What are Destination Experiences? How to Boost Tourist Engagement and the Local Economy Through Experience Booking Kiosks?

by | Jun 6, 2024 | Destination Marketing

Travelers crave immersive experiences that connect them with the local culture, history, and community. Whether it’s a cooking class in Tuscany, a traditional tea ceremony in Kyoto, or a wildlife safari in Kenya, these experiences transform a trip into a memorable adventure. Events and activities such as festivals, guided tours, adventure sports, and cultural workshops provide depth and meaning to travel. These together make up the destination experience. 

Despite the plethora of events and activities available, visitors often struggle to discover and book these experiences. This gap represents a critical opportunity for innovation and growth. By implementing experience-booking kiosks, destinations and DMO’s can boost visitor engagement and significantly boost the local economy.

The Challenges in Discovering Local Experiences

Despite the growing appetite and need for such experiences, visitors often face challenges in discovering and booking them. Several factors contribute to this difficulty:

  1. Lack of Information: Many local events and experiences are not well-publicized, especially those organized by small businesses or local communities without a robust online presence.
  2. Language Barriers: Non-native speakers may find it challenging to navigate local websites or communicate with vendors.
  3. Complex Booking Processes: Traditional booking methods might be lengthy and cumbersome, involving phone calls, emails, or in-person visits.
  4. Uncertainty and Trust Issues: Visitors may be wary of the quality and authenticity of lesser-known experiences.

Bridging the Gap with Experience-Booking Kiosks

Experience-booking kiosks can address these challenges by providing a user-friendly, centralized platform for discovering and booking local experiences. Strategically placed in high-traffic tourist areas like airports, hotels, and popular attractions, these kiosks can significantly enhance visitor engagement and contribute to the local economy.

Introducing HootBoard Experiences App

Behind the Scenes

Creating the HootBoard Experiences App was a detailed process that began with thorough research and brainstorming. We focused on understanding what visitors need and want, which highlighted the importance of an easy-to-use booking platform. After gathering insights and ideas, we spent over 100 hours developing the app to ensure it meets these needs.

Introducing the HootBoard Experiences App

The HootBoard Experiences App is designed to simplify how visitors find and book local events and activities. This app displays all the relevant events and experiences your destination has to offer, allowing visitors to complete the booking process directly from the HootBoard Powered Kiosk. Here’s what it can do:

  • Easy Booking Process: Visitors can easily browse and book experiences through a user-friendly interface. They can filter options by category, location, duration, and price to find exactly what they’re looking for.
  • Comprehensive Information: The app provides detailed descriptions, schedules, maps, and meeting points for each event or activity, ensuring visitors have all the information they need.
  • Flexible Options and Payment Integration: Visitors can select times, dates, and tickets, see available time slots and prices, and make payments directly through the app.
  • Everything in One Place: All the relevant events and experiences are displayed in one central platform, making it easy for visitors to plan their itinerary.


The experiences app displays all the relevant events and experiences your destination has to offer and allows the visitor to complete the booking process, directly from the HootBoard Powered Kiosk.

The Functionality of Experience-Booking Kiosks

User-Friendly Interface

HootBoard Experiences App kiosk offers a seamless user experience, with intuitive navigation and multilingual support. Tourists can browse through a curated list of experiences categorized by type, location, and date. High-quality images, detailed descriptions, and customer reviews help users make informed decisions.

Real-Time Availability and Booking

One of the primary advantages of the Experiences App Kiosk is the ability to check real-time availability and book instantly. This feature eliminates the uncertainty and hassle associated with traditional booking methods. Integration with local vendors’ systems ensures that the information is always up-to-date. We currently work with Viator and Hornblower, two leading companies in the travel experience industry.

Viator, a TripAdvisor company, offers thousands of tours and activities worldwide, ensuring travelers have access to the best experiences available. Hornblower, known for its exceptional cruises and events, provides unique water-based experiences that are both memorable and enjoyable. By partnering with these trusted vendors, the HootBoard Experiences App guarantees a wide range of high-quality options for visitors to choose from.

Discover more about Viator and Hornblower to see the incredible experiences they offer.

Secure Payment Options

Kiosks provide a secure payment channel, allowing users to pay for their bookings using various methods, including credit/debit cards, mobile wallets, and even cryptocurrencies. This convenience encourages more bookings and reduces the friction associated with payment processes.

Multilingual Support

To cater to the diverse demographic of international tourists, kiosks support multiple languages. This feature breaks down language barriers and ensures that non-native speakers can comfortably navigate and utilize the kiosk.

Benefits for Visitors

Easy Access to Information

Kiosks provide a centralized source of information about local experiences, making it easier for tourists to discover what’s available. Interactive maps, detailed itineraries, and user reviews offer comprehensive insights, helping visitors plan their activities effectively.

Convenience and Flexibility

With kiosks, tourists can book experiences at their convenience, whether it’s upon arrival at the airport, while exploring a city, or from their hotel lobby. The ability to make last-minute bookings caters to spontaneous travelers and those who prefer flexible itineraries.

Economic Impact on Local Communities

Boosting Local Businesses

Experience booking kiosks provide a platform for local businesses to reach a wider audience without the need for extensive marketing efforts. Small vendors, in particular, benefit from increased visibility and the ability to compete with larger operators. This democratization of access ensures a more diverse range of experiences for tourists.

Encouraging Sustainable Tourism

By promoting lesser-known experiences and distributing tourist activity across a destination, kiosks can help alleviate the pressure on popular attractions. This approach encourages sustainable tourism practices, preserving cultural and natural assets while spreading economic benefits more evenly.

Increasing Tourist Spending

When tourists have easy access to a variety of experiences, they are likely to spend more on activities, contributing to the local economy. The convenience of on-the-spot booking reduces the likelihood of missed opportunities and maximizes the economic impact of each visitor.

Creating Employment Opportunities

The increased demand for local experiences generates employment opportunities across various sectors, including hospitality, transportation, and entertainment. Local guides, artisans, performers, and service providers all benefit from the influx of tourists engaged in diverse activities.

Case Studies and Real-World Examples

Japan: Promoting Local Culture

In Japan, experience-booking kiosks have been successfully implemented in various cities to promote cultural experiences. Tourists can book traditional tea ceremonies, calligraphy classes, and kimono rentals through kiosks located in airports and hotels. This initiative has enhanced the visitor experience and supported local artisans and cultural practitioners.

New Zealand: Adventure Tourism

New Zealand, known for its adventure tourism, has integrated experience-booking kiosks to facilitate easy booking of activities such as bungee jumping, skydiving, and glacier tours. These kiosks provide real-time updates on weather conditions and availability, ensuring that tourists have the best possible experience while supporting local adventure sports operators.

Italy: Culinary Experiences

In Italy, kiosks promoting culinary experiences have gained popularity. Tourists can book cooking classes, wine tastings, and food tours directly from kiosks situated in major cities like Rome and Florence. This approach has helped small, family-run businesses reach a global audience and significantly boosted local gastronomy tourism.

There is More

Integration with Mobile Platforms

Expanding the functionality of kiosks to integrate with mobile apps can enhance accessibility and user engagement. Tourists can use their smartphones to browse, book, and manage their experiences, creating a seamless and interconnected system.

AI-Driven Personalization

We are leveraging artificial intelligence to analyze user behavior and preferences to further refine the personalization of recommendations. Predictive analytics can anticipate tourist needs and suggest experiences that align with their interests and travel patterns.

Community Involvement

Engaging local communities can ensure that the offerings are authentic and beneficial to the local economy. 


The HootBoard Experiences App is revolutionizing how travelers discover and book local events and activities. By providing a seamless and user-friendly platform, it enhances visitor engagement and boosts the local economy.

Let’s get the HootBoard Experience App Kiosk to your Destination. Contact us today to learn more!

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