BOSTON, April 17, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- As Hawaii tourism spending reached an all-time high in the month of December, Oahu attractions have enjoyed a major uptick in the number of visitors taking advantage of the plentiful excursions and adventures the beautiful island has to offer. But even while actual visits to the island overall were up by just under three percent, some attractions have seen traffic jump by more than 50 percent thanks to an innovative multi-attraction travel pass program by Smart Destinations.
The only programmable multi-attraction travel pass system in the world, Smart Destinations passes allow tourists to experience the best their destination has to offer while saving money by bundling admission to multiple sites on a single pass at a significant savings over the regular cost of admission. The passes are available in two options: the all-inclusive Go City Card gives visitors access to any participating venue of their choice over a specific time period, or the build-your-own Go Select Pass that lets travelers choose only the attractions they want to see.
The passes are not only a great time- and money-saving deal for tourists, but they're also proving to be an exceptional value for attractions as well, providing a unique supplement to traditional marketing efforts that attracts both new and returning visitors with zero up-front costs.
Pre-Arrival Planning Boosts Visits at Kualoa Ranch
When the Kualoa Ranch launched its spectacular Half-day Sunset Experience, complete with a Polynesian feast, entertainment and exclusive visits to Hollywood blockbuster movie sites, Smart Destinations pass holders accounted for more than half of all participants and the service continues to provide a steady stream of visitors into Ranch's Secret Island Beach.
"Smart Destinations has definitely helped to increase our numbers across the board and we have a large number of visitors who do one tour and then come back for another during the same visit," said Kualoa Ranch's Valerie King. "They're quite happy with the value, and we've had some employees purchase the cards too, when they have guests or visitors coming in."
King says one of the things Kualoa likes most about the Smart Destinations program is the fact that guests buy the passes before they depart from home, giving them an opportunity to discover Kualoa and the many other best-kept secrets of Oahu in advance and better plan their visit. Plus, it allows Kualoa to target this specific pre-arrival audience without any impact on its regular post-arrival business.
Simple Technology Platform Makes it Easy for Polynesian Cultural Center
Like Kualoa Ranch, the Polynesian Cultural Center has also seen increased visitor counts since it began participating in the Smart Destinations program. PCC Director of Westbound sales Francis HoChing says Smart Destinations provides the venue with a very economical way of marketing to a value-oriented demographic at a much higher return on investment compared to traditional marketing techniques like search-engine marketing and direct paid advertising.
"We often find that a lot of visitors are interested in PCC, but they either run out of time or money to include us in their visit," he said. "Smart Destinations is a great way to get visitors to commit to a visit before they even arrive in Hawaii. It's a really great value for the customer, and the Smart Destination's technology platform is extremely easy to work with and integrates very well into our on-site ticketing system."
For attractions, the Smart Destinations patented programmable ticketing system includes all of the hardware and software required to both accept the Go City Cards and Go Select Passes, as well as sell the passes to visitors when they arrive. To redeem Smart Destinations passes for entry, guests simply present the Go City Card or the Go Select QR code on paper or their mobile device at the gate, and ticketing/admissions personnel quickly scan the card or pass using the Smart Destinations scanner. The Smart Destinations ticketing database is updated in real-time, and transactions are validated at the point of entry to protect against fraud, creating an automated payment loop that doesn't require attractions to collect vouchers or submit invoices.
"In addition to providing a good value for visitors, Smart Destinations has been a very valuable, proactive business partner," said the PCC's HoChing. "The support on the technology side has been exceptional and their attractions advisory board panel gives us an opportunity to provide feedback and share ideas on how we can work together to improve our product and the visitors' experience."
Innovative, Economical Marketing Tool for Makani Catamaran
Now in its seventh year of partnership with Smart Destinations, the Makani Catamaran Sail excursion has been one of the most popular attractions on the Go Oahu card. Owner James Campbell says his business has seen phenomenal results from the program with sustained growth every year. In the first year after Campbell launched his sleek catamaran, Smart Destinations accounted for just $20,000 in revenue. But the following year, revenue from Smart Destinations travelers jumped nearly 83 percent to $115,000.
"It was just incredible, and even through the worst part of the global recession, our numbers from Smart Destinations continued to go up," Campbell said. "In fact, we're up another 12 percent for 2011 with Smart Destinations driving nearly 20 percent of our gross revenue every year."
Campbell says Makani Catamaran's success with Smart Destinations is based on three key factors. First, travelers are always looking for a great deal and the discounted admission appeals to their sense of value, especially for families. The program includes a spectacular guidebook for every Go Oahu customer that highlights the best each attraction has to offer and allows them to plan ahead. Finally, it offers attractions a much faster return on investment thanks to national exposure with a captive audience in the highly fragmented consumer travel market—something that might otherwise take years to penetrate. Perhaps even better, Campbell says Smart Destinations generates a great number of full-fare return visitors, many of whom enjoy a Smart Destinations-discounted morning sail and come back for a full-price sunset sail.
In addition to easy integration with existing point of sale and ticketing systems, Campbell says the Smart Destinations technology platform provides exceptional web-based reporting and visitor tracking capabilities, available from anywhere at any time to see visitor stats, revenue generated and more. For Campbell, this means he can keep up with what's going on with his Oahu Catamaran business, even while working from his home in Saint Paul, Minnesota.
For more information about becoming a tourism attraction partner in current Smart Destinations cities, please visit www.Smartdestinations.com/Solutions.
About Smart Destinations
Smart Destinations provides the only multi-attraction passes that maximize the fun, savings and convenience of sightseeing with flexible purchase options for every type of traveler. Available online and at walk-up retail outlets, Smart Destinations passes, including Go City Cards, Go Explorer and Go Select, provide admission to more than 400 attractions across nine North American destinations, including New York, Orlando, San Diego, Chicago and Boston. All passes come with valuable extras, including the ability to skip the line at select attractions and comprehensive city guides that offer insider tips and bonus discounts on shopping and dining. Smart Destinations passes leverage the company's patented technology and the industry's largest network of attraction partners to save consumers up to 55% compared to purchasing individual tickets. The company is headquartered in Boston, MA. For more information, visit www.smartdestinations.com.
SOURCE Smart Destinations