Going mobile with ADAC
Publication date: 21 September 2007
The German auto club is making its set of tour guides even more accessible through an innovative use of technology.
ADAC TourSet, the classic travel guide offered by Europe's largest auto club, is moving to new ground with electronic spin-off versions for pocket PC users, mobile phones and MP3 players. For over 30 years the guide has provided ADAC members with all they need to plan a trip when travelling, but now information has been made even more accessible.
Over the past ten years, the internet, mobile phones and pocket PCs have developed at a tremendous pace. This had a lasting impact on the ADAC TourSet. Today it is available in several multi-functional and multimedia versions.
Wolfgang Satzger, the head of touring information and product management at ADAC, believes this variety is a must. He says: "the centrepiece is our classic print version of the TourSet. Every year, close to 3 million members use this modular and individual folding-format travel guide. It is now complemented by electronic modules for various end-user devices, allowing us to stay with our members in every phase of their holiday."
The two latest additions to the family underscore Satzger's statement. The TourSet audio city guides address the growing target group of audio book fans. For them, there is an MP3 Munich guide and the recently completed Berlin and Hamburg guides. ADAC says it aims to provide "aurally entertaining" audio experiences. TourSet audio was launched earlier this year. Guides for Dresden, Rome and Vienna will follow within the next few months.
These guides are not just regular audio books – they are a completely novel mode to convey travel guide content. They feature interviews with actual city guides as well as original sound bites, for example music from the Hofbräuhaus in Munich.
Pricing is different for members and nonmembers. Members can download the guides for the equivalent of $7.60 and nonmembers for $12.18. The travel guides of the TourSet mobil, also available for downloading at www.adac.de/reiseservice, were develo-ped for pocket PC users. The latest developments are regional guides featuring GPS-compatible maps, integrated route planning and all the important details relating to the region and its points of interest.
It was back in 2000 when the ADAC created the TourSet mini. It was an online offering accessible via the internet.Members were able to download two pages, and print them at home. In 2006 there were 60,000 downloads of this guide.
The first step was to create TourSet mobile for hand held computers. The city content from TourSet mini was converted into an electronic travel guide. This now covers 142 european cities including sightseeing information.
TourMail, which was Winner of the FIA Innovation Council Award in 2007, began life in 2005. It is an individual service for ADAC members. Just before they start their vacation, ADAC sends an email with actual and valuable information: weather reports in the destination area, fuel prices, and sightseeing points.
The "classic" printed version TourSet Guide was first issued in 1975. Each year ADAC members pick up 3 million packages in the ADAC's offices.