Touch Tourism is taking off like a rocket, and it is looking for businesses to come along for the ride.
The Kelowna-based digital advertising technology company started only nine months ago, but it has already attracted nearly 41,000 users who have produced more than 158,000 page views.
The platform used is called VIKE (pronounced VICK-ee), which is an acronym for Visitor Information Kiosk Experience. VIKE allows Okanagan visitors to easily search for the area’s top tourist destinations and experiences. Touch Tourism is putting out the call for businesses to join the list of local attractions that can be found on its screens this summer and beyond.
The kiosks have been installed at hotels, visitor information centres, museums and art galleries from Penticton to Vernon, and the number in service has doubled from 24 at the end of last August to 48 today.
“For local businesses that are looking for some more exposure, particularly in the tourist market, our locations are predominantly hotel lobbies and tourist information centres,” Touch Tourism founder Luke Weller says. “We’re a local directory for people staying in those locations or even just passing by those locations to find local businesses, to find activities, to find wineries, to find kids’ fun.”
There are several other attractive features about Touch Tourism, including its ability to create real-time data, its positive impact on the environment and providing hotels with valuable information for its guests. Tourists can click on a business and send a “digital brochure” to their phones that contains all necessary information.
“What we’re doing is reducing paper advertising and focusing more on getting local companies to invest in digital advertising rather than increasing paper waste and increasing the tourism industry’s carbon footprint,” Weller says. “The way we’re doing that is by offering what we call a digital brochure. So when somebody goes onto our screens, within two or three touches they’re able to send themselves a text message or an e-mail with a digital brochure of the company that they choose.
“Effectively you’re reducing paper waste. Paper brochures … where do they end up? They end up on a bench in the lobby or in the back seat of a taxi or in the bottom of a garbage can. We’re trying to do our part with sustainable tourism.”
Weller is also hoping to do business with local tourism associations by providing them with data that is collected with each touch of a screen. Touch Tourism, for example, can see when and where people are looking for wineries in West Kelowna.
“We’re surveying people constantly,” Weller says. “We’re finding out where they are, what time they’re looking for things to do and what they’re looking for every minute of the day.”
Touch Tourism has also teamed up with Castanet, which provides weather and local events for the platform.
This article is written by or on behalf of the sponsoring client and does not necessarily reflect the views of Okanagan Edge.
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