December 6, 2011
New Kiosk Connects Guests to Area Attractions via Yelp and Google
A dynamic new kiosk at Colonial Williamsburg’s Regional Visitor Center makes it easy for guests to find local options for attractions, lodging, restaurants, shopping and recreation in the greater Williamsburg destination. The custom-built kiosk is located in the remodeled regional information wing of the Visitor Center and allows guests to search and find exactly what they are looking for.
“We are very excited to offer guests this consumer-focused, specially designed digital wayfinding solution,” said Skip Ferebee, director of admission sales and consumer development for Colonial Williamsburg. “The Historic Triangle offers a rich menu of options for out-of-town guests, and we are providing an opportunity for them to make informed choices based on simple applications they are already comfortable using.”
York, Pa., software developer Livewire provided the complete custom kiosk system for Colonial Williamsburg. A 22-inch LCD touch screen navigates just like a mobile application on a smart phone, allowing guests to search for information. The kiosk is powered by two of the largest online business locating services in the world: Google and Yelp. The easy-to-use surface acoustic wave touch screen displays a playlist of static images. Touching a search result item brings the user to the detailed results page, which provides the name, phone number, rating and review count, keywords and a location thumbnail for each entry. Google Maps marks the destination location and plots the driving directions from the Visitor Center to the destination.
“We chose to use the industry’s best local business search engines, putting our guests in control of the information provided,” said Ferebee. “They can read reviews from other consumers, get directions and even have a Google map link sent to their mobile phone so they can navigate to the business or call them directly for more information.”
The Colonial Williamsburg Regional Visitor Center is located at 101 Visitor Center Drive, near the intersection of the Colonial Parkway and Route 132 Y.
The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation is the not-for-profit educational and cultural organization dedicated to the preservation, restoration and presentation of the 18th-century Revolutionary capital of Virginia. Colonial Williamsburg offers more than 1,000 guest rooms among five hotels, including the landmark Williamsburg Inn, four historic dining taverns and six other restaurants, a full-service 20,000-square-foot spa, 45 holes of golf at the Golden Horseshoe golf courses and 67,000 square feet of conference space centered at the renovated and expanded Williamsburg Lodge. Purchase of Colonial Williamsburg products and services supports the Foundation’s preservation, research and educational programs. Philanthropic support by individuals, corporations, and foundations benefits the educational mission of The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation.
Williamsburg is located in Virginia’s Tidewater region, 20 minutes from Newport News, within an hour’s drive of Richmond and Norfolk, and 150 miles south of Washington, D.C. For more information about Colonial Williamsburg, call 1-800-HISTORY or visit Colonial Williamsburg’s website at colonialwilliamsburg.com.