Weymouth student Challenge || Is this the future of tourism?
Right, let us move on we're going to be looking now at tourism and uh in particular that theme we're talking about the new generation Young Generation coming through so I'm delighted uh to be joined by uh Tonya Fisher from Weymouth college and some students from Weymouth college now let me get this right this is Chloe and Ethan and Skye and Jacob and we need to turn this microphone on I think we're on we just tested that coming through okay yep good so um Tanya Tanya can I start with you say a little bit about um sort of the course at college and how it all fits with with what we're talking about today okay so um I teach on the btec level 3 travel and tourism course at Weymouth college and we cover many units but the particular one that we've been involved with the Note 4 was managing customer experience so it elaborates a bit more on customer service and looks at the whole customer experience in particularly the last assignment they have to review a business and the way that they monitor and review their customer service so they have to also look at the technology that's used in the the business so this is what we did we went to the no Fort back in May and um we did a survey and we also had a talk with Marianne um and so it was really good and then they looked at the good practice and we also looked at the limitations of the business and how it could be improved oh brilliant and among the right to think we've got a video of that experience uh so should we run that video now [Music] So, welcome to Nothe Fort my names Marianne and im the general manager.Ive been here now for about 2 years and he challenges i had was starting on the first day of lockdown. This wonderful building in lockdown it was closed and that really effected it. You can see how the walls are peeling and looking really tired. We wanted to do redisplays but we can't put in a display because of the damp and the damage. What our fantasy is to
bring this place to life through media and digital it's it's having someone to help us bridge what's in our imagination so actually help us to we are doing a customer service assignment for our college and um in our assignment we need to see what no thought do and how we think they could improve and what they can bring to their attraction to three more people and we've been walking through the well just now we've been walking through the bunker seeing what this place they have we've also been introduced here we spoke to the good manager yeah we spoke to three managers on just how they run their organizations Like more QR codes more like video like visual like interactive stuff or like little like toys or something like friends yeah yeah that'd be cool for like VR experiences or I don't know sound effects lighting can always make a difference as well and having it in um like chronological order so we know what's going to be at what's going on how it went on in time so I think it'd be like a way more helpful you could interact with it have an audio guide like incorporate the other stuff they've used [Music] I think that their target market they aren't hitting; I believe that their target market that they are hitting is just elderly and um just people that are interested in history and I think to widen the target market they could include more interactive things in the exhibits and more technology to um bring down the target market for younger people um so they can understand more and it's more interactive and more entertaining for them yeah because I feel like um we expect like technology and more interactive stuff during the tour whereas it's all just signage so I feel like if they would add to add that in it would attract younger people and everything [Music] oh the corgis yeah [Music] So is it Platinum Jubilee yeah for the Queen's Platinum Jubilee they've been they've done this interactive thing where it's a bit fun where you can find the Corgis uh I've had I've had a blast something let's talk again it's interesting like (no offense) it's interesting me way more than the actual attractions itself [Music] I'd just like to say thanks to Weymouth College it's amazing how hard they work with young people to use local community venues and we really appreciated this and we will be using that feedback and then keeping us apology feedback to help us improve so thanks to them and of course that's the FutureFest. Back to the studio! brilliant brilliant so just finishing there Marianne from uh no thought who's in the audience is in the audience so I think around the table here that was the first time some of you had seen the video and uh Jacob you were hoping that some of it had been edited out perhaps but the team here are available for autographs uh after after this production so I've also been joined on this tables we've got we've got students we've got Tanya from Weymouth College we've got John Bird here who heads up Dorset council's uh tourist team tourism team who are going to be very interested in this conversation and your views and we're also joined by Dr Phil wickens Wilkinson from Bournemouth University who so feels like you sort of connect technology to the technology we're going to be talking about that's your your bag isn't it yes that is my bag um so I teach clinical technology studies which means thinking about technology in context so as Wayne mentioned earlier to try and make us not get so hung up on technology and start thinking about you know how do we use it what purposes behind it what the implications of it like is it accessible what infrastructure we need and that kind of thing um so I was actually there filming and I did actually edit the video sorry for doing that to you and I hosted the students on campus as well to have a follow-up where I went over emerging Technologies like VR AR gamification that kind of thing and really kind of dwelling into the students to think about less about Innovative Technologies for mobile Innovative application of Technologies old and new and I was actually super super thrilled and really impressed by by the students and the ideas they came up with because they had a really really good you know strategic sense of what technologies can be used so so should we have a listen to what the students uh did come up with and then Phil we will come back to you at the end I think because you've probably got some views on that question we had earlier about education uh in uh and a little like so Jacob you've got the the style spot uh okay oh do you want to do it in order should we do it in order we've come up with uh it's not just from our um survey but also um since we went to Bournemouth University and had a proper afternoon learning with Phil and so we've decided on three recommendations and then we've got a wish list for um oh what's recommendation number number one is improved Wi-Fi so that it can be accessible areas of the fort because some of us did struggle to connect with the Wi-Fi that we were there so if it was improved it might be easier for other people to access and that leads on to our second and third recommendations because what we felt with any technology and it needs good strong Wi-Fi throughout all areas of the attraction and so our second recommendation was okay no okay so the second recommendation was to use QR codes and selected display rooms and it would link to online time and quiz and games and we learned this from Phil at Bournemouth University about gamification and how it engages the younger audience so the QR codes would require visitors to find clues or information in each room and it'd be timed and the scores would be saved and leaderboarded so prizes could be won each day and the benefits of this would it wouldn't require any changes to the room so more people would be engaged and it would enhance the customer experience all right um our further recommendation um also focuses on what fellas taught us at the University and he's focused on the visual gauge so how tourists present the attraction as themselves and how they're experiencing the attraction and um lots of places have had this where they can have photo booths or just certain areas where you can sort of have a dress up or sort of like just photos taken and sort of have a mess around um and lots of places have done this are Warner Bros Studios um the Museum of ice cream um yeah and then in New York yeah do you have the one I can't read and the wish list there are three things on here the first one was to improve the ghost tunnel because he's currently just a dark Corridor so we suggested adding scary noises dry ice to create a Mist effect or have projections on the wall of ghosts second was to have a bit of signage and Maps around the attraction because when volunteers aren't out to direct visitors in isn't clear where to start and finish and to change the order of rooms because they're currently in non-chronological order so we suggested them being presented in the timeline or just focusing on one storyline rather than having stuff about um like the Romans and Maven Castle which wouldn't necessarily be relevant to the Northport in its history good and Marianne John I'm not sure if there's enough room on the seat so this is slightly unscripted but do you want to um these these sound like very good suggestions what's uh what's your thought um can I thank everyone for for the hard work of Weymouth College that's absolutely fantastic we're making notes but could you pass them over to us um no thought today we've been focusing on the beachfront and on the tour is coming to the beach but you know if it's windy or if it's rainy we don't want people to get in their cars and drive over to Dorchester or monkey world or the tank Museum we want to keep the money in the town and no thought very clearly understands that where visitor attraction we need to survive but we need to support the town and it's that working together that is so important um before as I said has a lot of damp and we have put in a large Grant application we're hoping we're through to the second round to actually resolve our bank problems and then we can move forward with our displays and actually what you've said is is brilliant it's what we thought it's our worst fears but you've articulated it um and we have a new Young team that we have just recruited for our displays and for our events and we shall take it forward but we would like to do it in partnership with you we we don't want to translate your ideas we'd like to deliver your ideas so thank you very much Weymouth college for that and Bournemouth University if I could pitch also to work with you that would be amazing um to be able to deliver it um we think easily we've won the best visitor attraction in England because of our community and because of the customer service we do but we are not a first class visitor attraction when you come there it is text-based we could easily and quickly transform transform it through technology to make it so much more fun and accessible Weymouth deserves first class quality experiences and we won't in the next couple of years to actually make that something that Weymouth are proud of rather than them all being in Dutch or around the county brilliant good pitch taking the opportunity there well done so um if I if only we had the council's lead on tourism available John thank you um it was great to hear those ideas I was pleased to hear that they were not only about enhancing the visitor experience when the visitors are actually at the Fort but also looking to spread the word um especially the idea about the photo booths and things like that if the visitors themselves are providing publicity for future visitors that's not only a great way to save some money in advertising but also there is a lot of credibility when real visitors are giving real opinions about the site I loved as well that all of them were very practical measures none of them needed millions and millions of pounds to deliver um except possibly the Wi-Fi because I'm not I'm not I'm not an expert in Forts but they tend to have fairly thick walls Wi-Fi doesn't like thick walls generally speaking but there's things we can do about that it was also very interesting to see uh how digital wasn't being treated on its own but it was about how people connect with digital and digital connects with people um and I'm always just blown away how students at further education college today are so much more productive than I was when I was there really really uh really helpful and thanks for that uh feedback so Phil can we come to you say a little bit more about some of the work that you've been doing and then and then we'll sort of Branch the conversation out into sort of tech skills and we want to sort of be interested in your views about uh sort of learning about tech skills Beyond tourism yes absolutely so I think I'm in a not to elevate myself a slightly privileged position because my my background is computer science so I was trained to be a software engineer initially and then I kind of transitioned into education both being an educator and also researching education so the past like few years I've actually worked across Dorset in various different Community clubs Community spaces libraries schools colleges from Portland all the way to kind of Southbound uh and one of the things I keep hearing from all those different spaces is they want to be delivering these kind of skills they want to be running coding clubs and teaching sessions and colleges are saying this as well so is this kind of like tragic irony in how we talk with digital skills sometimes why we say it's a skill shortage and it's really affecting employers but schools Library libraries colleges are having the same skill shortage on their end as well since I was like collectively we're all kind of faced in the skills shortage um and I think the one reason I want to talk about this now is I think is a really good opportunity to kind of bringing those skills together so just like northfall has requested the kind of expertise of the young students from Weymouth College how can we translate that going forward so we have the coding day which is fantastic as a teaser for like you know here's coding as an introduction but can we get those devs who volunteered to commit for you know one day a month or to make a more sustainable um I think that's the the way we can really address that scholar shortage by kind of all of us bringing together and being in the conversation good good so let's uh can I hand over to our students Jacob can I come to you soon um just did that General sense so one that you probably heard from the audience earlier that that sense of how do we develop skills locally encourage students to stay rather than perhaps leave the brain drain that um Wayne Hemingway talked about what's what's your sense of that where and maybe a personal story if you've got I think teaching technology you can always start that from a very young age and you can sort of integrate what children are interested in at a young age I remember from a very young age um they start a scam they got us started with like this really simple coding so it's not like all the written code is you put these blocks down and then this thing the little cartoon character will do a thing and that sort of it makes it makes children interested and it sort of it builds that creativity as well because the blocks blocks are Limitless you can do anything and then when you grow up you carry on with this interest you can go into further coding which I tried to and it's a bit boring no but if you they generally develop a passion over it it does create more opportunities for them in their life I think brilliant Phil can I come back to you because one of the phrases that was used was gamification and I and I think Jacob's just sort of touched on that in terms of his own kind of development can you just explain a little bit more about gamification um so the the corgis in the video is a really good example of gamification it is all about gamifying adding a kind of playful fun layer to an experience whether that's something like as simple as you buy nine copies you get the 10-3 and there's some kind of point system or trophy system or it's just kind of making in a kind of fun engaging narrative viven experience it's okay making it fun yeah is that something you can relate to then obviously from the video yes I don't want to say the attraction wasn't boring I I felt really bad saying that it wasn't boring I was interested in some of the attraction but my more childlike nature nature but I was reading through the information and a lot of the information was very interesting um but no I really did enjoy the attraction and I think the inclusion of that it hooks children it makes them want to go around the attraction more just these little things that children are attracted to it it brings more or bring families to the yes okay brilliant so I've got the opportunity for questions from the audience while we've got a panel of uh students and from education as well um while the audience think of their questions can I uh come to you Sky um so so one of the things we're talking about so what your personal future do you see there are opportunities are you sort of Weymouth local do you sort of live in this this area what do you think the opportunities how do you imagine that that your sort of future job opportunities around here for example um I think that because of where younger generation um we've grown up with technology so we're kind of used to it and we like it and everything and back to Jacob when you're a child they teach you in in a fun way but then when you hit Secondary School it's all the important and serious stuff which makes it seem boring like Jacob said so maybe it turns people away from those kind of jobs so I don't think personally I'd go into those types of jobs because I don't understand it yeah but I think if we had more learning opportunities and everything it would maybe create more jobs for us okay so there's something about the way that technology is taught yeah Phil can I come to you on on that if it's if it's great at Primary School not so good at Secondary School by the time they get to University how's it taught so this is the the kind of funny situation and some of the devs I've volunteered the developers who volunteered for the coding day shared those similar experiences where this the stuff I learned at University is what is being taught to students uh 10 12 13 years old which is really intimidating for me but fantastic for them um I think the pilot challenge is um again if you want to teach specialist technical skills you need educational Specialists to do it and there's a bit of a um a lack of them and the other thing as well is um yeah it is sometimes quite dry and quite boring and sometimes it's quite hard to make that fun and also uh if we keep talking about digital skills and coding and high level digital skills we don't actually need everyone to learn those skills not everyone needs to be a developer not everyone needs to be a coder there's a baseline level of skill we kind of need people to use which is you know using Microsoft Office and maintaining a computer but not everyone needs to be developers even though we'd like them to be more okay so that's really helpful let's just sort of bring those themes together then so what we've seen is a real practical application of how technology could be used to enhance an experience that dates back hundreds of years no thought thought and we've heard about kind of the education and tourism side so I think that's been really really useful uh thank you ever so much for your time today and all the work you've done I think this panel deserves a round of applause foreign [Music]