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There’s no denying that QR codes have become a common sight in the travel industry. As a traveler, you’ve likely noticed just how often they are popping up these days, from airline boarding passes and hotel contactless check-in, to public transport ticketing and ordering/paying for restaurants meals.

Many types of travel-related businesses are using QR codes to capture the attention of tourists as it is proven to be an effective marketing strategy. The key to successfully capturing the attention of tourists with QR codes is to provide value, engagement, and convenience.

Learn how you as a business can create and utilize QR codes to increase your brand awareness and provide convenience to tourists.  It starts with gaining an understanding of how QR codes work, knowing the process of creating one, and making sure the content linked to the QR codes is well-designed, informative, and user-friendly for tourists.

How Travel Companies are Using QR Codes to Get the Attention of Tourists

What is a QR Code?

QR codes, short for Quick Response codes, are two-dimensional barcodes that store information in a scannable format that people can easily capture with their smartphones. They work by encoding data into a grid of black squares on a white background. QR codes can store various types of information, including text, URLs, contact information, and more. Think of QR codes as the newer and more improved generation of the older barcode which stored less data in a linear, one-dimensional manner.

QR codes are created using QR code generators or software. When you input the data you want to store, such as a URL, text, or contact information, the software generates a unique QR code pattern based on that data.

To read a QR code, you need a QR code scanner, which is often a feature in smartphones and tablets. When you point your device’s camera at a QR code, the scanner app decodes the pattern, recognizes the finder patterns, and starts extracting the encoded data.

Once the data is extracted, the QR code scanner app performs the appropriate action. This may involve opening a URL in a web browser, displaying text, adding a contact to your phone’s address book, or executing another predefined action based on the encoded data.

Types of QR Codes

There are several types and formats of QR codes designed for various purposes, and the choice of QR code type depends on the specific application and the information you want to convey to users.

Static QR Codes are basic QR codes that contain fixed, unchangeable data. They are commonly used for straightforward applications like website URLs, contact information, or simple text.

Dynamic QR Codes on the other hand can store dynamic or editable data. The encoded information can be updated or changed after the QR code is generated. They are often used for marketing campaigns, ticketing, and applications where the content needs to change over time.

You can easily create both static and dynamic QR codes with a QR code generator like the one offered by QRFY. Create custom QR codes with your logo, color or use the predefined templates. QR codes will allow you easily to share photos, videos, PDFs, coupon codes, business information, menus, apps you wish tourists to download, MP3 podcasts or music, and more.

Forget about using old-school business cards as QR codes can generate  a static vCard QR where tourists can quickly and easily save your business contact information on their smartphones with a single scan.

Static vs. Dynamic QR Codes

The choice between static and dynamic QR codes for your business depends on your specific needs, goals, and the type of information or functionality you want to provide to your customers.  Businesses tend to use static QR codes when the information they want to share with customers will remain constant and doesn’t require frequent updates such as website URLs, contact details, or straightforward instructions that aren’t likely to change.

The advantages of a static QR code are that they are easy to generate and require no ongoing maintenance, with the information being fixed so as to ensure consistency for users.

You may wish to choose dynamic QR codes when you need flexibility to update the information linked by the QR code, whether it’s for marketing campaigns, event promotions, or real-time updates. One of the biggest advantage of dynamic QR codes is that you can modify the content or destination of a dynamic QR code without changing the physical code, which can be beneficial for time-sensitive or evolving information, restaurant digital menus that can be updated with daily specials or pricing changes, and for tracking inventory or providing dynamic information when placed on packaging.

Static QR codes typically do not offer detailed tracking or analytics capabilities. Therefore, you may not have insights into how often the code is scanned or when it was last scanned. Dynamic QR codes on the other hand often come with tracking and analytics features. You can monitor the number of scans, the location of scans, and other data, which can be valuable for marketing campaigns and performance analysis.

In many cases, travel businesses commonly use both static and dynamic QR codes based on their specific use cases. Regardless of whether you choose static or dynamic QR codes, make sure the content is well-designed, user-friendly, and provides a positive experience for your customers.

Why Travel Businesses Should be Creating and Making Use of QR Codes

QR codes offer a versatile and effective way to capture the attention of tourists by providing engaging and convenient access to information, services, and experiences. When used strategically and creatively, QR codes can enhance the overall experience of travelers and help your business stand out in what has become a very competitive tourism industry.

QR codes offer an interactive and engaging way to provide tourists with information and experiences. Scanning a QR code can lead to rich multimedia content, such as videos, virtual tours, and historical information that you just can’t get with brochures, business cards, or those rack cards which are often a common site at tourist information centers.

QR codes provide a convenient way for tourists to access information on their smartphones. Tourists can quickly scan a code to learn more about a location, an attraction, or a product, without the need to type in lengthy URLs or search for information manually. They are also a very cost-effective marketing tool since they are relatively inexpensive compared to other forms of advertising whether it be via magazines, radio, or TV.

QR codes can also make information more accessible to tourists who may not speak the local language. You can provide translations, maps, and other resources that enhance the experience for international travelers. This source of advertising is also welcomed by eco-travelers as it reduces the need for printed materials, such as brochures and pamphlets.

Your customers can use QR codes to deliver personalized experiences. For instance, by scanning a QR code at a hotel or restaurant, tourists may receive recommendations or discounts tailored to their preferences. QR codes can be incorporated into your marketing campaigns, both online and offline. For example, you can promote QR codes on your website, social media, or printed materials to drive engagement.

QR codes can lead tourists to special offers, discounts, and loyalty programs, encouraging them to spend more at your business. They can also be used in navigation systems to help tourists find their way around a location or attraction more easily.

And lastly, QR codes offer contactless access to menus, information, and services, reducing physical contact with printed materials which can reduce the spread of viruses among travelers. Healthy travelers generally are of course more likely to spend more money on things like tours, meals, and attractions.

As you can now see, QR codes are a great for increasing brand awareness, delivering business information strait to the palms of travelers, and encouraging travelers to make purchases and bookings. QR codes are widely used in the travel industry and their versatility and convenience make them a valuable tool for both businesses and travelers.

Megan is an Australian Journalist and award-winning travel writer who has been blogging since 2007. Her husband Mike is the American naturalist and wildlife photographer behind Waking Up Wild; an online magazine dedicated to opening your eyes to the wonders of the wild & natural world.

Having visited 50+ countries across all seven continents, Megan’s travels focus on cultural immersion, authentic discovery and incredible journeys. She has a strong passion for ecotourism, and aims to promote responsible travel experiences.


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