Archive for July, 2011

Games on social media as a tourism marketing device

Saturday, July 2nd, 2011
Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has in June 2011 introduced the “Smile Land”, an online game on social media. TAT has adopted digital marketing to help enhance the image and strength of Thai tourism.  
 
Digital media is new media to reach Internet and smart phone users, who are educated and have high incomes. This media outlet can access social networking and help widen a tourist base worldwide who are loyal to the Amazing Thailand brand. Moreover, digital marketing can be evaluated its implementation and success, thus TAT will use this media more.

The Smile Land game will allow people around the world to play it on Facebook, which has member users more than 700 million. It also has mini games on many devices to attract a wider group of target tourists. The game’s scores and collectibles will be sent to the main Smile Land game on Facebook of each player. The game has five mini games including;

The first game, Tuk Tuk Racing, on Tuk Tuk driver. Game players will have to drive Tuk Tuk to the final place as fast as possible and they will have to be very careful about things that will block their ways. There are special helpers helping the players reach the final quicker.

The second game, Somtam Sukjai, for iPad users. The Thai cooking game will allow iPad users to download the game application from the iPad store. Players will find and select food ingredients to match those showed on each menu. Thai menus will be gradually showed and players will select right food ingredients in the limited time. At the present, tourists can now play the two mini games of Tuk Tuk Racing and Somtam Sukjai.

The other three mini games— Muay Thai for iPhone users, Siam Tempo for Andriod-based smart phones and Siam Fun Fair for Nokia smart phones, are available for game players in September 2011.

TAT expects that the Smile Land game will become a hit among international tourists and build good understanding and promote the Thai tourism industry among a target group of no less than 1 billion tourists. The game will also help grow a database of international tourists at least two times from 500,000 currently to 1 million tourists by the end of 2011. At the same time, the game will encourage a more frequent access to social networking and mobile application by TAT.

The launching of Smile Land social networking game is considered as an important strategy to move forward digital marketing by TAT to a another step. It is expected that the game will build attractiveness for Thai tourism in a new way of virtual travelling experience. Game players can create and dress up their Avatar themselves before finding all collectibles to meet a mission of more than 200 tourist places in the game. Apart from fun, players will have experiences and awareness toward the value of Thai tourism. The game will attract 2 billion Internet users around the world and 300 million smart phone users.

All of this effort is an important step of TAT in boosting its organization to be truly digitalized to respond to the behavior and media trend of tourists during the change of technology. It will enhance the reputation of Thai tourism and create new travelling experience for tourists and this will eventually draw more tourists to visit Thailand in the future.

 
 
For those who are interested in the game:  www.SmileLandGame.com 
 

 

 www.facebook.com/SmileLandGame and Twitter @SmileLandGame.

Dating services in winter sports tourism

Friday, July 1st, 2011

In recent years, ITC has been implemented extensively in winter sports tourism, and the Dolomites have taken a leading position in terms of innovating new services. Skiers are mobile, and therefore the applications for mobile phones and smartphones are particularly crucial. The system dolomite superski  is loaded with facilities, such as lists of events, gastronomy offers, weather forecasts, safety tips etc. The system contains interactive maps. There is information about snow type, snow fall, ski lift availability etc. Webcams report continuously from various locations.

The social element is important in skiing, and the system supports this: “Haven’t found the perfect ski buddy yet? Get in contact via your cell phone with other skiers or snowboarders and ride down the slopes together – it’s simply more fun.” The skiers can search for mates for specific activities both at the slopes or at after ski socialising.

More about ITC developments in the Dolomites: Fuchs, M. & Höpken, W. (2011). E-Business horizons in the tourism industry. In Sidali, K.L. et al (eds). Food, agri-culture and tourism. Heidelberg: Springer, pp 140-160.