Our solution to the dwindling tourist flow in venues during the low season
Varna is the third largest city in Bulgaria with its population of over 418,000 people. Amongst Bulgarians, it’s also known as ‘the Sea Capital’ because it’s the biggest sea resort in the country, visited by over one million tourists every year. It’s everything you would expect from a summer resort – beautiful beaches, a diverse nightlife, fun family activities, as well as rich culture and history to top it all off.
The city’s management wanted to build upon the concept of a traditional summer resort and begin positioning Varna as a four-season destination. They needed a strategic partner to help them achieve this ambitious goal. This is where Telelink City stepped in with a smart tourism solution – a digital platform to transform Varna’s image, putting a focus on historical heritage, cultural diversity, and urban culture. The smart platform allows tourists to visit museums, galleries, sights, tours, entertainment, and shopping venues for free or with a discount through a single, digital token called Varna City Card.
Telelink City approached the challenging task with creativity and careful planning. Varna needed to be presented in a different light but equally engaging for tourists. That’s why every single digital product was built to highlight the unique but lesser-known sights in the city, like the historic Roman Thermae and Varna Necropolis (the world’s oldest gold treasure), natural phenomena like the Stone Desert, the medieval Orthodox Christian cave monastery Aladzha Monastery, and so many others.
The website catalogue we created was an amazingly detailed informational platform the goal of which was to educate tourists about the existence and historical importance of these places. The website was also one of the ways to buy City Card. The mobile application, on the other hand, was designed to make it easy for smart tourists to reach each location and experience the city simply by using their smartphones. It provided all necessary travel information, helped them navigate through the city, and allowed them to purchase and use City Card within the app itself when visiting different venues.
Each venue was equipped with a validator – a software that checked the status of the City Card and, if it was valid, allowed tourists in. The platform also provided an administrative panel where the city’s management team could see detailed metrics on the number of visitors, venues, type of City Card they used, and user behavior.
In just a year City Card helped increase the number of visitors in key city venues during Varna’s low season. Venues like the Archeological Museum, the City Art Gallery, and the Aquarium received regular tourist flow in the autumn, winter, and spring – something that rarely happened in previous seasons. We strategically assisted in drawing more attention and traffic to Varna through targeted marketing campaigns and unique content. The easy-to-use smart platform we provided worked equally efficiently for the city’s management and tourists themselves.
Visit Varna City Card’s website to learn more: varnacitycard.com >>