My friend Stéphane Pipon from Montreal sent me today the newsletter from “Tourisme de Veille” an excellent agency in Montreal with big experts in e-tourism marketing. In this newslatter I found a very interesting article on “La révolution du ‘tourisme mobile’ est enclenchée” with lots of informatio on how mobile phones are getting more and more used by tourists.
Since the firsts mobile phones in the 1990’s I was always convoced that they were especially important to keep contact with the office or the family in difficult moments. This was the reason why I decided to have mine in 1999. Later, I discovered Blackberry as an extraordinary machine to keeop track of my e-mail when travelling. I realized though that I had taken my office with me when I was on holidays. This didn’t make my family very happy, because I was most of the time looking at my e-mail when I got a signal from the Blackberry. But in two or thre ocasions they found that this phone was great when we had the opportunity to look aftre the information for our holidays through the google browser.
Since then, things have improved dramatically. I use now en iPhone (i can read much better the texts because it uses Arial style, and with the 3G I can get track of my e-mail so goos as with the Blackberry) and it offers me so many possibilities to stay updated of everything it can interest me, that I have it always with me like a third hand.
I use it to stay in touch with friends through Twitter, Facebook, LinedIn or Friendfeed. I also use it for reading all the blogs from my friends and colleagues through RSS feed. I also can make pictures and decorate them, and later send them to my friends via MMS or e-mail. Obviously, I can follow my e-mail accounts (more tha one) and I can use the maps to find any path I need to when I got lost. With the iPhone i can also find the bars, pubs, banks (these are less friendly these days though) restaurants, hotels, etc,around me, at any moment and any place.
Because I like music, I love the iPhone to be used as an iPod, bt it also goves me the opportunity to know who’s the band playing at a specific moment on the radio by checking it with the phone.
Mobile phones are going to be something with what people will go around they will use it as an interpreter, a secretary and a guide in their normal life. Howard Rheingold was impressed in early 2000 when he saw in Tokyo the teens walking around the city watching to the screen of their mobile phones instead of using them to speak eith other users. He, than called this new crowd the “smart mobs” and wrote an interesting book on this.
Smart mobs will use and are using right now he mobile phones and all the gadgets available to get connected when moving. Tourism is exactly the most mobile activity that we all do. Thus it seems obvious that mobile communication tools will be veru succesful for tourists to get informed and to get support.
Tourism destinations and tourism companies shall think on this seriously adn shall immagine how they can integrate their information into platforms taht spread it over the network to be captured by any sort of mobile device.