Digital Tourism

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Smart Villages provide towns and villages with powerful digital marketing tools, ideal for promoting tourism attractions and visitor engagement.

An example is our Visitor Guide for the town of Biggar, or the Things To See and Do in Strathyre visitor page, both created easily by local residents.

Good visitor content consists of simple but useful directory information, ie what hotels and restaurants are available, how can I book my stay?, through ‘local storytelling’ – Learn about Biggar’s annual bonfire for example.

The web sites cater for a wide range of enabling features for this key activity – From the directory section for listing the businesses, through booking apps and tourism tour packages, through blogs and social media promotion tools, among others.

Digital Tourism Best Practices

These features are set up and utilized as part of an overall adoption of ‘Digital Tourism’ best practices, part of the support process for Smart Villages. This encompasses and packages :

  • Market insights – Summary reviews of industry analyst reports that define and explore the big market drivers impacting tourism globally and also specifically in Scotland.
  • Best practices for social media marketing – How to use key tools like Twitter and Linkedin, planning visitor ‘journeys’ across your sites and feeds, and how to deliver a compelling online experience.

Booming sector

As the Scottish Government reports tourism is a booming trade and with the right strategy, they too can harness the Outlander Effect to inject a massive boost into their local economies.

“Rise in overseas visitors coming to Scotland.

“Overseas visitors from North America spent £732 million in the 12 months to the end of June 2017, a 48% jump compared to £495 million in the previous 12 months.

There was a 38% increase in visits from North America, with more than 707,000 choosing Scotland as a destination in the 12 months to the end of June 2017 compared with the previous 12 months. Across all international markets, there was a 11% increase in visits in the 12 months to the end of June 2017 with spending rising too by 19% to more than £2 billion.”

Harnessing the Outlander Effect

A key dynamic is the relationship between TV media and social media, providing the context for tapping into global markets, aka “the Outlander Effect”.

VisitScotland explains how the TV hit and it’s huge viewer popularity is translating into tourism traffic, describing it as the new ‘Braveheart of tourism‘. They have even packaged an ‘experience’ tour around this theme.

Check out examples of how we’ve utilized Smart Villages to tap into this effect..

For example our site taps into the ‘Braveheart effect’ – A movie known the world over and that has deep heritage roots for towns like Lanark.

With guest article contributions from the William Wallace Society, telling a detailed history of his time in Lanark and where he met and married Marion Braidfute, the site publishes rich content ideal for online marketing.

The multi-author blog format makes it ideal for this type of narrative storytelling approach, and to easily build digital marketing teams.

In Strathyre in Stirlingshire local residents have used their Smart Village site to easily built tourism guide sections like the local Things To See and Do guide, the local history of Rob Roy McGregor and their Myths and Legends.

A key feature and goal is to actively incorporate and utilize rich content assets notably Scotland’s history and folklore, especially through major historical chapters such as the Jacobite rising. The site enables these themes to be weaved into the tourism information guides.

The community portal shows how Smart Villages can be used for local event marketing, such as The Big Weekend, driving demand for local businesses like Accommodation.

Features like local business directories are simple but essential building blocks for useful travel portals, and so Smart Villages provide quick and easy tools for this type of content creation.

Additional services like event ticketing and room booking apps can also be added, to support online digital engagement and transaction.

The Smart Village site acts as the main content portal for aggregating local tourism information, and can be enhanced through incorporating other innovative content and technologies. For example Augmented Reality is another technology that could be used to great effect.

As this feature video highlights is has been used in the Highlands to provide visitors with a uniquely engaging way to interact with the local attractions.