Dublin tourism gets smart

5 May 2004

Dublin Tourism has launched a smart-card based pass that gives visitors to the city and Dubliners alike access to over 30 of Dublin’s most popular attractions at reduced rates. The launch of Dublin Pass follows the example of successful operations recently established in London and New York.

Launching the scheme in Dublin yesterday, Frank Magee, chief executive of Dublin Tourism, said, “Getting this city card underway is a key milestone for Dublin Tourism in building up our tourist infrastructure.”

The Dublin Pass is the first visitor card in Ireland to use smart card technology and was implemented and installed by Belfast-based Applied Card Technologies (ACT), which also won the New York and London pass contracts. The company claimed that the card would be the most advanced of any city pass system in the world and would provide essential statistical information on visitor flow and movement which will assist in future marketing activities.

Gary Watts, managing director of ACT, commented: “This innovative idea shows that the exciting possibilities offered by smart card technology can be realised very cost effectively. Our experience of implementing similar systems in both London and New York allowed us to create a solution that not only delivered immediate value for users but helped scheme members to develop their businesses. This ‘city card’ style technology can also be adapted with ease to suit different retailing scenarios in Dublin or in other urban areas.”

The card allows tourist attractions to extend their marketing reach, adopt paperless electronic ticketing and develop e-business techniques without making changes to their existing IT infrastructure.

All attraction operators need to do is to install a simple card terminal at the entry gate. This terminal automatically collects information as tourists enter, including details of where the card was bought, nationality of the user and complete details of the transaction. The terminal will supply operators with useful reports on transactions, such as visitor totals, or breakdowns of the type of passes used.

Collected data is also uploaded each night via a standard phone line to a secure web-enabled Oracle database run by ACT. This database can be accessed using a standard web browser, to allow the operator to analyse the information to improve their marketing. Operators can use standard reports provided by ACT, or their own custom analyses.

The Dublin Pass was created by Dublin Tourism and will be marketed and sold worldwide via the www.dublinpass.com and www.visitdublin.com websites. The cost for a one day pass is €29, a two day pass costs €49, three days is €59 and a six-day pass costs €79.