20 Feb 2018 | Digital editions, magazines, websites, e-zines, handbooks and contract publishing for the leisure industry

Spa Business issue 1, 2018 is now out!


Spa Business bloggers:

Liz Terry
Leisure Media

Kate Cracknell
Health Club Management

Katie Barnes
Managing Editor,
Spa Business

Lisa Starr
Senior Consultant,
Wynne Business

Anna Bjurstam
Raison d'Etre

Dieter Buchner
Founding Partner,
Urban Healing

Jean-Guy de Gabriac
Founder/ CEO,
Tip Touch Academie

Marisa Dimitriadis
Managing Director,
The Spa Consultants

Anni Hood
Kis Lifestyle Group

Jane Scrivner
Managing Director,
Jane Scrivner

High-tech Place-Shifting is a new dimension for attractions to explore

01 Sep 2016
by Liz Terry, CEO, Leisure Media
What will we be able to achieve as technology sets us free to create and recreate experiences for our visitors without being tied to a single location?

New technology is giving us the power to Place-Shift experiences to create on-demand, immersive attractions in any location. Combining live streaming, haptics, AR and virtual reality with authentic artefacts and storytelling, this thinking will open up huge new markets for growth.

The Place-Shifting of attractions has a long history, partly through the development of touring exhibitions: if what you have to show is unique, or guests can’t get to you, then you can simply pack up and go to them.

Another Place-Shifter is replication, most famously used by the Lascaux caves in France, one of the first attractions to offer a facsimilie to enable the preservation of the original.

Lascaux II, which opened in 1983, was built 200 metres (656 feet) from the Lascaux caves, so people could still view the prehistoric wall paintings after the impact of previous visitors visibly damaged the original caves, forcing their closure.

But there’s been little radical innovation in Place-Shifting in the past 30 years and I believe we’re about to enter a new era of innovation, as rapid advances in affordable technology open up amazing opportunities to recreate and enhance experiences at great distances and with high levels of immersion for the visitor.

Attractions are already offering visitors glimpses into other worlds via webcams and robots, but it’s possible to take this to a completely different level by harnessing all the available tech – VR, haptics, high definition, real-time streaming, wraparound screens and augmented reality.

Using this technology, we could head down a number of paths -– if an historic location is too far from transport links to work as a visitor attraction, it could be recreated as either a touring or permanent attraction in a suitably sized population centre using technology. If an attraction is unique, it could be replicated, or visitors could be given remote immersive access.

Wraparound screens and VR headsets would take visitors there and enable them to wander around, while real-time streaming would enable them to interact with storytellers at the location to bring things alive. Haptics would enable tactile interactions and accompanying audiovisuals and artefacts would satisfy the urge to touch and feel the authenticity.

A whole new raft of attractions could be developed as technology gives us the power to Place-Shift experiences to create on-demand, immersive attractions in any location.

This would open up new markets, as well as enabling the creation of attractions which can be reprogrammed when demand for their content diminishes.

Being rooted to the spot can be a disadvantage – your visitor base is comprised of people who can make the journey and there are many places which would make great visitor attractions but which are simply too remote, or too fragile. Place-Shifting would nail all these issues and more.

A real-life, UNESCO-backed example is in the news as Dualchas Architects and Reiulf Ramstad Architects reveal their master plan for the St Kilda Visitor Centre in Scotland (page 34). They say the attraction should be built not on St Kilda, but on the more accessible Isle of Lewis, 50 miles (80km) away.

What will we be able to achieve as technology sets us free to create and recreate experiences for our visitors without being tied to a single location? As a creative and innovative industry, the limits are only our imaginations.

Tags: Attractions Management  heritage & museums  theme & waterparks  arts & culture  tourism  visitor attractions 

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