Mobile games liven up Baltic museum tours

The Baltic Museums project designed a multi-lingual tour guide app that visitors to the South Baltic region can access on their smartphones. The guides include information and educational content about the sites and games that allow tourists to collect badges or points when they visit places like museums.

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Szczecin, Poland ©Creative Commons Szczecin, Poland ©Creative Commons

" The project team sets up multilingual tours to be run on the visitors’ own devices that they bring to attractions. The project uses game elements to make the visitors’ experience more involved, and extend the single visit into long-term relationships. "

Jakub Swacha BalticMuseums: LOVE IT! project co-ordinator

IT experts were invited to special programming events named “Baltathons” – from the combination of the words Baltic and hackathon. Three of these were hosted in Poland, Lithuania and Sweden at the tourist attractions. The ideas generated during these events were incorporated into the apps.

The eGuides are being turned into working prototypes. The launch of the first version of these eGuide tours is planned for mid-2019. During a meeting in Sweden, the partner museums developed a handbook on how to apply the eGuides at other exhibitions.

Gaming enthusiasts add creative input

One idea they came up with was to award points to visitors who go to certain sites, including the less popular ones, to increase tourist numbers. People can keep the app on their phone for months and even years, encouraging them to visit all the exhibitions and to return to museums they have already visited.
The nine project partners want to increase visitor numbers in times of bad weather and during the low season, to help overcome language barriers and to improve tourist experiences in the high season when there are crowds. The ultimate goal is to turn coastal attractions in the area, such as museums and science centres into sustainable tourist attractions.

Sharing knowledge

The tourist attractions involved were surveyed to find out what their gaming requirements would be. The results were collated and put into the cloud, where they can be easily accessed by other tourist attractions. The project partners can access this system to add further elements, such as game design and psychology to the eGuide tours.

The project aims to share knowledge on the digital strategies used, the insights gained working with digital experts and video storytelling. Digital experts in a museum environment have been invited to share their insights during online sessions, which are recorded. All the information is made available online for use by other tourist destinations.

The project is developing a marketing strategy in 2019 to make the eGuides more recognisable. The project hopes that other attractions will make use of the tools and findings. This is to foster a sustainable cross-border network of tourist attractions and destinations which can continuously exchange IT-enabled services and digital strategies.

Total investment and EU funding

Total investment for the project “BalticMuseums: LOVEIT!” is EUR 148 437 500, with the EU’s European Regional Development Fund contributing EUR 123 767 375 through the “South Baltic” Programme for the 2014-2020 programming period.

Draft date

27/02/2019