Evaluating Mobile Applications for Urban Tourism
Keywords:Tourism, Destination, Mobile, App, Europe
With the spread of mobile communication, destinations have to decide whether, and in case how, to inform and drive their guests through smartphones.
Three groups of issues must be addressed.
a. Mobile content and its usability differ from those designed for desktop.
b. Smartphones use web pages as well as proprietary applications.
c. Smartphones connect both through telecoms and hotspots, posing specific cost problems.
With a view to understanding how these issues have been addressed by urban destinations, a reasonably representative sample of forty-four European destinations was identified.
To compare the quality of the mobile applications available in the sample destinations, the 7Loci meta-model – already well established for destination websites – was used.
More discursively, some critical points were finally identified, and the mobile services available on-site were compared with those offered for the same cities by four global platforms: TripAdvisor, Foursquare, TripWolf and Google.
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