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

Imagine traveling to a city where all the tourist attractions are available app and in your hometown language. Where you don’t need it queue for galleries, because installations can be done with a smartphone. Or where virtual reality (VR) reconstructions of historical events are brought to life heritage sites.

Smart cities are being redefined tourism.

Two years of travel restrictions due to the pandemic have changed the way we experience the world. Virtual tours helped us explore the comforts of our couches and business trip video calls are getting weaker as they take effect.

at present boundaries rediscovered, countries are using this technology to attract tourists and enhance their experience.

The term ‘smart city‘ may make you think robots walking the streets, flying cars flying through the sky or artificial intelligence running public services. The truth is a little different, but no less.

Being a smart city means standing out here availability, stabilitydigitization, creativity and protection cultural heritage.

DenmarkThe capital of the country led this way even before the pandemic. The Copenhagen Visitor Service invites tourists to plan their routes with touch screen guides, robotics and more VR glasses, and the application distributes information and collects data to help improve the service.

Hoping to join the ranks, such directions Zagreb in Croatia and Pathos He spares no effort in Cyprus. They are using it technologies such as augmented reality (AR) to create virtual experiences usually reserved for the gaming industry.

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These initiatives have seen both cities shortlisted for the 2023 European Capital of Smart Tourism. European cities as tourist destinations.

AR turns Zagreb into a huge virtual art exhibition

Last month, the Zagreb Tourist Board teamed up with tech company Equinox to turn the capital around Croatia turned into a large virtual art exhibition called the future of art.

Visitors were encouraged to download the Equinox XR app on their phones. Once they reach a specific “setup” location, they can open the camera in and out of the app a work of art Layered in AR is a familiar experience for any Pokémon GO player.

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

“This can be achieved with specialized equipment such as glasses, but it is much more efficient and currently has a wider audience to do it. Mobile phones.”

Nineteen contemporary artists, animators and 3D modelers from all over the world presented their “locative art” – virtual. art in real life – at Art Future.

“Guests and residents [could] See works of art created by major international artists in almost every square or park in the city,” says Ivan. The topics spanned a polarizing world NFTsthe healing power of art and conceptual solutions global warming.

This is not the first time that Equinox will organize a future exhibition with the Zagreb Tourist Board. At Christmas, they placed animated and interactive gift boxes around town for people to find.

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Both projects have created digital exhibits that are firmly established in the real world and show how technology can be used for improvement. tourist attractions that do not require large infrastructure.

Paphos brings its mythical heritage sites to life through your smartphone

Paphos in the southwest Cyprus is a popular tourist destination. The coastal city is known as the legendary birthplace of Aphrodite, and her ancient ruins have occupied it. UNESCO World Heritage Site condition

Using the city mythical In futuristic fashion, the Paphos Tourist Board has developed an app that allows users to bring its legendary history to life.

The Birthplace of Aphrodite app interacts with three different representations of the myth.

“By pointing your device at different locations on the screen the beachthe app allows you to experience the animated Aphrodite in the real world,” explains Nasos Hadjigeorgiou, head of the Paphos Regional Tourism Authority.

Users can see the rising of Aphrodite waves Listen to him as he was born or relaxing on the beach in augmented reality.

“The main reason we use AR is to make the intangible part of the experience tangible. numerical information and interaction in a real environment,” says Nasos.

Recently, culture Enthusiasts who want to learn more about the myth of Aphrodite will have a new tool at their service.

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“We are in the final stages of developing a complete app about the myth of Aphrodite, which will include information and locations related to the birth and life of the goddess,” says Nasos.

Apart from this new app, Paphos Tourist Board has big plans clever tourism project.

“We are also investing heavily in smart signage by converting static signage to interactive signage [ones]- says Nasos. It brings 360-degree tours, multiple audio guides languagesvideos and photos into the hands of visitors.

What can travelers expect from smart destinations in the future?

as tourism As the sector continues to embrace technology, smart destinations may become the norm.

It can be done in a thousand ways, it’s smooth, memorable and personalized experience for tourists.

Museums will be interactive, places of interest can be digitally overlaid with historical photos and information, and tourists can see how they would have seen it busy attractions are available in real-time so they can plan their trips accordingly.

Tourist boards are using technology in creative ways, blurring the lines between them numerical and physical worlds. For example, Visit Sweden The recently released “Spellbound by Sweden” is a folklore-filled audiobook whose ending can only be heard when it’s in Swedish. forest.

There is still a huge gap between traditionalism directions and smart cities we want to visit. But the advances in tourism we’re seeing give us a taste of what it’s like to travel future.

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