Formed in Wellington, New Zealand in November 2009, Beek is the culmination of 5 years industry experience from the founder Ben Knill, aligned with a large need in the market that Rebecca Nelson has long been aware of during her 7 years in the tourism and conference industry and enabled via a unique and powerful user experience designed by Dieter Fourie, who has been a digital designer for over 10 years.
In the short time we have been going we have moved very quickly, building a product that is working to promote operators in local destinations and having real success in helping visitors choose to come to destinations and helping operators leverage each other and their destination to increase bookings and visits.
Our CEO was a finalist for young tourism entrepreneur of the year in the 2010 New Zealand tourism industry awards.
What we do.
Our goal is to connect traveler and tourism operator needs. Many businesses that survive off the tourism industry are experiencing poor performance and thus advertise deals in an effort to attract customers, but often cannot bring in the numbers they need. Travelers on the other had are dismissing cost as a primary concern, focusing on experience and value instead. If businesses change tactics to highlight the value and experience only they can provide, they can attract the patrons they need.
We hope to connect tourism operators and travelers through the Beek interactive tourist guide, a web application that allows users to explore the interior of a business and through collaborative marketing also explore the region to benefit the business community as a whole. Tourism operators purchase a custom guide, they pay a one-time fee for the set up cost per scene in the guide as well as a hosting fee to the company that needs to be renewed yearly. Beek is placed on the company’s website and can also be embedded on many other tourism and travel websites.
Beek is also social media compliant, enabling users to share it on facebook and twitter while future version will allow them to use the guide as a social media platform, sharing opinions and photos of their time at the operator featured on a guide. We are also developing a global network of photographers to take the panoramic shots that are the foundations of the guide.
How we do it.
Beek is an online interactive tourist guide that takes a collaborative marketing approach. While primarily placed on a tourism operator’s own website, it can also be placed on social media sites and such tourism aggregators like Expedia and Tripadvisor. It’s objective is to provide a realistic experience as possible to travelers to encourage them to make a booking or reservation at a tourism operator.
The foundation of the guide is high quality panoramic photographs, which are then embellished with layers of sound such as a narration by the owner describing the business, music, or the sound of visitors’ chatting. Photographs provide close-ups of select objects, and fly-ups provide information about a location ranging from history to menus. Users can move between a business’s rooms at their own pace, explore the features of the operator and gain a feel for the experience it offers, and then virtually leave to explore the other attractions in the community be it the café down the street, the local park, or a near by museum.
These other locations are selected by the home businesses, allowing for one tourism operator to send traffic to another also on the Beek guide. This collaborate marketing approach highlights the value of the entire trip to the region and increases the likelihood of a traveler coming for holiday. Future versions, where the guide serves as a social media forum, will further attract travelers by allowing pervious visitors to share their experience directly in the guide.