Opening Europes inland waterways to a new generation of travellers is a new system for the tourism sector. Due to undergo a test demonstration at the end of May, it will provide up-to-date, location-based information on everything from good restaurants to nearby emergency services.
Developed under the EurEauWeb IST project combines mobile communications, location sensing and detailed information and, if successful, could become the platform of choice for hundreds of other guides on everything from wilderness trekking to navigating museums. Whats more, the system responds not only to tourists needs, but also to those of boat operators and other leisure companies.
The promoters hope that accurate, comprehensive and accessible information will introduce a new generation of enthusiasts, as well as the elderly and disabled, to waterway holidays. Mike Kelly, coordinator for the project lives on a marina and is a keen narrowboat enthusiast, having his own boat. He came up with the project idea to overcome his frustration with inadequate guides. "Myself and my wife developed the idea when we were misled – again! – by an inaccurate guide. I thought there must be a way to combine technology with accurate information. There are excellent guides for waterways tourism but they go out of date very quickly," he says.
Tara Morris | alfa
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