From the 2nd to the 4th of December I participated in the VII International Tourism Congress, which took place at the Sultan Qaboos University, Muscat, Oman. I made a contribution in the session „Sustainable Tourism and Development“ entitled „The Muscat Geotourism Guide – An example how technology can support destination development and sustainable tourism“.
Here is my abstract:
VII International Tourism Congress
The Muscat Geotourism Guide – An example how technology can support destination development and sustainable tourism
Mr. Henning Schwarze
INTEWO | World Habitat Society GmbH
Paderborner Str. 11, 33189 Schlangen, Germany
P.O. Box 1242, P.C. 130, Muscat, Sultanate of Oman
KeywordsInnovation, trends in tourism, visitor services, applications, geology, Geotourism, Muscat, Oman
The outstanding geological heritage in Oman is enabling the Sultanate to serve as one of the leading destinations for Geotourism. In order to provide reliable and understandable (geo) tourist information, the Ministry of Tourism has launched the so called “Muscat Geotourism Guide”, where 30 Points of Interest have been developed for Geotourism in the capital region. With support of interactive smartphone applications, providing GPS guidance and multimedia information, dedicated signboards and tailor made tourist maps, visitors are invited to explore the unique geological attractions in and around Muscat.
The project is a vibrant example on how technology based solutions, like smartphone and tablet computer applications, can support destinations with their important role to provide good tourist information in an attractive, and at the same time, sustainable way.
In the future destinations can benefit even more from technology-supported solutions. The IT supported approach, utilizing smartphone applications, tablet computer terminal solutions, QR-Codes etc., can serve as a personal guide, whenever and wherever needed by the visitor. Technology is building a bridge between the real and the virtual world, with new standards of accessibility and sense in tourism. With the evolving design of new devices, like wearables (smart watches, smart glasses) and iBeacons, this trend will become even more important, rising new challenges for destinations, supporting their role to provide 24/7 information for natural and cultural tourism, as well as general visitor services.
About the author
Henning Schwarze is a professional geographer, media expert and entrepreneur with international experience in sustainable tourism development, environmental assessment, ecosystem management, web, media & application design and production. These skills are underpinned by a good knowledge of physio-geography, ecology, information technology and marketing. Henning Schwarze is also experienced as a consultant in world heritage sites, protected areas, GIS/GPS, biodiversity conservation, education, regional development, tourist information systems, social media, web & graphic design, and distance learning. Since 2001 Henning Schwarze has been working as a consultant to UNESCO. In 2005 he became the Managing Partner of INTEWO | World Habitat Society GmbH, a company which he founded together with colleagues from the University of Paderborn, Germany. INTEWO focuses on environment, tourism and education for sustainable development. INTEWO has bases in Schlangen (Germany), Bahir Dar (Ethiopia) and Muscat (Oman).[/lightgrey_box]
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