Location Based Service (LBS) in Tourism
In a simple way if we have to define LBS then we can say that it is a service that determines where a mobile device and its user are geographically located and also acts as an information gateway for the user by providing various kinds of services. As we have already discussed in our previous articles that LBS answers some common questions like where is the user? What is the nearby attraction? Where is the nearest service? etc. and the answer of these questions are useful for a tourist or traveler who is in a strange area without having much knowledge about the place and language. This shows that LBS can be a useful material for traveler in the growing tourism industry with some innovative tourism related applications.
In case of tourism and travel, tourist generally needs information about the location when they don’t know it very well. So it is to create location awareness and provide answer to their individual interest. In tourism tourists of both inbound and outbound may pay for this, as the information about the visiting place is important on the point of view of gaining knowledge and making the tour a hassle free and pleasurable one. LBS allows travelers to book last minute flight or trains and provide in formation if any one of them is delay and even you can search your liking tourist destinations, hotels, shops etc.
Possible tourism related application:
LBS can be useful in tourism by offering various services to its user. In spite of the conventional services like vehicle navigation, emergency service and law enforcement, it can also provide several valuable other information to the tourists. Some of them are discussed below.
Traffic Information – The LBS device can inform you about the current traffic updates. For example, if there is a traffic queue ahead or any traffic diversion on your route, it can alert you by sending messages.
Roadside Service – In case of vehicle breakdown, you can seek help of LBS provider who can inform you about the nearest garage or petrol station, cashpoint on your way.
Destination Information – While visiting a place it is important for tourists to know all the most popular sightseeing of a place. So one can collect information about the nearest tourist attraction.
Recreation Spots – It can answer your question related to leisure activities like the nearest hotel, restaurant, club, spa, theater, music events etc. You just have to send a message to the operator through your LBS device and the operator after checking the database and comparing it with your current location can inform you back for services.
Weather Updates – It can notify you about the weather condition of your visiting place so that you can arrange your travel schedule accordingly.
Hence, LBS allows travelers in determining their own location and provide different value added services. For example, it can inform you about your route direction, traffic jams, interesting sights, nearest metro station, airport, hotel, hospital, shopping mall etc. This information only takes location information and a database containing all kinds of facts based on tourism as primary inputs to offer services. So in tourism you’re mobile phone or any other PDAs can act as a tourist guide thereby offering value-added services to the tourists.
However, if we consider the target user of LBS in tourism then can find that it will be a bit difficult for outbound tourists to avail basic tourism related application in their own mobile phones as the roaming charges cost a lot. But it would be easier to target the domestic tourists, as the roaming issue wouldn’t apply here. So LBS can be proved handy for tourism sector and will be able to provide all kinds of tourist services just on your mobile phone.