Avoid Tourist Traps with new Tourist Apps: Innovation from EIT Digital to revolutionise travel bookings and sightseeing

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EIT Digital has launched "PasTime", which aims to offer complete and personalised business and cultural tourist packages for travellers. The work will develop a product that uses comprehensive local and user data to provide bespoke packages for city visitors.

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City visitors often struggle to identify local or limited-time tourist offers beyond the classic landmarks or attractions recommended by travel guides.

EIT Digital has launched a new Innovation Activity* which aims to offer complete and personalised business and cultural tourist packages for travellers. Dubbed "PasTime", the work will be run out of EIT Digital's Digital Cities Action Line** and will develop a product that uses comprehensive local and user data to provide bespoke packages for city visitors.

PasTime will be designed to stand out in the market thanks to strong data on specific tourist offers in pre-defined locations. It will combine multiple information sources from the Internet and from tourist organisations, allowing it to offer more detail on more destinations, highlights, events or festivities than other travel guides. The information in PasTime's database will be updated every night, so customers will always be offered the latest content in digital format filtered by their interests.

Pascal Bourcier, Innovation Activity Lead, Amadeus said: "City visitors often struggle to identify local or limited-time tourist offers beyond the classic landmarks or attractions recommended by travel guides. There's a real paucity of personalised planning tools that effectively combine all those offerings while considering time and budget constraints. In addition, classic tourist packages have so far offered little or no flexibility and are generally not adapted for short stays."

"To overcome these obstacles, PasTime will offer a set of technologies to bundle business and cultural tourist offerings into attractive packages that correspond to user needs based on a strong understanding of user interests and purchasing behaviours."

Central to the concept is understanding which destination users choose and why, as well as what they do within a city. To enable this understanding PasTime will draw on gigantic "data lakes" resulting from millions of traveller transactions. It will look to social breadcrumbs -traces that users leave everywhere on Social Media - as well as semantic mobility traces - large amounts of data provided by apps and company websites on what customers do, where they go and when.

PasTime will initially be trialled at three European locations with high tourist impact: Cote d'Azur (France), the Canary Islands (Spain) and Amsterdam (Netherlands).

In each of these locations, a champion partner - a leading EIT Digital partner company involved in the Innovation Activity - will liaise with local stakeholders and public authorities to secure privileged access to data sources related to local tourist and cultural offerings. Work has already started on collating data covering the entire French Riviera territory, from Monaco to Toulon, while a similar knowledge base for the Canary Islands and Amsterdam will be developed in the coming months.

PasTime's target customer base will include city stakeholders like city marketing, travel and tourism-related companies and large-scale event organisers, alongside providers and developers of data management solutions and applications for cities or events.

Pascal Bourcier continued: "Our aim is to revolutionise how people select and purchase local tourist offers. We expect this concept will have a direct tremendous impact on local and hyper-local tourist services, boosting event reservations and activities - which are often under-booked - thanks to better visibility and smart combinations with other offerings."

Background:

The PasTime concept builds on mature semantic technologies that encode meanings separately from data and content files, and separately from application code. This enables machines as well as people to easily manage the information and to create comprehensive knowledge bases.

PasTime will also incorporate Big Data: large volume, significant heterogeneity and real-time velocity for data feeds such as public transport for booking and ticketing.

The partners involved in this Innovation Activity are: Technische Universiteit Delft, EURECOM, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Amadeus, Innovalor, ISMB and Data-Moove. Amadeus will coordinate the activity, develop new methods to match tourist packages with user profiles tapping into their giant data lake of user purchase behaviours and lead the B2B commerciali sation. Data-Moove will be a business champion, leading the B2C commercialisation efforts and developing a dedicated mobile application for distributing the tourist packages directly to the travellers in the French Cote d'Azur. Localidata (UPM subgrantee) will be a business champion selling knowledge-based technologies for integrating heterogeneous data feeds and leading the test deployment in the Canary Islands.

  • Our Innovation Activities deliver new products or services, create startups and spinoffs to commercialise outputs from projects and encourage the transfer of technologies for market entry.

** EIT Digital seeks to generate significant innovations from top European research. As such, we focus our investments on a limited number of innovation areas known as Innovation Action Lines, that we have selected with respect to their European relevance and leadership potential. Each Innovation Action Line comprises a portfolio of activities including:

  • open innovation activities carried out by the EIT Digital Partners, and
  • fast-growing technology startups that are ready to scale commercially.

About EIT Digital

EIT Digital is a leading European open innovation organisation. Our mission is to foster digital technology innovation and entrepreneurial talent for economic growth and quality of life in Europe. We bring together entrepreneurs from a partnership of over 130 top European corporations, SMEs, start-ups, universities and research institutes.

EIT Digital invests in strategic areas to accelerate the market uptake of research-based digital technologies and to bring entrepreneurial talent and leadership to Europe. Our innovation and education activities are organised in and around our co-location centres, where students, researchers, engineers, business developers and entrepreneurs come together to drive the digitalisation of society.

EIT Digital is a Knowledge and Innovation Community of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT). Since 2010, EIT Digital has consistently mobilised talent, ideas, technologies, investments and business across Europe and beyond to stimulate disruptive digital innovation. EIT Digital headquarters are in Brussels with co-location centres in Berlin, Budapest, Eindhoven, Helsinki, London, Madrid, Paris, Stockholm, Trento and a hub in Silicon Valley.

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Edna Ayme
@EIT_Digital
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