New tech helps locals handle Isle of Lewis tourism hotspots

NEW customer monitoring sensors are serving to hospitality and tourism companies on The Isle of Lewis.

The web-connected sensors are serving to companies to grasp patterns in customer numbers and predict busy durations, with a pilot system now put in on the Calanais Stones.

The know-how has been developed by CENSIS – Scotland’s innovation centre for sensing, imaging, and Web of Issues (IoT) applied sciences – in partnership with Highlands and Islands Enterprise space group on Lewis, the HIE Innovation group and the Outer Hebrides Cruise Discussion board.

The Calanais Stones on the Isle of Lewis, where the pilot system has been launched.
The 5,000-year-old Calanais Stones, which pre-date Stonehenge, presently entice over 130,000 guests per 12 months.

Forward of an anticipated progress in cruise tourism in 2024, the group at Calanais has turned to know-how to assist monitor busy durations which have a knock-on affect on different companies in the neighborhood equivalent to retailers and cafes.

Beginning with the standing stones – with a view to increasing the know-how to cowl different common areas and points of interest – IoT sensors have been put in to raised handle busy durations.

The sensors accumulate details about the variety of folks attending the location at one time, permitting patterns to be recognized.

Knowledge collected is then displayed by way of an app-based dashboard the place the Calanais group can monitor numbers in real-time.

If the info dashboard exhibits the location is especially busy as quickly as guests arrive on Lewis, for instance, they might be suggested to go to the attraction at a quieter level of the day.

A £60m deep water terminal set for completion subsequent 12 months will enhance tourism within the islands – with the brand new infrastructure enabling bigger cruise ships to berth within the Stornoway port.

The Outer Hebrides Cruise Discussion board was established to assist communities maximise the financial alternative, together with the introduction of latest know-how.

Mark Davies, venture supervisor of the Calanais 2025 venture mentioned: “The Calanais Stones are a must-see for guests to the island and whereas the location has coped with giant customer numbers, automotive parking is commonly restricted.

“We now have a chance to raised handle the peaks and troughs all through the day.

“Guests to the Islands deliver unbelievable alternatives for the local people and companies, however it can be crucial that we guarantee they’ve the absolute best expertise whereas right here and we now have the infrastructure and capability to make their go to memorable.”

Ally Longmuir, enterprise improvement supervisor at CENSIS, mentioned: “The goal of this venture is to assist the Calanais group acquire a greater understanding of customer numbers at considered one of its hottest points of interest, enabling companies to plan forward for staffing, inventory and opening hours.

“This know-how can present correct real-time information that can undoubtedly help the booming tourism business within the islands, and we’ve seen success from related initiatives prior to now involving websites on the West Highland Manner.

“We hope to broaden the initiative to cowl further websites that can paint a extra detailed image of how guests are interacting with the Islands key heritage websites.”

John Mackenzie, senior improvement supervisor innovation HIE mentioned: “This can be a nice instance of a know-how pushed innovation venture within the tourism sector adopting an information pushed strategy.

“Understanding and managing customer numbers to allow methods to be developed to take care of the standard of the customer expertise while managing infrastructure capabilities throughout the island and taking into account environmental components.

“This can be a nice instance of IOT, sensing and information getting used to assist obtain a particular output.”