Never thought much about audio tour-guiding equipment? Neither had John Boulding. Or at least, not until he started working for the leading audio-guiding company, Vox.
Boulding comes from the other side of the fence, with 20 years as Insight Vacations CEO under his belt. But now, he’s a convert for life.
“It was always just a service but when I came over to Vox I entered this whole new world of tour guiding and tour guide systems and it’s really interesting how widespread this is, I mean this is a huge huge area,” he told Travel Weekly.
Vox doesn’t just specialise in equipment, they’re doing huge things in the tech space too, specifically in the realm of digital destination applications.
Its latest innovation hones in on personalisation in travel and aims to branch out into more sectors, including travel agencies.
“Customer aspiration and travel patterns have changed so dramatically,” Boulding said.
“Above all, they want to know how they can personalise their vacations. Vox software helps travel partners do that for their customers by giving them a tool which enables customers within a group tour to enjoy a really different experience as an individual.”
Vox City Guide is a B2B2C solution for tour operators or travel agents who are looking for an impressive add on product. It’s an application which essentially acts as a mini tour guide in your pocket showcasing key points of interest from urbanites in the know and local experts.
Targeting those who love to feel at home in any city, the app enables exploration options both via walking and public transport and supports offline navigable mapping, including personal drop-pins, to create a personalised and engaging experience all without hefty roaming charges.
“We’ve fully mapped out 20 cities in six different languages and its fully automated so as you travel around you can get the autoplay service playing back to you,” Boulding said.
“It’s really innovative and it’s growing really quickly. We started off with three cities, London Paris and Rome, and we’ve now already got 20 major cities up and it’s growing very fast.
“There’s a huge demand for it both from travel agents who are using it to support FITs (fully independent travellers) but also group operators who are looking to tailor that experience and offer travellers something to do in their free time.”
According to Boulding, the application is not meant to replace tour guides, but to give travellers the opportunity to personalise their trips and make the most out of their free time.
“It’s truly the future in terms of the way we need to think about travel. We do need to give people personalisation, we do need to give people the opportunity to personalise,” he said.
“Its quite exciting to see that there really is his huge future in this type of tech for tourism even today, not just in the future. It’s here now. And I think there’s a great opportunity for agents to look into this and do something with it,” Boulding concluded.