QR Codes in Travel
On a recent trip to Miami’s South Beach, I noticed QR codes marketing almost everywhere I went. Remember, this is one of the top tourist destinations in the U.S. for Spring Break and summer vacation: the businesses here have a lot to gain by making information available fast through Quick Response Codes. Here are just a few examples of QR codes I saw while I was walking around for a day or two.
QR Codes in Billboards: There are Quick Response Codes popping up in billboards all over the strip. A lot of these codes led to special offers on the company website that are only accessible to QR code scanners. This could grow into a strong brand engagement strategy as more people learn about QR codes. Most of these were for local services and hotels that have a lot of competition in a small area.
QR Codes on Disposable Products: QR Codes are replacing bar codes, not just in items you buy and keep (like books) but also on disposable items like non-refillable drink cups. Anything a customer can handle in their hands or get close to can have a QR code, so it’s no surprise they’re starting to be used for coupons that guide immediate buying decisions. They can even show you to reviews of the restaurant as you’re deciding what to eat.
QR Codes at Hotels: Some of the major appliances in my room and around the building already had QR codes applied. Scanning these led to the hotel’s web-based maintenance portal, so I couldn’t get in. I’m guessing that employees are able to get news and leave updates about the room without going through a complicated, situation-dependent login process. Each item would be tagged with relevant information, making repair easier.
QR Codes for Customer Interaction: With an online QR code generator, it’s easy to create QR codes that pertain to each room, each table at a restaurant, or practically any other division that makes sense. Since you can use QR Codes to access resources that are tied to a physical object, and might not be available other ways, QR Codes may someday serve as a way for guests or travelers to meet in a geography-dependent social network. Even customers will soon know how to generate a QR code quickly, so there’s extra incentive for businesses to provide excellent service!
Advantage Travel Centres, a major travel agency group in the UK, has introduced QR codes to its storefront displays so travelers can access holiday deals, part of its major 2012 campaign. Likewise, marketing firm OnQ Marketing, based in Australia, is recommending its clients use QR codes to beef up travel brochures with testimonials, videos, and other content that can be hard to convey in print. It seems we’ll be seeing a lot more of QR codes at major travel destinations and throughout the industry, especially as tour operators work to extend their clients’ comfort zones through QR-based assistance. Right now, though, the trendiest locales are already on board.