Sometimes use cases come from unexpected areas. Nature Tours company Natourest is using Loquiz as a tour guide for multi day tours. With Natourest owner Bert Rähni we dig into it how it is done and what is the goal?
We are running nature tours that last several days. Typically more than a week. The entire experience is specially created for the specific client by us, but the tour itself is self-guided. Often it happens that we do not see the client at all or we see the client only during a few days of the tour.
Usually, we do not meet at all actually. As the tours often started from Riga Airport pre-COVID, then the client was supposed to pick up the car themselves and start with their tour. Now when the majority of the clients were traveling by car you could say that their tour starts from their home already. We do not go there to meet them.
Self-guided basically means that the tour is not guided by a human guide. We are calling the tours smart-guided as opposed to the old pen and paper approach. However, we still prepare the full tour for the client. Starting with car rental, hotel reservations, we recommend restaurants and also handle all kinds of additional questions over the phone or online. The itinerary is sent to the client beforehand and the tour is prepared for the specific client in Loquiz. So that if any changes appear we can also push those to the clients online.
We were testing different options but did not really find a good fit anywhere. Another company I was connected with was using Loquiz for gamification, so we gave it a try for Tours. Loquiz is a gamification software, but we have not actually used it for gamification. For us, it is the basic tour software we use to let clients experience the tour themselves.
We mainly sell through partners and through the webpage. However, signing up is not automatic as we need to prepare the tour for every single client. So it is not an off-the-shelf product as the hotel reservations etc. need to be prepared according to client needs.
We love the way the Loquiz system handles the objects. We have built a database of objects and use them on different tours. You can also create templates of your own tours, so creating a tour for another client is very fast. One thing that is very good is that Loquiz works offline. We run nature tours, so very often the clients are in the countryside with weak mobile data. We use Loquiz as a one-stop information source with an interactive map and itinerary that works offline but what we can still update from a distance if needed.
Sometimes it says “game” or “play” to the client, which is misleading. You can actually translate the whole thing and create tour-specific language strings, but we have not translated everything yet.
The flow is also optimized for playing mainly, but with some new features, it is now much easier to use than when we started. For example, you can filter locations on a map based on tags. That is probably not needed when building games, but very handy in the tourism business. I hope that there is a better way to manage the itinerary, but it seems that there are some ideas we can utilize shortly.
It is a possibility, but no plans for this at the moment. Our clients are mainly older people, so we try to keep things simple. For many, it is already a big step to use an app instead of a live guide. Actually maybe with the itinerary list, we will use a gamified approach soon. Let see when the feature is released.
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