The digital transformation of tourism is no longer a trend, but an imperative. Those who understand this grow and develop, while others stagnate. In Croatia, we can boast of excellent companies that offer a variety of innovative digital and technological solutions that are globally competitive, and we can rightly be a leader in digital transformation in tourism.
One of the leaders in the digital transformation in tourism in Croatia is certainly the company pointers from Osijek, whose project has already been recognized by the World Tourism Organization and well-known destinations around the world, and recently the EU-Startups portal included them in the list of ten Croatian startups to pay attention to in 2019.
It is a tourism project aimed at creating a personalized digital application, which is a kind of guide and brings information about beaches, events, gastronomic offer, entertainment, nightlife, cycling routes, free WiFi hotspots, information for boaters, cultural and natural heritage and dr. The application is also enriched with photos, videos, recordings of VR360 and offers all relevant information and events in one place. Or simply, the whole tourist offer in the palm of one hand.
But the news of the day is that from Pointers they are raising the concept of digital transformation to a much higher level. Namely, Pointers recently signed a Partnership Agreement with the company Gauss Development, which deals with custom software and web digital solutions. That this is a more than relevant new partner is shown by the fact that Gauss Development is ranked on the Deloitte list of the 50 fastest growing technology companies in Central Europe, for 2016, and as the first in Croatia and 19th in Europe.
What the partnership brings to Pointers, reveals Krunoslav Weinpert, founder and owner of Pointers, who points out that after four years of work, it was decided that Pointers needs stronger IT support at a much higher level. “Negotiations on cooperation lasted several months, and in the end of the process we got to know each other very well and actually realized that the best solution is to start together as partners. What I can immediately confirm as a result of our partnership is how Pointers will now offer augmented reality to its current and future partnersWeinpert points out.
This means that tourists will be able to experience destinations in a totally new and different way using Pointers. In particular, the beaches on our coast and all other facilities will be displayed to tourists on mobile phones using augmented reality functionality. Through a plastic example, it should look like this. You are in a destination, you turn on the camera function and through it you are shown in real time and space the marks of various points, which are personalized according to your interests. From the direction of movement towards a museum or beach, to all other tourist facilities.
Functionality that only the imagination is the limit, and with which our entire coast will experience a new way of presentation that no other tourist destination in the world currently has.
"The focus is on Smart tourism solutions, which is not possible without a digitized destination, which they have been persistently building all these years. Now, based on this rich digital database of 15.000 locations along the Adriatic coast, we want to raise digitalization to a much higher level and show what can be done. We want to show in which direction the digitalization of tourism is going. Our goal is Smart solution Croatia, which means that digitized destinations will begin to be offered through AI (artificial intelligence), AR (augmented reality) and VR (virtual reality), which will offer the end user a package package of destinations connecting everything that is digitized, ie. give him an answer to his wishes and requests, in the form of ready-made personalized arrangementsSays Weinpert.
The most difficult part and as the first basis of digitization is to collect all digital databases and data, which Pointers have been quietly and diligently collecting for years. However, connecting all this and taking a step forward is extremely demanding, but Pointers has no doubts about success, and it is the partnership with Gauss Development and their experience and knowledge in it that will make it possible. That is why the decision to partner with Gauss Development is an important step forward, because it is a company that is the best in the global market competition in creating complex and unique software solutions.
"We also want to take a path that offers the digitalization of the economic sector, where the focus is on small producers around the tourist destination and throughout Croatia. This is the ultimate goal of creating long-term sustainable destinations. The goal is not to create tourism that sells only the sun and the sea, the goal is for this growth to drive the growth of small producers of products and services, which are an integral part of tourist demand.”Emphasizes Weinpert.
The big news is the entry of Pointers into the USA market
Last year, Krunoslav Weinpert visited America to get personally acquainted with the entire market. He participated in all Sell workshops of the CNTB and spent the whole year rolling the dice as he learns in this large and demanding market. It was this month that this chapter in the life cycle of Pointers started, all with a clear goal and vision.
"Students of one faculty from America worked on Pointers' entry into the American market, and a very high-quality business plan was made. I think we can take part of the big American market, especially through the functionalities we will offer, and we will be the leader in that segment. The trend and focus is on individual customized travel, and today’s concept of travel agencies will hardly be able to meet the demands of global markets in the future. And this is where we see our niche, on personalized travel, and the first prerequisite for that is precisely the digitization of the tourist destinations we are working on. We can present ourselves in any market, American or Chinese market, precisely because we will be able to respond to the requests of individual touristsWeinpert pointed out.
It will soon announce many other functionalities that they plan to launch, Weinpert points out and concludes that the direction of development of Pointers is to be one of the recognizable global tourism brands.
It’s crazy not to jump into this story. The madness is that our tourism is late again and reacts poorly.
Again, we can be proud of our intelligence and top solutions, which are globally competitors, in fact, can be leaders in their segment. The only question is whether we will embrace them and use them through implementation in our tourism and be leaders in it or whether such companies and individuals will continue to develop their products in markets where they are desirable and sought after goods.
The product created in Slavonia, in Osijek offers a unique concept that combines AI, AR, VR. Again, we have it all, but we talk too much about empty potential stories, and we deal too little with market development and resources. Do we want a longer tourist season or not? If so, global tourism solutions are there, in our backyard.