About 7 years ago, QR codes seemed like the newest and coolest technology. Take a picture and your phone would take you to a website (which was kind of boring) or a video ( better). DMOs (Destination Marketing Organizations) thought this would be great to use since more people were using smartphones.
Well, about 6 years ago, the QR code was deemed old school and not that important for tourism. Sometimes the technology didn’t work well, the link was broken, or the code went to outdated information, so destinations stopped using them.
And then COVID
Do you remember way back in March 2020 when we were told this virus was spread on contact? Were you one of the people that left packages outdoors and wiped down your groceries? At that time it was all about minimizing contact. We have since learned that this virus is caught via airborne transmission, but people are still wary about touching objects outside their homes.
QR codes are a perfect solution.
For those of you not familiar with QR codes, you just point the camera on your smartphone at the shape and it will take you to a document, video, or website. When they first became popular, you needed to hire someone with graphic design skills or a techy background to create one for you. Not anymore, There are free QR code generator websites. If you can cut and paste, you can create a QR code. Click here for the free QR code generator I use.
How can Tourism professionals use QR codes today?
Our industry can often be slow to adopt new technology, but now is the time to embrace new ideas. Here are how some businesses are using QR codes. What methods might work for your business?
QR codes can share information that you otherwise would have had to print.
I have been to a few restaurants that have QR codes posted at the hostess stand. Scan the code to upload the menu to your phone. You don’t have to touch a menu and the business can cut down on disinfecting menus or printing up new ones for every customer.
As a way to share additional information.
Many museums and attractions are adding QR codes to their display content. What a great way to share a behind the scenes video or a link to information that is in other languages, appropriate for children, or part of a scavenger hunt.
It is an easy way to update changing rules and regulations, operating hours, etc
If we have learned nothing else in 2020, it is that we have to be nimble. Changing government regulations may cause changes to admission, hours of operation, and masking rules. Having a QR code available to scan on your brochure or print information can lead to a page on your website that can be updated quickly. No need to reprint when rules change.
As a payment method. Check out this receipt.
I recently had lunch and when the check was presented, there was a QR code on the bottom. I could scan the QR code and pay from my phone. Brilliant.
Attractions ticketing platforms like Viator and Rezdy are using QR codes for ticketing. A local winery developed a drive-through light show ( with a stop at the tasting room) and our ticket was a QR code scanned at the entrance. Easy!
As a way to appeal to younger demographics
QR codes are used more frequently by great travel demographics:34- to 44-year-olds leading the pack at 27%, followed closely by those 44-54 at 21% and 24-34 at 20%. Read more below on marketing with QR codes.
Additional Resources on QR codes:
What Tourism Trends are you seeing?
I would love to know. Share your thoughts by clicking on this short survey– or use the QR code!
Guest post by Sally Berry:
Sally Berry is a U.S. tourism industry expert and has an industry blog at SallyDavisBerry.com which helps attractions and destinations get more visitors through their doors.
She has been named a Top 10 Most influential woman in the Group tour market and a Top Innovator in the Group tour market by Groups Today Magazine.TourOperator.com named Sally a Top Tourism Networker and a Top 20 US Tourism Industry Professional.
Social Marketing Strategies for Travel and Tourism
About Catherine Heeg
Catherine Heeg is a recognized social media trail blazer passionate about social media and marketing in the tourism and hospitality industry. She takes the mystery out of marketing!
She creates and delivers meaningful, dynamic workshops that meet your unique needs in the Travel, Tourism & Hospitality Industry.
Catherine and her team help travel, tourism and hospitality pros design and implement social media marketing strategies and tactics that drive traffic to their social and web sites. Learn more…
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