QUAD CITIES -- The Quad Cities Convention & Visitors Bureau (QCCVB) announced today the launch of a new, interactive technology that tourists can use to find points of interest, festivals and events, as well as where to stay, eat, and shop. All with the tap of a finger!
Nine Tourist Assistance Portal (TAP) Kiosks are up and running in the Quad Cities. These innovative, user-friendly, and informational touch-screen kiosks give visitors 24/7 access to travel information while visiting the area. The interactive kiosks also include maps, menus, photo galleries and deals for the visitor. Each kiosk provides a virtual tour guide for visitors, and the 42” screens are easy to read and navigate. The kiosks are also an eco-friendly, paperless way to provide Quad Cities’ visitors and residents with easy access to the many things to see and do in the region.
The 42” kiosks are installed at nine locations across the Quad Cities. The locations were chosen based on traffic volume and are hosted by:
RiverCenter, Davenport, Iowa (north side between Adler Theatre and main entrance);
Isle Casino Hotel, Bettendorf, Iowa (north tower lobby);
Iowa 80 Truck Stop, Walcott, Iowa (gift shop) ;
Quality Inn Hotel, Eldridge, Iowa (lobby);
LeClaire Information Center, LeClaire, Iowa;
iWireless Center, Moline, Illinois (lobby);
Rock Island Holiday Inn & Conference Center & Bennigan’s Breezeway, Rock Island, Illinois (hallway between hotel and restaurant);
Jumer’s Casino & Hotel, Rock Island, Illinois (main lobby);
Quad City International Airport, Moline, Illinois (baggage claim).
All TAP Kiosk locations will be listed on the QCCVB’s website www.visitquadcities.com.
“We are pleased to partner with the QCCVB as a host site for the inaugural TAP Kiosk program. These interactive kiosks serve as an accessible means of connecting visitors to and residents of our community to the unique experiences the Quad Cities area has to offer. We are happy to have such an innovative resource dedicated to tourism housed in our facility,” said Rick Palmer, Executive Director, RiverCenter/Adler Theatre.
In addition to the nine kiosks, two portable desktop TAP Kiosks are being used by the QCCVB at special events, meetings/conventions, and sports tournaments. The portable kiosks provide the same information as their larger counterparts, and made their first debut at the recent ISC Men’s Fastpitch World Tournament at Green Valley Sports Complex in Moline, Ill. According to the QCCVB, players and fans were interacting with the technology throughout the tournament and loved the ease of access and navigation.
New Visitor Technology
The kiosks are the technology of BlueFocus Media, LLC, which is headquartered in Savannah, Georgia. BlueFocus started out with a network of digital information signage and grew and evolved the company into what is now their TAP technology.
“Kiosks and their app-based technology are the balance to our physical visitor center locations here in the Quad Cities,” said Margo McInnis, Vice-President of Visitor Services at QCCVB. “As time, people, and technology change, so must our ability to reach our visitors and residents. This project is almost two years in the making. I couldn’t be more pleased with BlueFocus Media and our QCCVB Partners who have embraced the project by hosting a kiosk at their location. In fact, we had just installed a kiosk at one of the locations when a group of people immediately started using it to find a restaurant for dinner. That’s instant return-on-investment!”
The new kiosks are not just fun and informational, they also provide valuable tracking and marketing reports specific to each kiosk location. Through this reporting, the QCCVB can discover how many and how often people accessed the TAP Kiosk during any given time frame. This type of information helps the QCCVB identify usage and if the current kiosk location is meeting expectations. If it is not meeting expectations, it can be moved to a higher traffic area.
Visitor Technology Funding
Funding for the TAP Kiosks came from a portion of the sale of the Mississippi Valley Welcome Center (MVWC) that was located in LeClaire, Iowa. When the announcement to close the MVWC was made in June 2011, the QCCVB promised the Quad Cities that new methods and new locations would be used to deliver visitor services.
“Scott County and the Cities of Davenport and Bettendorf recognized the value of using the proceeds from the sale of the Mississippi Valley Welcome Center to further invest in tourism marketing for the Quad Cities,” said Timothy Huey, Director of Scott County Planning & Development. “The QCCVB Board and staff spent considerable time researching various ways to deliver visitor information to residents and visitors about events, services and businesses in the Quad Cities. It was concluded that the kiosks were a good approach to deliver that information, and we welcomed the new technology. The information available through these kiosks is continually updated by the QCCVB. Tourism brings a huge economic impact to the Quad Cities. This was a way we could reinvest in the efforts of the QCCVB and provide even greater opportunities to sell our tourism product and our businesses to people visiting our area and also our residents.”
“We thank the cities of Davenport and Bettendorf, Iowa and Scott County for supporting this major project with our vision in balancing technological and physical visitor information services, and fulfilling our promise of finding new ways to deliver visitor services,” said Joe Taylor, President/CEO, QCCVB. “The new kiosks managed by the QCCVB, and funded by its partners have made good on the promise to provide up-to-date information to the most exciting destination in the Midwest, and to improve benefits to those visiting our community and to our the QCCVB Partners who serve our guests.”
New Mobile Visitor Center
The QCCVB is also taking visitor information to the streets with a “Quad Cities Mobile Visitor Center”. The vehicle has been purchased and will be wrapped in colorful, branded advertising so it is easily identifiable. The vehicle will be used at festivals, special events, tournaments, and meetings/conventions to provide on-site visitor information. Everything from the Quad Cities Visitors Guide and local attraction brochures, to maps and other promotional materials will be available from this visitor center on wheels.
About the Quad Cities Convention & Visitors Bureau
The QCCVB is the official tourism destination marketing and management organization for the Quad Cities region. The organization serves the tourism interests of Scott County in Iowa and Rock Island, Mercer, Warren and Henderson Counties in Illinois. The QCCVB increases visitor expenditures and overnight stays through strategic sales, marketing, and services to customers, members and communities. The QCCVB promotes and packages the Quad Cities as a destination to attract and meet the needs of meetings and conventions, group tours, sporting events and competitions, and leisure travelers. Quad Cities travel information, calendar of events, and a 2013 Quad Cities Visitors Guide can be found at www.visitquadcities.com.
Contacts: Margo McInnis – VP Visitor Services, 309-277-0937 ext. 822
Joe Taylor – President/CEO, 309-277-0937 ext. 820