Sunday, March 7, 2010

more innovative visitor services

Arlington apparently is seeking new ways to attract and serve visitors.  On Feb. 19, the Arlington Visitors Center at 1301 South Joyce Street closed.  The Arlington Fiscal Year 2011 budget, under the Travel and Tourism Promotion Fund Summary, shows $93,040 for "costs associated with touch screen kiosks and the mobile visitor’s center during FY 2009 closeout."  A Feb. 19 Arlington County press release, titled Arlington Updating Visitor Services, indicates that among planned new visitor services are additional outdoor, touch-screen visitor kiosks like the one in Rosslyn. 

Unfortunately, the visitor information kiosk in Rosslyn isn't innovative or particularly useful.  It provides information and directions to Rosslyn-area dining, shopping, attractions (Iwo Jima, etc.), accommodations, services (parking, etc.), and events.  That might be useful, but now many persons can get better information and directions through their smart phones.

Unlike good Internet sites, the Rosslyn visitor information kiosks seems to be infrequently updated.  Under events, the kiosk is currently showing three events:
Rosslyn is a much more happening place than the Rosslyn visitor information kiosks indicates.

An innovative public tourist kiosk would be connected to the web and continually updated with events, business promotions, and entertainment selected through a public, online process.  It would have a public function that individual smart phones could not provide.  Rosslyn should lead the way in implementing an innovative public tourist kiosk.

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