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Review of the best audio guide systems and apps for travel and tourism professional by SmartGuide

Review of the best audio guide systems and apps for travel and tourism professional by SmartGuide

SmartGuide

Price – Free to download, premium offline guides available for purchase

Content Management System (CMS) – SmartGuide recently launched its brand-new CMS website to users interested in publishing original content in the app, whether it be a new destination or an additional tour to an existing destination. These users have the support of the SmartGuide team, but can independently upload and preview content in-app before publishing publicly. It is even possible to publish only for a specific audience with the use of activation codes.

If interested in beta access, email content@smart-guide.org.

User Interface (UI) – This app for tour guides and tourists alike with interactive maps, personalized content, and places of interest available for free and even offline use. With geolocation, SmartGuide will notify you of nearby attractions and its audio-guided content is ready to be used as a pocket-sized tour guide system! Multi-lingual destinations have sightseeing tours with recommended itineraries and a map chock full of places of interest with audio, photos, practical info, and captivating stories. Turn-by-turn navigation can guide users to the start of a tour or travelers can roam on free-walking-mode. This is a tour app with a platform even tourism providers like Prague’s Big Hop Off, Hop On Buses utilize because of its streamline, easy-to-use design.

Our Rating –5 stars

Strengths

Premium UI features including augmented reality • Sophisticated B2B website • CMS for publishing content • Offline maps with walking routes and turn-by-turn navigation • Content for over 400 destinations • Recommended places of interest based on user personalization

Weaknesses

CMS Still in Beta • AR modules not fully funactional • Focusing mainly on Europan destinations

Vox City and POPGuide

Price – Paid content via online purchase or accessed through B2B clients

Content Management System (CMS) – Not offered to clients as the Vox Group content team handles all implementation. Vox City app users can create private maps in the tour guide app using drop-pins after purchasing log-in credentials.

User Interface (UI) – The POPGuide app keeps B2B customers connected “through personalized content, high-quality audio, itineraries, offline navigation, and promotions, while…consolidating brand recognition and loyalty.” The VoxCity app offers multilingual city-mapping and self-guided sightseeing experience with audio commentary, personal pins, and advanced offline navigation.

Our Rating – 4 stars

With personalized content, high-quality audio, itineraries, and offline navigation and promotions, POPGuide can offer tourism professionals and B2B clients the whole package. This is ideal for customers who do not wish to or cannot dedicate time to be involved with content implementation for a tour guide system. However, neither Vox Group tour guide app offers content for free to the public after installation; travellers seeking an app last-minute are often found frustrated when they download POPGuide only to learn they do not have log-in access without a POPGuide client. This situation is common with the Vox City app as well where credentials must be purchased online. Despite allowing its users to create their own maps and places of interest, they only offer content for a few hundred cities. The spread of Vox Group tour guide systems may be too confusing for would-be customers seeking a tour guide app on-the-go as travelers often are!

Strengths

POPGuide clients receive data and trend reports for activity analysis • Their content can be implemented to existing Vox apps, or act as a standalone solution • No hardware costs or software development • POPGuide clients can be branded with their own colors and logo • Vox City users can make their own personalized, private content in-app

Weaknesses

POPGuide store listing is confusing as it’s unclear that the app is only for B2B clients and their customers • All access to app content must be purchased online or received directly from a B2B client • Vox City app offers limited international content coverage

mTrip

Price – Paid package for B2B clients who can offer customers access

Content Management System (CMS) – Not offered to clients as the mTrip team handles all implementation.

User Interface (UI) – mTrip builds B2B clients a multi-feature white label tour guide app to accompany travelers with everything they’ll need including flight check-in, detailed trip detail screens, and city travel guides, create and be recommended itineraries, turn-by-turn navigation maps, and more. A trip journal for sharing details onto other platforms, augmented reality, a currency converter and digital postcards are additional features. For tourism professionals, the UI offers everything desired of a decent tourist guide app.

Our Rating – 3 stars

mTrip can be appealing for those seeking to design a white label tourist guide app in which they can be sure to include every feature that will come to a traveler’s mind. The downside to this is that as a result, there is no exceptional main feature. The user could easily be overwhelmed and not fully experience everything the app has to offer. It doesn’t help that the UI could use streamlining. As a tour guide app, their tours do not offer an audio feature but have a “tour leader” feature, making it less friendly for independent travelers; this is less appealing post-COVID 19. They also depend on Trip Genius for generating itineraries as opposed to their own content.

Strengths

Highly customizable UI for clients • Multiple highly-coveted features offered

Weaknesses

No audio offered in guides • Only available to those who book a trip through a participating tour operator or travel agent • Multiple features challenges a clean, easy-to-use design

Piri

Price – Free with ads, paid content and subscription available

Content Management System (CMS) – Not available to the public as their tours are provided by tourism professionals.

User Interface (UI) – Despite using a user’s location, the welcome screen will often show little to no tour guide content nearby because Piri only offers tours for a handful of top cities. These tours are high-quality, created by tourism professionals, but come at a price. Users can preview tour audio with ads, but it is not clear how to navigate to such places of interest. Overall, the app design is appealing but offers very little substance or instruction.

Our Rating – 2 stars

Piri Guide is a travel tech startup that offers digital tours through a self-guided mobile app free of charge. Users can purchase a tour through the app and listen offline as well. Stores and other stops are recommended by the guide along the route. Currently, 150 tours in 20 countries and 30 cities are offered according to their website, and all are curated by travel professionals or experts such as historians and food critics. If the tourist guide app allowed other professionals to easily access their CMS and publish their own tours to the public, perhaps Piri could more quickly attract travelers instead of only appealing to those interested in the select tours currently offered.

Strengths

High quality content from tourism professionals and experts • Tour guide system with potential

Weaknesses

Semi-professional website with little information on the app itself • Minimal content available in-app • No turn-by-turn navigation

Guru

Price – Paid packages for B2B clients, particularly tourist attractions

Content Management System (CMS) – Guru offers a CMS platform so their clients can add new content and immediate updates to their app, developed specifically for them. It is designed with “drag-and-drop backend accounts” and they offer continuous support and training for new staff or features.

User Interface (UI) – From interactive maps, tours, ticket purchase screens, and videos and augmented reality, Guru has developed apps with features users would want to see in any tour guide system. Their website showcases screenshots of their tour guide apps for San Diego Museum of Art and The Living Desert Zoo in California. While the content seems easy to navigate, their more simplistic UI isn’t as sophisticated as Guru’s own website, offering less customization for clients.

Our Rating – 4

While this is certainly a good option for B2B customers looking for a white label app, Guru doesn’t seem to offer the best features for building an app for tour guides. However, their CMS certainly gives clients an easy solution unlike many other developers. The apps seem ideal for on-site use, but could develop further for tourists planning a trip to the attractions with a trip planner, recommendations, or a simple “liking” feature for activities of interest that an app like SmartGuide offers. Keeping user interest is valuable for apps offering tour guide systems since it ensures recurrent use.

Strengths

Premium UI features • Sophisticated B2B website • CMS support for clients

Weaknesses

No itinerary or trip planner for travellers for off-site • No easy-to-access design for practical information • Expensive

For more knowledge check out the post called Smart Restart safe tourism after Covid with Smart technology.

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