The dissemination of game mechanics in non-gaming settings has also affected the tourism sector and its digital side in recent years. Gamification, once again, enters in the strategic process of digital creation with full rights, as capable to unify experience and engagement objectives, strengthening the results of marketing and tourism promotional campaigns.
“Games and travel are temporary escapes into another world”
(Ermi and Mäyra, 2005)
Let’s start from an indisputable fact: tourists, in their travels, rely more and more on their cell phone or their tablet to find a museum to visit, a B&B to sleep in, or a restaurant to eat in.
The mobile marketing is now inextricably tied to tourism, and a tourism promotion agency, or any other company in the territory who operates in the sector, can not help but exploit this trend, if it wants to stand out from its competitors.
That’s how many applications were born that allow to check in and out quickly and to provide detailed information on attractions and services in the area, to ease booking, to promote the territory and to secure customer loyalty and comeback.
Moreover, booking portals as Booking and TripAdvisor based part of their success on the spontaneous contribution of the community, a huge mass of user created content uploaded by the users themselves in terms of reviews, comments and photos.
However, to encourage user active participation and first-person contribution to reviews, sharing of experiences or using a territory promotion app, remains a difficult task.
This is how the inclusion of
mechanics and dynamics typical of the gaming world, able to leverage user motivations, comes into play once again and becomes a central part of the user experience of tourist apps, succeeding at the same time in putting itself at the service of four ambitious objectives, achievable through a new way to present the experience: