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UK tourists get smart cards

Stonehenge, Edinburgh Castle and Shakespeare’s Birthplace are adopting smart access technology for visiting tourists. The sites have been chosen to spearhead VisitBritain’s move towards smart card based entry systems from Spring 06.

The new smart tourist card uses technology created by Scotcomms Technology Group and will upgrade VisitBritain’s existing paper based GB Heritage Pass scheme.

Scotcomms’ Randal McLister comments: “The country’s most popular heritage destinations currently handle a quarter of a million visitors annually and this number is set to rise further in 2006. Our priority is to make sure GB Heritage Pass continues to deliver the most robust and efficient visitor solution to the 20 million plus tourists that visit Britain each year. “

Ease of access coupled with new marketing and research opportunities are the main drivers for the new smart infrastructure according to Angus Rankine from the Leisure Pass Group that manages the scheme.  “The unprecedented levels of usage detail we’ll be able to offer VisitBritian will create a platform for exciting new developments for GB Heritage Pass in the future.  As our picture of a typical visitor to the UK develops, real potential exists for new collaborations with appropriate sites and well chosen commercial partners.”

572 heritage attractions will be involved in the nationwide upgrade for the smart heritage pass with the most popular sites set to adopt electronic entry equipment from Spring 2006.  Even the most rural sites will be expected to use web based visitor logging systems.  With the new infrastructure in place, the Leisure Pass Group believes it can double sales of the new smart heritage pass over the next three years.