Geotourist – ‘one to watch’!
Tourism Society member, Geotourist, working with Historic Environment Scotland, has been named as ‘One To Watch’ at the World Responsible Travel Awards for their compelling platform concept that draws visitors away from the hotspots and helps them experience ancient parts of Edinburgh in a new way.
Geotourist CEO, Shaon Talukder, and Mo Talukder, Sales Director, received the award for “Destinations Building Back Better post Covid-19” at the Responsible Tourism Awards, during World Travel Market London. Geotourist joins other global companies and organisations who have placed responsibility and accountability at the heart of what they do.
Working with Historic Environment Scotland, Geotourist developed a digital audio tour in Holyrood Park with the aim of offering visitors a reason to disperse from the pressure point at Edinburgh Castle, at the top of the Royal Mile. Offering visitors and residents much more than a fabulous backdrop to a stunning city, Holyrood Park plays an integral part in both Scotland and Edinburgh’s history, but it is often overlooked. By creating a digital audio tour that is both free to download and listen to on the Geotourist app, visitors can use their own smartphones to undertake the tour at their own pace. Offering an alternative, highly immersive visitor experience close to the city centre, the tour aims to combat the negative environmental impact and the effects of overtourism on the local community. The trail takes people through Holyrood Park via immersive storytelling and explores its historical, geological and socio-economic role in a naturally socially distant way.
While the tour creates a ‘reason for people to travel’ to a particular location, it is also providing critical data that enables organisations, in this case Historic Environment Scotland, to understand and track visitor flow. In the case of Edinburgh, this is key to managing the visitor hubs, which are considered by many in the industry as problematic. Data analysis of real-time data created by the tour offers the opportunity to more accurately manage visitors, while also meeting their expectations of their experience.
CEO and Geotourist founder, Shaon Talukder, who created the Geotourist concept said:
“We are honoured and so very appreciative of this award. The Responsible Tourism Awards represent the pinnacle of how tourism could and should be and we are delighted to be recognised for our work with Historic Environment Scotland. Working on the project, especially during the months of lockdown, it reinforced the importance of protecting and preserving destinations for the people that live and work in them, but also maintain the visitor economy income that is so critical too. Knowing that the tour has generated actionable data that didn’t previously exist and that otherwise would remain uncaptured also reinforced the project’s aims and objectives. Recognition of our work with Historic Environment Scotland on this visitor dispersal project is wonderful as it shows just what is possible when immersive technology and heritage destinations come together.”
The Geotourist app is a publishing space where organisations and individuals can access the technology to reach wider audiences all over the world. Geotourist works with individuals, organisations and brands across 6 continents and is cited as “the future of travel tech” within a Visit Britain Future Trends report.
Amongst its awards and accolades, Geotourist is proud to have been awarded ‘Gold’ at the International Tourism Awards at the World Travel Market within the LGBTQ category for a tour in Denver, USA.
About Historic Environment Scotland
Historic Environment Scotland is the lead public body established to investigate, care for and promote Scotland’s historic environment. Historic Environment Scotland is a non-departmental public body with charitable status, governed by a Board of Trustees, who were appointed by Scottish Ministers. Responsible for more than 300 properties of national importance, buildings and monuments in their care include Edinburgh Castle, Skara Brae and Fort George, as well as internationally significant collections.
For more information on the Holyrood Park, go to Historic Environment Scotland.