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Audio guide survey

Today's situation in the tourism industry has led many companies to look for new opportunities and business models how to be smarter than their competitors and emerge victorious from the pandemic. Navicup has to offer a new business model, the concept and application of which made us the winner of the international World Summit Award in the field of tourism and culture among about 1,000 competitors.

What is it about?

Navicup is developing a new mobile application platform for tour operators, in which it is possible to create interactive audio guide tours for tourists traveling individually and contactlessly and, of course, to earn additional income.
The tour operator creates a map of his tour, in which he marks the route, objects and areas to be visited, partners shops or restaurants, enters texts, stories and legends and, if desired, adds exciting background sounds, sound clips or other exciting things to the route. For the user who has entered your tour map, the mobile application acts as a real guide - he always knows the user's language, speaks everything at the right time, in the right place and can even guide the way. Just put on your headphones and explore the old town!

What did we investigate?

Our goal was to find out if people are interested in audio tours and smart guides created on mobile devices in addition to the usual guide tours. To do this, we performed a test in Kuressaare (Estonia, Saaremaa). We asked the local guide school to create a small digital audio guide city tour in our app and let people use it, after which they also had to answer the survey questions. The results were pleasantly surprising. In the following, we will show you the most important thing we learned.
Survey results.

The people who participated in our study were evenly divided by age - 50% were up to 40 years old and 50% were older than 40 years old. People related to tourism also took part in the survey, their share was 43.8%.

1. Is it important for you to be able to explore the area at a time that suits you?
1 - The suggested date and time is always suitable. 5 - I always want to plan the time of my activities myself.
2. Do you like to explore the area with a larger group or more individually?
1 - Definitely with a larger group. 5 - Definitely with a smaller group (companion, family or friends).
3. Do you like being able to choose the pace of your movement and exploring the area (breaks, lunches, toilets, shops on the way, etc.)?
1 - I like the pace set by others. 5 - I like to choose my own pace.
4. Could the tours be able to choose topics? For example, more detailed information for history enthusiasts and more "ghost stories" for families with children, or add games instead?
1 - Does not matter. 5 - I would certainly use such opportunities.
5. How important it is for you that the audio guide communicates with the real human voice (voiceover) or speech synthesizer (Text to Speech technology)?
1 - I prefer a real human voice. 2 - I prefer a speech synthesizer.
6. Choose up to three of the most important added values for you.
Answers:
93.8% It is important for me to choose the pace of my movement and not depend on others.
68.8% Opportunity to go on tour 24/7 at a time and weather that suits me.
50.0% For me, exploring individually or with a small group is important.
37.5% I would appreciate the opportunity to choose the topic or level of detail of the tour (children, history enthusiasts, etc.).
25.0% I would love if the guide spoke my mother tongue.
12.5% It is important to me that I can ask the guide for something more.
7. How much would you be willing to pay for a digital audio guided tour if a real guided tour costs, for example, a total of 40 euros for two people (one digital guide can be used by several people at the same time)?
Answers:
12.5% Do not agree to pay, such a thing should be free.
43.8% Until 10.- eur
37.5% Until 20.- eur
6.3% Until 30.- eur
8. Taking into account the experience of the digital audio guided tour you visited and taking into account your wishes and preferences, which option would you prefer to use in the future?
1 - I definitely prefer real guided tours. 5 - I definitely prefer digital audio guide tours.
Summary.

We were seriously surprised how many people are ready to use such a digital solution in the future after going through a tested audio guide tour. Not only ready to use, but would rather prefer it. The most important values the users pointer out, such as exploring at your own pace, going on tour at a time and weather that suits you, and the fact that it can be done individually, without a larger group, are only possible with digital solutions, a mobile application on the user's phone. The survey also confirmed the fact that (of course, we ourselves assumed that) digital audio guides would definitely be used by people up to the age of 40 and would be willing to pay for it. However, the preference for an audio guide in the 40+ age group was also surprisingly high.

The comments also revealed that the (digital) guide who speaks the mother tongue is very important especially for families with younger children. It was a surprise for us that people's preference was not significantly towards either the human voice or the speech synthesizer. Admittedly, speech synthesizers are indeed advanced. And will definitely evolve further. It was also pointed out that in a digital audio guide you can change the tempo of the guide's speech and repeat it if you wish. Many users were surprised by the background sounds (horse-drawn carriages on cobblestone roads, church bells, birdsong in the park, etc.) which helped to create the right era or summer feel, even in the middle of heavy traffic or the winter season.

Conclusion

We received confirmation from this study that the new business model is already highly anticipated in the market. The digital audio guide would be used by almost all explorers travelling individually or in a smaller group. Tour operators could expand their services to a whole new customer segment and even offer tours, regardless of location, outside their current area of operation.

So, try it out, it doesn't cost anything!

Read more about Audio guided tours here
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