Description of Innovation

The object of the project is the creation of smart, interactive applications for the promotion of thematic tourism, in the Historic Center of Patras. The actions concern two pillars: a) the promotion of tourism and culture and b) the strengthening of local businesses and products. The project includes the following two main platforms: -Web promotion platform of Patras as a tourist destination and visitor interaction-Web loyalty and reward platform. The access of the web platforms is achieved through the address https://explore.patras.gr/ while at the same time an application was developed for mobile devices (Android, IOS), which will interact with the platforms in order to offer their services to the users. Additional content was produced as part of the project, including photos, promotional videos, 360 ° downloads, descriptive texts, membership card models, and QR code markup models for points of interest. The points of interest refer to 44 points divided into categories of thematic tourism (archaeological sites, points of architectural interest, churches, culture - open spaces). A sign using QR code technology has been placed near each point of interest, according to the example in Figure 2.

To facilitate navigation through mobile devices, the installation in central parts of Patras, WiFi hotspots outside (City Hall, Palace of Speech and Art, Old Municipal Hospital, Marina Patras) was implemented.

Reasons for Innovation

The main reason for the development of innovation is the improvement of the existing process of providing services related to thematic tourism in the historic center of the city of Patras with new tools and techniques that adapt to technological developments as they have been adopted by citizens / visitors / tourists and respond to current needs of users.

Objectives of Innovation

The aim of the innovation is to increase the traffic for the thematic tourism in the city center and to strengthen the local economy, through the direct interaction of the offered intelligent service with the users, which contributes to the improvement of the transaction organization, the time, the access and user satisfaction, the promotion of tourism and culture and the strengthening of local businesses and products.

Innovation results

Since the launch of the applications in July 2021, more than 1,140 unique users have visited the platforms, and the total number of visits is over 2,600.

Design stage

The project was designed and executed by the Planning and Studies Department of the Planning, Organization and Informatic Directorate. The specifications used were cloud technology, the Patras Web promotion platform as a tourist destination and visitor interaction, as well as the Loyalty and Rewards Web platform. At this stage, an open tender was held in terms of technical evaluation, and a contractor for a private IT company was commissioned to develop the Web platforms. The electronic platforms were launched in July 2021.

Experimental Implementation stage

From July to September 2021 the operation of the platforms is in an experimental stage. Also, at this stage, the competent employees of the institution are trained on the management of the application.

Implementation stage Innovation is implemented through the interaction of users with smart, interactive applications for the promotion of thematic tourism, in the Historic Center of Patras.

Collaborations

During the design phase, a private IT company was commissioned to design the Web platforms.

Financing and costs

Funding body of this contract is the Special Business Management Service of the Region of Western Greece in the framework of the Strategic Plan for Sustainable Urban Development of the Municipality of Patras, which has been included in the Regional Operational Program "Western Greece 2014 - 2020". This contract is funded by the European Union (European Regional Development Fund) and Public Investment Program Credits. Innovation management requires 2 employees for 8 hours on a weekly basis.

Challenges and solutions during design, testing and implementation

No problems have been encountered during the implementation of the innovation.

Assessment - description of the necessary conditions for the success and sustainability of innovation

A necessary condition for the success and sustainability of innovation is the continuous monitoring of the functionality of smart applications and the analysis of the data collected to draw conclusions and the targeted adaptability of decisions.

Experiences, thoughts, findings

The adoption of technology by citizens and the adaptability of public administration to the daily needs that emerge are a strong basis for development and communication at all levels of the urban fabric.

Agency: Patras Municipality

Level of government: Local

Policy Area: Culture, Tourism

Year: 2021

Type of innovation: Design and delivery of services, management of infrastructure and financial resources, Citizen participation, communication and behavior

Innovation Stage: Implementation

Beneficiaries: General population, Businesses

Number of beneficiaries: 500.000 per yer

Sources of funding: Regional Operational Program «Western Greece 2014 - 2020

URL: https://explore.patras.gr/

 

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