetery inDenmark recently had been using these codes to tell the life story of the decreased, more than just aheadstone. A huge one revolved up in a Canadian cornfield in recent times. Gibraltar is a territory in theUK, and it’s located at the start of the Mediterranean in southwestern Europe. They are in the process ofstarting to introduce theGibraltarpedia project. The proposal is to coat the residence with QR codesgiving tourists with smartphonesfastadmittance to material about severallocations and topics ofinterest.With 11 million visitors annually traveling to the British settlement, tourist administrators there areprofound to find new methods of inspiring their understanding of their experience. The codes will takeconsumers to a Wikipedia page defining and educating the place of interest. Volunteers are currentlytaking up much of their time producing pages in a variety of languages. By scanning QR codes place byplace when traveling, tourists will find it useful to learn about the place there are visiting in their ownlanguage, with a volunteer talking in their language with a written description. Many tourists may stickto the original printed guidebooks when traveling, instead of the QR codes, because of the fear ofroaming charges being very expensive. To get past this controversy, the establishments are thinkingaboutpresenting free WI-FI.Whichever way, the QR codes will give tourists visiting another country withanalternativeselection for finding information in addition to guidebooks, pamphlets, and apps.QR codes in tourism, travel and hospitality can be used for many reasons. They can be used for productand destination marketing, which can be used for improving a guest’s service involvement. QR codes areused on cards in the lodgings, signs or posters in elevators, at the front desk and bulletins in the lobby toinvolve customers with guidelines on where to eat or what to do throughout their visit. Airports canfinance less in additional plasma screens and offer QR codes for facts about leavings and arrivals, checkin times and settings, and entertainment for travelers.The biggest factor to effectively incorporating QR codes into your marketing database is to guaranteethey offer some sort of significance. You have to give visitors something they do not yet have. There arethree examples of some ways travel brands are using QR codes. The San Antonio Convention andVisitors Bureau are practicing QR technology on its directed River Walk tour to distributeadded contentlike photos, tapes, and historical material. The Glendale, Arizona CVB presents a QR code on their
entrance that guides after-hour guests to their online site. And finally, to enjoy National Arbor Day, NewYork’s Central Park shaped the World Park operation using QR codes. QR Codes Impact on the World of BusinessQR codes are also known as quick response codes. These are trademarks for a type of matrix barcode.These codes will enable tourists to find out about a place they are visiting in their own language with adescription written by volunteer speaking that certain language. These are their certain points ofinterest. QR codes are very positive effects in shaping the hospitality market because QR codes are goinginternational. These codes are able to be understood whenever they go in the world.One of the examples that I have done research on was here at Stout. The University Recreational Centeruses QR codes. These codes are used for many different things. The main things the UREC uses thesecodes for are for advertising for their website. They want people to go onto their website and see whatthe UREC center has to offer and what you can all do there at the center. I feel as if this is a very positivething to have because I do not live on campus and it’s nice to have easy access to go onto the site andsee what is all happening since I do not hear about it not living in the dorms anymore. Another thing theUREC center uses these codes for are for signing up for programs. This includes programs and StoutAdventures that are happening on campus at a certain time. This allows students to sign up for StoutAdventures in an easy way. This is a very convenient process to have for students not involved oncampus. I think what they could do better however, is advertise these codes. I did not know what thesecodes were until we had to do this project. I believe they can advertise these codes more and informpeople what these codes really do. Another none hospitality market that uses these codes is Sephora.These codes include specials for incentives such as birthday coupons mailed to the residents address ontheir birthday. In these coupons there are QR codes that give free or discounted products, and birthdaygift sets. I believe that this is a great idea to use these codes for that because it gets consumersinterested in your store.I have looked over many websites in the Hospitality industry that uses QR codes and the two places thatstuck out most to me are The Mirage Hotel and Casino and Olive Garden restaurants. We all know thatLas Vegas is a huge attraction to people all over this world. Las Vegas brings in millions of people eachand every year. The Mirage Hotel and Casino has information and different things connected to theirwebsite and gives information about the hotel and casino and what it has to offer. The Mirage Hotel andCasino has been using QR codes to promote their onsite entertainment hoping to attract other LasVegas visitors to their property for an evening of fun. The Mirage uses QR Codes in their advertising ontaxis, buses, and signage around the city. When visitors scan these QR Codes it drives the consumers toa page where they can receive $3 off admission to the Siegfried & Roys Secret Garden & DolphinHabitat. Consumers can then redeem this coupon by showing this page on their phone at the ticketbooth when purchasing their tickets. This is an efficient way for consumers to retrieve their couponswithout millions a paper coupons and trying to keep track of all of them. In my opinion the QR codeworks perfectly since in today’s society most people don’t leave anywhere without their cell phones.Olive Garden also uses QR codes. These codes include different specials and different coupons for theirrestaurant. They also have special messages for people that use these codes. I think this is a great way to
market and get people to come into their restaurant. If people receive coupons they are more likely togo into a restaurant because they will be getting deals. Business LandscapeQR codes are a revolutionary piece of technology, especially I’ve found in the hospitality industry.Simply by taken a picture, you can instantly be transported to a hotel’s events page to see what mightbe taking place in any given week. In a resort, you can find out what restaurants are available in houseor nearby. This was the case of the Fontainebleu Resort in Miami Beach, FL. The marketing and salesteam at this resort placed QR codes around the property to remind and inform guests of the differentrestaurant options onsite to better promote business inside of the property. They not only promoterestaurants, but the QR codes encourage customers to support the onsite bars and spas. Although youmay have all these options available onsite, guests may not know about them. It is always important toremind guests to utilize these amenities and that is exactly what QR codes can do in this case.In Las Vegas, NV, The Mirage Hotel and Casino also uses QR as a quick and very easy reference for theirguests. One such promotion they have currently, although very simple, is a $3 off admission offer totheir Siegfried and Roy’s Secret Garden & Dolphin Habitat. Danielle Deremo who is the PR Specialist forThe Mirage spearheaded the whole QR code movement at the property. She said it is a great way forguests to realize that the exhibit is at The Mirage and to get them interested in going by offering them asmall coupon in going. When guests arrive at the ticket booth, they simply show their smart phonescreen to the teller to show that they scanned the QR code and they receive a discount. Deremo saidthat “…QR codes are a great way to offer guests incentives without having to deal with a mountain ofpaper coupons…” When I spoke with Deremo on the phone, she reinforced this by telling me that thecodes to get this coupon are everywhere from posters in the hotel to the sides of busses that go up anddown the Las Vegas strip.So how does this change the business landscape? Hospitality organizations can now put up small QRcode squares all around their, hotel, resort, restaurant, or whatever kind of property they own and givethe customer a lot of information in a small fraction of the space a poster would have taken up. Thishelps the organization better promote what they have to offer as they won’t have to worry about paperspace concerns. However, it also benefits the customer. By giving the customer a quick link they cantake a photo and be on their way to the promoted destination. They no longer have to stand and reador ask a bunch of questions, they can read about where they are going as they are on their way there. Changes Moving ForwardThe possibilities for this trend are nearly limitless. In a technology driven world, people want things fast,and in the hospitality industry, people want quick, customized, and quality service. QR codes are perfectfor that. Instead of calling the front desk to get more towels or other linens, The Mirage guests can soonscan a QR code that may do that for them. Deremo mentioned they are working on this kind of system.This would greatly benefit tech savvy guests by making this one aspect of their stay quick and painless.
Another emerging segment of this trend is that in areas of high volume international travel, QR codescan be place in areas of interest to give travelers information about hot topics in their own language. Nomore fumbling through translation books or trying to talk to someone who can’t understand you.Simply scan a QR code and you could be taken to a landing page with all the information you wanted inyour language of choice.This trend will most affectively take hold if hospitality and tourism organizations actually use it. Now,that may sound simple and obvious, but if companies only put up one or two codes in random areas,enough customers aren’t going to see them or care that they are there. Businesses need to put themeverywhere and they need to give people a reason to scan them. Deremo said that was one of the mostimportant things about QR codes. If people don’t have a reason to do something, a lot of the time theywon’t do it. This is no different, offer a small coupon or incentive for scanning the code. Give thecustomer a sense of ‘This scan matters’. Whether it be a discount, a coupon, or even entering yourname is a raffle for some sort of prize, making sure people have a reason is the best way to make a QRcode system popular.Another thing to consider is placement. Putting them in low traffic areas will such as top floors and stairwells will do no good. If the property is tall, place them in elevators, lobbies, if the property hascommon or public restrooms, dining rooms, near a pool if one is on the property. If people can’t seethem, people can’t scan them. Custom tailoring them to the area in which they are located is anothergreat way for them to be affective. If there is a poolside special on drinks, place those near the pool andcommon areas outside of the property. Staying Ahead of CompetitorsHospitality marketplaces are especially competitive, because for the most part, we are all selling thesame product whether it is food, some place to stay, or a seat on a plane. You have to find a way todifferentiate yourself from all the others. A great way to do this is coupons and discounts. QR codes aregreat for this because, just as The Mirage does, you can have customer scan the codes and show theirsmart phone screen. This saves the customer time and it’s much easier to keep track of than a smallpaper coupon. This also ties into my previous point, just as you want to give customers a reason to scanyour codes, you want to give them a reason to come to your business when there are other places theycould go that offer relatively the same product.The next way is figuring out who you are targeting with QR codes. Older people probably aren’t going toknow what they are much less know how to use them. When tied into placement, QR codes must beplaced in areas where the appropriate audience will be exposed to them. Place them in areas aroundyour location, in the same neighborhood or street, or in places that have a similar theme, concept, orstyle of service.The last method leads into the next, saturation. Make sure you are saturated in the marketplace. Thebest analogy for it is who gets more business, McDonald’s or a local independent restaurant? It’s thesame concept, if your QR codes are all over the place, more people will see them, and this means morepeople who are actually interested will see them or be told about them.
The final point is to make your codes unique. What makes your codes different from the competitors’?It could be what they are linked to like in the National Conference Center in Leesburg, VA that uses QRcodes to advertise and promote the different ways the center is going green and is utilizing greentechnology. It could also be my personal favorite, an entire building QR code. The Code Unique Hotel inDubai, U.A.E. is an entire building wrapped in a QR code. When construction is completed on thebuilding, passersby will be able to scan the entire building and find out the message behind the building.
References http://www.mobile-barcodes.com/about-qr-codes/ http://www.digitaltrends.com/mobile/wikipedia-linked-qr-codes-to-guide-visitors-to-gibraltar/ http://www.qrstuff.com/blog/2012/03/22/qr-codes-in-tourism-and-travelhttp://hospitality.cvent.com/blog/social-media-strategies-to-win-group-business/smart-scanning-six- savvy-hotels-using-qr-codeshttp://hospitalitytechnology.edgl.com/top-stories/Considering-QR-Codes--What-You-Need-to-Know--- 81482http://hospitality.cvent.com/blog/social-media-strategies-to-win-group-business/smart-scanning-six- savvy-hotels-using-qr-codes http://mirage.com/qr/ Danielle Deremo, PR Specialist for The Mirage Hotel and Casino firstname.lastname@example.org