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Travel Appetizer: 'Gamifying' Brochures.
Nele Obermuller ~ Exclusive from ITB 2014
Sunday, 23rd March 2014

Exclusive ITB Feature: The success and multitude of travel apps shows that people want to have smart technology with them as they travel, facilitating their business or leisure trips.

These apps assist users, for instance, by keeping track of flight departure times or making lists of what a person has packed.

Just as the way people travel is changing, so too are their preferences on how to consume information about journeys. More and more users opt for tablets rather than desktops when they are at home.

German advertising agency, Mattheis Werbeagentur GmbH, has responded to this shift with its brand ‘Travel Appetizer’, an app created for tablets that gamifies travel brochures.

Gamification – the use of game design elements and game thinking in a non-game context – is one of the “big upcoming trends” in the tourist industry, Mattheis Werbeagentur GmbH CEO Siegbert Mattheis said during his presentation at ITB Berlin 2014.

Seventy percent of organizations looking for innovative approaches will be using gamification by the end of 2014, he predicted, adding that the approach could increase revenue by up to 35% according to market research.

The ad agency launched ‘Travel Appetizer’ three months ago. Already it has completed apps for five customers (including Nîmes in France) and is in the process of creating a further 10. Clients typically provide the content they want included, although ‘Travel Appetizer’ can also create additional material if needed.

The idea behind the product is to present travel destinations such as cities, regions and hotels in a more engaging, educational and fun way using gamification. For instance, in the Nîmes app users can swipe their finger over the Maison Carrée to see how it looked before it was restored.

In other words, the content offered in the app contains as much background information as traditional brochures. But it has been altered according to its target group. Tablet users include families with children, who tend to opt for more interactive presentations of information when available.

'Travel Appetizer’ was nominated for the best exhibition award at the ITB.

This is strictly an exclusive feature, reprints of this article in any shape or form without prior written approval from is not permitted.

Nele Obermuller is an award-winning journalist writing primarily on social affairs and development. Her work has appeared in both English and German press and she works with journalists across the globe as part of the international journalism organization, Associated Reporters Abroad (ARA). Whenever she can, Nele leaves daily routines behind to enjoy the unexpected turns of slow travelling.

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