Tourism contributes a significant £106 billion to the British economy; by 2025, the industry is anticipated to be worth over £257 billion, around 10 per cent of the UK’s Gross Domestic Product. Clearly, it has a huge impact on our country’s economy—in addition to supporting 3.8 million jobs—but it has suffered deeply due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Key additional challenges for the sector include: attracting new and diverse audiences, encouraging the public to spend more and stay at sites for longer. Maintaining and protecting arts and heritage sites is also a major concern.
The industry must find new and innovative ways to engage with audiences—thankfully, 5G is here to initiate that.
5G enables the mass deployment of the Internet of Things. Sensors deployed around galleries, museums and other tourist attractions can deliver insights. These analytics can be used to manage crowds, ensure public safety, and optimise the financial performance of exhibitions.
5G’s high-speed responsiveness and ultra-low lag means it is perfectly suited for live streaming rich content. Developing digital experiences over 5G could improve accessibility to the arts, too—moving it out of galleries and into the home, reaching non-traditional and therefore more diverse audiences.
There are currently 32 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the UK and countless more historical places of interest. Protecting and maintaining these sites, which are often hundreds of years old, is a cultural imperative. The Internet of Things and automated solutions can be deployed over 5G to monitor, analyse and facilitate early identification of problems. Sensors and digital twins equally can be used to test proposed changes in a virtual environment before implementation in a physical space.