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How to increase city’s tourism capacity?

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Every region poses its own tourism capacity, which covers the capacity of the accommodation, gastronomic and other facilities. Exceeding the regional maximum number of tourists results in the decrease of the quality of services.

Tourism is affected by seasonality. Therefore, it is desirable to adapt as much as possible the tourism capacity to the tourism demand. However, how to adapt the number of beds? How to transport the hotel and all the other amenities from one place to another?

Everything depends on the kind of hotel. There are hotels hosting thousands of tourists, which move constantly. We call them cruise ships. Allure and Oasis of the seas, the biggest cruise ships on the planet have the maximum passenger capacity of 6296 people. Docking two of them increases the regional capacity by more than 12.000 people.

The attempt to employ such an innovative approach to increasing the tourism capacity was tried in Vancouver, Canada during the 2010 Olympics. Due to the formal problems the solution was not implemented and the cruise ship plan sunk. However, lots of major event, and lots of cruise ships wait to innovatively host plenty of tourists!

Author: Dawid Szutowski

Source: Olympic cruise ship plan sunk

Photo by Jerry L, Flickr

How to enjoy a parking lot

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Car is one of the basic modes of transportation. Due to its importance, the globe is covered with adequate infrastructure. No wonder that innovative roads, bridges, tunnels, and parking lots may be found all around the world.

Wait! Parking lot? How innovative a parking space may be?

Umi-hotaru is the artificial island built to connect the bridge and the underwater tunnel joining Kisarazu and Kawasaki, Japan. It is located more than 4 kilometres from the shore. On the island the floating park lots, and the observation decks were set. Due to the splendid view on the Tokyo Bay, the island became a popular destination. Also, the floating parking lot itself, as it is worldwide unique construction, became engineering enthusiasts must see. Nowadays, it attracts visitors not only from Japan, but also from all around the world.

That’s how, a parking lot became a tourist attraction.

Author: Dawid Szutowski

Source: Umi-hotaru

Photo by onono, source: Flickr.com

Danger tourism

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Emotion is the dominant power steering our behaviour. However, nowadays different impulses are bombarding us around the clock and in consequence we get used to the intensity of incentives. In order to attract attention of the contemporary customer an extreme stimuli is often indispensable. That is where the danger tourism begins.

Danger tourism is closely related to extreme tourism, both of which consist of going to dangerous places and participating in dangerous events. However danger tourism allows more risk and is not related to extreme sports (which is often the case of extreme tourism).

Today, let’s admire the most dangerous tourism route in the world. It is located approximately 240 kilometres from the city of Xi’an. The path leads up the Huashan Mountain, one of the five sacred mountains in China. Truly, it requires a truthful devotion to get to the top!

Author: Dawid Szutowski

Source: Mt. Huashan

Photo by Ian Armstrong, source Flickr.com

Aerofestival 2015

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The Aerofestival 2015 has just ended. The event constitutes the biggest civil, international air show in Poland. The two-days happening gathered more than fifty thousand visitors! Spectators had the precious occasion to admire inter alia such teams as Turkish Stars, and Baltic Bees and such soloists as Artur Kielak, Jurgis Kairys or Uwe Zimmermenn. Moreover, the air shows included numerous planes from the World War 2. The event was organised on the PoznaÅ„ Ławica Airport without interrupting its operations. Hubert Topoliński organiser and our honourable guest will describe the biggest challenges of organising the air show on the active airport.

DSIC: Mr Hubert, Aerofestival 2015 ended up as a tremendous success. How did you manage to combine air shows with take offs and landings of scheduled flights at the Poznań Ławica Airport?

Hubert Topoliński: Organisation of the air shows on the operating airport is a nationwide innovative project, which we had to face. The two-days show demonstrated how unpredictable and uncontrollable the aviation may be. The decision to take extra care for the security of regular and charter flights caused several turbulences during Saturday’s shows. Fortunately, Sunday’s shows ran smoothly.

It is not a common practice to organise air shows on the operating airports. What was the biggest challenge?

Quite the contrary – it is a common practice to organise air shows on the operating airports, but not in Poland. Following the footsteps of our neighbours we wanted to demonstrate that it is possible and at the same time very attractive for visitors. The biggest challenge was to meet the formal requirements and coordinate the ground handling with the situation in the air i.e. regular and charter flights.

During the first day several shifts in the schedule could not have been avoided. What were the biggest difficulties in organising the event?

There were several issues. The biggest difficulty was the unexpected redirection of scheduled flights from other cities, which caused the “shredding” of the air show slots. Also, the Friday’s bad weather and Saturday’s morning fog thwarted inter alia the training plans of Turkish Stars. As the organiser, we are ready to assure that next year’s air shows will be based on the “rigid” slots. It will allow avoiding unexpected shifts, which occurred during this year’s edition.

 

During the event, despite the air shows, you organised concerts, food, expositions etc. How did you manage to deliver so many attractions on the field, which normally is unavailable for visitors.

As the organiser, we did everything to make the area on one hand attractive for visitors and on the other hand safe for its supervisor – Poznań Ławica Airport. In order to secure the field we used several kilometres of barriers. Furthermore, 500 security guards and information service staff guaranteed the safety.

 

The event was very well received. Are there any plans for the second edition?

At the moment we summarize this year’s Aerofestival. We draw conclusions and settle formalities for the next year’s edition. However, for the official announcement we still require approximately 3 months. Keep your fingers crossed! 🙂

 

Thank you for the interview!

Hubert Topoliński is the vice president of the Aeropact company, the organiser of Aerofestival 2015.

 

The interview was conducted by Dawid Szutowski.

 

Logo source: Graphic materials

Rankings in tourism – best hotel of 2015

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There are thousands of different tourism rankings. Some of which are professional, and some of which may be doubtful. That is why the caution in interpretation of rankings’ results is always advised.

Nowadays, the development of communication technologies allowed for the biggest tourism websites to create the communities of millions of tourists from all around the world. These communities may become the international juries evaluating hotels, destinations, restaurants, attractions etc.

Despite the use in most cases of accidental sampling, which is a non-probability sampling method that does not allow the generalisation of results, the scores may still be very valuable. The size of the sample, and its diversity often indicates the credibility of results.

One of the most recognisable ratings is the Travelers’ Choice by Tripadvisor. It is based on the Popularity Index, which “incorporates traveller ratings to determine overall traveller satisfaction” and “uses a proprietary algorithm to take into account what travellers like you think – quantity, quality and recency of TripAdvisor reviews”.

According to the latest results of the Travellers’ Choice 2015, the best hotel on the planet is located on Maldives. Get to know the Gili Lankanfushi, and judge if we can trust the ratings!

Author: Dawid Szutowski

Photo by Simon_sees, Flickr.com

Source: Top 25 hotels – world; What is Tripadvisors\’ Popularity Index

Time machines

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One is presumed to learn, design and constantly reinvent him- or herself. The full potential of an individual is discovered through the process of lifelong learning. One should stay open-minded.

One of the ways to get inspired is to look into the past. The creation of the ancient ages waits to get noticed and affect the modern generations. Tremendous wonders as well as everyday objects are the imprints of the past.

Museums function all around the world to preserve the heritage. Despite their different forms and characters they operate to make the study of art, artefacts, and all the valuable objects of the past accessible to everyone. These organisations are the portals assuring the connection between different times and spaces.

The modern concepts of museums differ from the past ones. Nowadays visitors are willing to learn through play. The more fun the institution delivers the more the tourists are willing to learn. The more interactive the exhibition, the more visitors want to discover. Moreover, it is not obligatory to present the masterpieces of art created centuries ago the everyday objects of the fruitful XX century already posed a magical power in the rapidly changing world.

One of the best examples of the learn-through-play philosophy is the City Museum in St Louis. The gigantesque playground groups “old chimneys, salvaged bridges, construction cranes, miles of tile, and even two abandoned planes”. The big part of exhibition is placed outside of the buildings. Visitors are encouraged to touch, climb, and play with the exposition. It is the museum that “makes you want to know”.

Author: Dawid Szutowski

Source: City museum

Photo by Raymond M. Reskusich, source: Wikimedia.org

The magic of wearable computing

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Disney is one of the most prominent entertainment companies in the world. Its history reaches as fat as 1923. The small cartoon studio established by Roy O. Disney became a multinational conglomerate thanks to Mickey Mouse and friends. Among many different activities such as: producing films, broadcasting television, merchandising, publishing etc. Disney is known worldwide for managing the Walt Disney World Resort.

Disney World is one of the biggest theme parks in the world. It includes among others such areas as Magic Kingdom (with famous Cinderella Castle), Typhoon Lagoon, and Epcot (with the Spaceship Earth iconic symbol). No wonder that every year more than 18 million people visit the theme park! Such flow of visitors results in omnipresent crowds, noise and queues. How to manage such a mass of people?

Among numerous innovations designed by Disney throughout history, the MagicBand is the one to be remembered. The specially designed system of wristbands allows visitors to gain entry to the theme park, access attractions, use transportation, unlock the hotel rooms, and purchase at restaurants. In brief, the colourful band gives access to all that Disney has to offer. Such friendly device improved both the visitors’ experience and the data-mining capabilities, which in turn serve to manage the queuing time by pointing the unoccupied attractions. The use of wearable computing may change even the world of magic!

Author: Dawid Szutowski

Sources: A messy business of reinventing happiness, Disney\’s World Magic Kingdom

Photos by: Joey Newcombe source Flickr.com; Kevin Baird source Flickr.com; Joe Penniston source Flickr.com

Burning skies

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For centuries northern lights fascinated people. The game of colours played on the night skies of Arctic and Antarctic regions dazzles and mesmerizes. Aurora is caused by the interaction of the solar wind and cosmic rays with the magnetosphere of Earth. It appears in red, green, yellow, pink, and blue depending on the altitude.

The phenomenon of aurora borealis is old, but the new ways of admiring it still occur. In Europe the best places to observe auroras may be found in the central and northern parts of Sweden and Norway. Therefore it seems natural that hotels and resorts adapt to the specific conditions and offer spots to admire the northern lights. Still, it is a product innovation that attracts natural wonders admirers from all around the globe.

A tremendous hotel of Camp Ripan, Sweden, situated at the outer-edge of Kiruna town is just a good example of such place. Even if the environment is extremely hostile and the daily mean temperature surpasses 10oC only in July (during the long winter it averages around -15oC) one is warmed by the skies burning with aurora light. A must see!

Author: Dawid Szutowski

Sources: Enjoy the Colours of Swedish Lapland; Kiruna

Photo by Timo Horstschafer, source: Flickr.com

Benefaction of integration

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The integration process of European countries is still vital. The long history of integration covers inter alia such areas as politics, economy, culture, and law. Nowadays European Union is the symbol of unified Europe. However, EU is not the only organisation integrating European countries. European Economic Area, Nordic Council, Visegrad Group, Baltic Assembly and others play the important regional roles.

Probably one of the most prominent tools of integration is the introduction of the Schengen Agreement, which created the vast borderless zone covering almost the entire continent. Travelling between the 26 member states does not require any formalities. Tourists are free to move.

The integration affects tourism. Making business in Dortmund, shopping in Market hall in Rotterdam, visiting Onze-Lieve-Vrouwekathedraal in Antwerp, and enjoying Braderie de Lille is now possible with an ID in the hand. It’s like buying a tea in Netherlands, and asking for sugar in Belgium.

Author: Dawid Szutowski

Source: Tourist Schengen Visa

Photo by European Parliament

Overpowering Mecca

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There are approximately 1,6 billion followers of Islam around the world. Besides, this number representing more than 20% of world’s population is still growing. More than 12 million people a year visit the most sacred place for Muslims -Mecca. No wonder that one of the greatest hotels around the globe was built in the birthplace of Muhammad.

Makkah Royal Clock Tower Hotel is the third highest building in the world reaching as high as 601 meters and holding the world’s largest clock face, which brings to mind London’s Big Ben. The building offers a prayer room for 10.000 people and its entire lodging capacity covers 100.000 people (including residential parts).

The scale of the Abraj Al Bait outshines other projects around the globe by its size (and despite the controversial architecture). It’s a good example of demand driven innovation reflected in the tremendous magnitude.

Author: Dawid Szutowski

Source: Mecca makeover: how the hajj has become big business for Saudi Arabia

Ohoty by Shahin Olakara, source: Flickr.com