I get this question from worried tour guides, and it makes sense to me. But my answer is always the same. “No, smartphone tourism will help you make money while you sleep.”
Allow me to explain.
Yesterday was Easter. I spent the day making a big meal for my family, stuffing and hiding Easter eggs for my two grandkids, and attending mass. Then I took a short nap. While I was sleeping, my smartphone tours, featuring my content and voice, were hard at work helping tourists who chose to spend their day visiting Washington DC’s monuments or Richmond’s Capitol Square. My apps informed, entertained, and pointed those tourists to nearby, good restaurants serving Easter dinner, just like I would have in person. Everyone is happy, including me. I am helping people and making money while I sleep ~ the perfect definition of passive income.
Mobile tourism apps do not replace what you do as a professional tour guide ~ they enhance what you do. They capture your amazing stories, skill and wit, and make all that brilliance available to tourists 24x7x365. They never take a day off. They never take a break. They are always “on.” The quality of delivery is perfect ~ each time, every time. And they offer your customers another choice for enjoying your professionalism, one you can offer them for a fraction of the cost of a personal tour.
Look ~ until they invent the kind of holograph we see on Star Trek, no technology can replace the warmth, personality and charm of a real person. You will always be in demand. Use mobile technology to your advantage, to create new money making opportunities, and to reach more customers, offering them a multimedia experience that is harder to do in person, like the spooky reading with sound effects I created for the Edgar Allen Poe statue.
So go ahead. Build your mobile app while still offering your customers a personal tour. Give them a choice.
Then go take a nap. You’ll sleep easy.