Encouraging visitors to explore areas away from the tourist cow paths is a challenge for any city.
There are, of course, reasons for this. Usually, these area offer intriguing sites that can only be found in that one city. Plus, there's usually more information about that part of town and knowing that there are other visitors around can be comforting. At a convention center setting getting vistors to explore the city can be even more challenging, with all amenities at one convenient site. But anyone who has lived in a city with lots of tourists knows there is much more to a city than its tourist hotspots.
That's why, in Dallas, they're using an old game with new technology to lure vistors to great locations throughout the city. The game, SCANVenger Hunt (a game platform that can be used in a variety of settings), was used at a recent convention in city. It allows users to play the game by scanning QR codes at various locations throughout the city. Once scanned by a smartphone, players are prompted to answer a trivia question or perform a task. They can gain points with correct answers that can earn them prizes. Generally, the questions are tied to location further knowledge about a place.
In Dallas the locations for the game were: The Omni Dallas Hotel, The Cowboys Stadium, Texas Motor Speedway, Southfork Ranch, The Sixth Floor Museum and The Great American Golf Course. Having never been to Dallas these definitely seem like some of the more touristy sites in the city. But I can imagine cities taking this one step further. The game could be used to guide tourists along historical walks around a city. It could be used to explore neighborhoods outside downtown, away from a convention center, or away from other tourist hangouts. It would encourage shopping at local businesses and promote the city in ways that travel guides can't.
For tourists who need a nudge to explore a city, this could be it. What's not clear is how locals will feel about tourists taking over their "secret" spots.
This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com