How to Optimise Tourist Services Through Mobile Marketing and Geolocation

Source: The Self Employed Blog

Say Visit Dubai wants to overhaul their mobile app; focussing on user-friendliness and having tourists immerse themselves in the modern luxury and rich history of Arabic culture (while also injecting money into the economy along the way).

Source: Visit Dubai Apple Store

Strategies like developing e-commerce output into a sleeker, more colourful display and testing the ease of click-through to different apps such as Apple Maps/Expedia are at the forefront of addressing user-friendliness issues.

However, these don’t introduce an engaging point of difference for visitors alone, and in a city that is renowned for modern innovation and amazement – it just won’t cut it.

So, why not use the flow-on benefits from these solutions to introduce geolocation marketing?


Source: LeanPlum

By pinging a user’s mobile when they pass key attractions in the city, visitors can actively engage in learning more about sites by clicking through. They can also benefit from links to related products and services that the attraction offers – like booking information for the viewing deck at the Burj Khalifa.

This would enable users to undertake their own self-guided tours across the city, even leaving room in the app for a design feature that specifically allows this – suggesting multiple routes through the city and undertaking a semi-guided tour through an interactive map.

This approach could have an added bonus effect by easing congestion during peak times on physical guided tours and also encourage tourists to visit the many retail and restaurant establishments found along the way.

Real-time data gathered from these interactions including time spent at particular sites, their popularity, the number of bookings to certain attractions would be able to supply immediate feedback to the tourism board that could address any arising threats or opportunities for the marketing department.

Do you have any other suggestions to enhance the tourist experience in Dubai using geolocation?

12 thoughts on “How to Optimise Tourist Services Through Mobile Marketing and Geolocation”

  1. Couldn’t agree more! As someone who works in the digital marketing space, I have often used geotargeting for Facebook and Google Advertising. I have found it to be incredibly effective for not only our business, but also for the consumer. Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Ellen, thanks for your comment! That’s awesome to hear that you’ve had success implementing this type of strategy – do you mind me asking broadly what the campaign was for?


  2. Great article! NFC devices are becoming more common but I’d never thought of using them in a geographical sense to target advertising, it’s amazing to see it being used in such an innovative way. I suppose the biggest challenge for the people behind the service would be getting people to download the app, and then having notifications that weren’t too annoying. Personally if I got a notification every 10 minutes about some new attraction I would definitely either turn off the notifications or uninstall the app entirely, so for me that would be the biggest focus on getting this right!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Steve! 🙂 I think if the app was marketed right, like advertised at the airport, in taxi’s, etc so that arriving tourists were guaranteed to be exposed to it as a “catch-all” app for everything Dubai, that it would create a strong incentive to download. Of course constant notifications would be an issue, so options for turning specific ones on and off should be one of the main alerts that pops up after downloading the app for the first time so that problem could be largely circumvented.


  3. I have a great example of this type of marketing! Last year when staying in Singapore with my mum for a holiday our hotel room came equipped with what basically was a smart phone. This little device allowed us wifi in another country as well as maps, tourist attractions, shopping centres and suggestions for places to eat. It was the most genius little device which really helped us navigate that crazy city. Dubai could partner with certain hotels or airlines and implement this type of technology to a large number of its tourists. After all if they have a good experince WOM will travel! Great read 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh that’s awesome! Man those Singaporean’s can innovate and provide service like no one else! This type of device certainly has wide-reaching applications for tourists worldwide. Would be so great if this service becomes industry-standard in time! That would provide an unbelievable amount of data to tourism boards as well so they can learn to market their city better based on app/device interaction. Thanks so much for sharing!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Great blog! A really fantastic idea because often tourists rely on tour guides and are therefore only exposed to what the tour wants to show and tell them. If there is an app with an abundance of varied information, the tourist can choose what it is that they want to go and see and feel confident in their decision since it provides facts about popularity and ratings. While all this type of information already exists, it would be beneficial for a tourist if they all existed on the one app.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Wow this article is awesome, learnt so many new ways to use the geo-feature for marketing! I think one of the most important things is to make sure it doesn’t seem like anything is being favoured or an ad, rather just being genuine about the highest rated attractions.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Elliott! Great point – Visit Dubai would definitely need to base their attraction rating off of something substantial, like TripAdvisor reviews that are generated by the people. That could also open up potential for partnerships and consequently new advertising avenues could be explored.


  6. What an interesting read! I think that brands that work in tourism really should be harnessing what you’ve recommended in this article to really engage consumers and give them a reason to utilise the brand! But I guess as a marketer you would need to format and present it in a way that differentiates yourself from others to ensure you are unique! I’ll be interested to see how this develops in the future!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s