Judging by age range audio guides are mostly used by young people aged from 20 to 30 (46,7%), and those who are older than 50 (40%). 26,7% use audio guide to find more historical information. 73,8% use audio guide because it is included in the traveling ticket or is available for free. Analysis about audio guide usage longevity shows that half of the respondents listen only to the beginning of the recording, 27,3% – listen to it completely, but 22,7% use audio guide from time to time.
Latvian regional tourism service providers admit (LIAA arranged Latvian regional tourism entrepreneur survey | spring of 2021.), that the amount of guide services has to be increased and the insufficient training and the decreased appeal of guide as a profession is harming the industry. Since COVID-19 crisis many experienced excursion managers have left the industry and are not planning to return. In these circumstances providing travelers with information becomes harder and sometimes is almost impossible.
In turn foreign tourists in rating their experience in Baltic metropolis Riga are pointing out the negative sides – lack of signs and information in the city and the attitude and poor foreign language knowledge by the local workers and population. If such things are named in the tourism in Riga, then in some places outside it, it might be even worse.
Creation and usage of an audio guide can remarkably lessen problems with information accessibility. That would increase the attractiveness of the specific tourist destination. An equally important circumstance is that the audio guide is an opportunity to provide travelers with convenient information even during the period of restrictions on gatherings, thus ensuring the continuity of the flow of tourism even in difficult conditions. It should also be mentioned that the existence of an audio guide, for example in the form of a smartphone application, allows tourists to visit open-air objects at a time convenient for them – including during the dark hours of the day or on holidays.
When creating an audio guide SIA “DIGI MEDIA” hire narrators, whose mother tongue is the same as Latvia’s visitors, so the recording already sounds reliable and provides listening to audio guide without unnecessary questions.
The creation of an audio guide consists of simple steps:
● Creating the time plan for the project,
● Overview of the sent in material,
● Localization of the content. In other words – translation to the most popular tourist languages,
● Appropriate narrator selection,
● Recording in a professional recording studio with a sound engineer. Very often a dubbing director is overseeing the process,
● Finished audio material is implemented in the customers solution or is given to the client,
● Possible changes or improvements are made after receiving feedback from the tourists.
Audio guide expenses are small, but it is accessible to tourists. It would be similar to not seeing the worthy sites by the taxi, but riding in style with cheaply rented car or maybe even a car given to ride for free. This choice creates positive tourist experience and increases the attractiveness of destinations. For example, that is very important in regions. Increased tourism creates higher profits for the tourism-oriented business and higher tax revenues for the municipality. We can say that it is win-win-win solution for the all involved.