The Bloomberg administration worked hard to make tourism one of the City’s largest and most profitable industries. NYC ended 2012 as the top U.S. tourist destination, with a record 50.5 million visitors, and the highest share of U.S. tourism spending. Many of the city’s cultural venues and tourist attractions enjoyed record attendance last year, but a City-wide beacon infrastructure, and a specially curated assortment of programmed tourist experiences would do much to keep the city a globally coveted destination.
Beacons could improve navigation for tourists (particularly outside Manhattan), give visitors insights to attraction wait times and opening hours, highlight some of the City’s lesser known offerings, and set a new stage for contextually-targeted marketing and commerce.
Some City hotels are already experimenting with location technology; running pilots to replace room keys with smart phones. Beacons’ utility in hotels and in hospitality needn’t end at the hotel room. Beacons could liberate concierge services from the desk, facilitate food ordering throughout a hotel or resort, and provide guests, inside the hotel or out and about, with other contextual, location-specific information or experiences at the time and place they need it most.
Next up: 6. Transportation