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AreYouHere? How Cameraphones Enhance Tourism

Areyouhere Hotels know that kids often make the decisions on where to go. (The divorce rate might be contributing to this, since the mother and father will often take their kids on separate trips.) Hotels often struggle to find things for kids to do that don't involve staying in the room and playing videogames.

Interactive games using kids' mobile phones might be one solution.

For example, Venice, Italy just launched AreYouHere?, where visitors take pictures of people they meet while visiting the fabled city. Those photos are joined together into a personalized postcard, which will be sent to the visitor at home. These mailing programs provides a terrific way to memorialize the experience without requiring a lot of work on the part of the city.

Here in Colorado, Loveland receives more than 200,000 Valentines annually from all 50 states and more than 100 countries. Senior citizen volunteers do the hand-stamping of the Cupid cachet and love verse.

We've begun developing similar cameraphone activities for hotels and the beverage industry. A group of golfers visiting a hotel, could have photos from their weekend posted to a photoblog sponsored by the hotel. The hotel then provides the guest with additional options: turning a photo into a mug or other premium that helps celebrate the shared experience.

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