From Paphos to Zagreb: Technology is helping visitors see ancient cities through a new lens

Imagine traveling to a city where all the tourist offers are available on a App And in your birth Language. Where you do not need to Row For galleries because installations can be conjured with your smartphone. Or where virtual reality (VR) reconstructions of historical events breathe life into Heritage sites.

Smart cities are redefining Tourism.

Two years of pandemic-related travel restrictions changed the way we experience the world. Virtual tours Helped us explore destinations from the comfort of our couch, and Business travel Won as video calls took over.

Now Borders Have reopened, countries are capitalizing on this technology to attract tourists and enhance their experiences.

the term ‘Smart city‘ might make you think of Robots Walking the streets, flying cars across the sky or artificial intelligence controlling public services. The reality is a little different, but no less exciting.

Being a smart city means standing in Accessibility, SustainabilityDigitalization, creativity and Protection of cultural heritage.

DenmarkThe capital of this was led this way even before the pandemic. The Copenhagen Visitor Services invites tourists to plan their itineraries with the help of touch screen guides, robotics and VR glasses, while an app disseminates information and collects data to improve the service.

Hoping to join the ranks, destinations like Zagreb in Croatia and Paphos In Cyprus, spare no effort. They are using Technologies Such as Augmented Reality (AR) to create virtual experiences that are usually reserved for the gaming industry.

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These initiatives have seen both cities short-listed for the 2023 European Capital of Smart Tourism, a competition which recognizes outstanding achievements by European cities As tourism destinations.

AR turns Zagreb into a giant virtual art exhibition

Last month, the Zagreb Tourist Board together with technology company Equinox to turn the capital of Croatia In a giant virtual art exhibition, dubbed Art Future.

Visitors are invited to download the Equinox XR app on their phones. Once they reached the location of a particular ‘installation’, they could open their camera on the app and the artwork is overlaid in AR – a familiar experience for any Pokemon GO players out there.

“Augmented reality is a technology that enables people to experience Virtual content, embedded in the real world that surrounds them,” explains Ivan Voras, founder of Equinox and technical director of the exhibition.

“This can be achieved through special hardware like glasses, but it is much more efficient and reaches a wider audience currently to do it through Mobile phones.”

Nineteen contemporary artists, animators and 3D modelers from around the world showcase their ‘locative art’ – Virtual Art In real-life locations – in Art Future.

“Visitors and residents [could] Look at artwork created by major international artists in almost every square or park across the city,” says Ivan. Topics cover the polarizing world of NFTsThe healing power of art, and conceptual solutions to Global warming.

This is not the first time Equinox has teamed up with the Zagreb Tourist Board for a future-forward exhibition. At Christmas, they set up animated and interactive gift boxes around town for people to find.

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Both projects created digital exhibits firmly rooted in the real world—and demonstrated how tech can be used to enhance Tourist Attractions without the need for major infrastructure.

Paphos brings its mythical heritage sites to life through your smartphone

Paphos in the south-west Cyprus is a popular tourist destination. The coastal city is known as the legendary birthplace of Aphrodite, and its ancient remains have earned it UNESCO World Heritage Site Status.

Leveraging the city mythical Going into futuristic mode, the Paphos Tourism Board has developed an app that allows users to bring its fabled history to life.

The Aphrodite’s Birthplace app interacts with three different scenes from the myth.

“By pointing your device at various locations on the BeachThe app allows you to experience an animated Aphrodite in a real-world environment,” explained Nasos Hadjigeorgiou, head of the Paphos Regional Board of Tourism.

Users can see Aphrodite rising from the waves As she was born or spy her relaxing on the beach in augmented reality.

“The main reason for us to use AR is to convert the intangible part of the experience into tangible, providing Digital information and interaction in a real-world environment,” Nasos says.

soon, Culture Lovers interested in learning more about Aphrodite’s myth will have a new tool at their service.

“We are in the final stage of developing a complete app about the myth of Aphrodite. It will include information and places related to the goddess’s birth and life,” says Nasos.

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Apart from this new app, the Paphos Tourism Board has big plans for its clever Tourism project.

“We are also investing heavily in smart signs, converting static signs to interactive ones [ones]”, says Nasos. This will bring 360-degree tours, audio guides in some LanguagesVideos and photos at visitors’ fingertips.

What can travelers expect from smart destinations in the future?

Like these Tourism Sector continues to embrace technology, smart destinations are likely to become the norm.

This can materialize in thousands of ways, creating smoother, more memorable and personalized Experiences for tourists.

Museums will become more interactive, Landmarks Could be digitally overlaid with historical photos and information, and tourists could be able to see how busy Attractions are in real time so they can plan their visits accordingly.

Tourism boards will leverage technology in ever more creative ways, blurring the lines between these Digital and physical worlds. For example, visit Sweden Recently launched ‘Spellbound by Sweden’, a folklore-filled audiobook whose ending can only be heard when you are physically present in a Swedish Forest.

There is still a huge gap to overcome between traditional destinations And the smart cities we want to visit. But the advantages that we see in tourism already give us a taste of what travel will be in these Future.

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