Intuitive kiosks connect tourists to their favorite sights and restaurants through Verizon’s 4G LTE network.
CHARLESTON, S.C. —Charleston, South Carolina is America’s top travel destination according to Conde Nast Traveler, and tourists to this beautiful city are becoming acquainted with a new digital concierge that delivers top-notch service and information. Meet Charles, the bow tie clad kiosk becoming a fixture in downtown Charleston. Charles aims to be as charming as the city it serves as it personalizes each tourist’s getaway.
Using a smart camera, Charles determines whether it’s serving a couple on a weekend trip or a family of four looking for kid-friendly options. Tourists can use the kiosk to print maps, book hotels, peruse local fare or buy carriage and boat tour tickets. Charles serves up information free of charge but is equipped with a secure credit or debit card swipe in case a tourist wishes to take advantage of advertised deals.
Rolled out in 2011 by the Charleston Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, the six-foot tall, touchscreen kiosks now number nearly 50 throughout the city. Placed outside restaurants, hotels and visitor’s centers, Charles connects tourists to the experiences they seek in real time, using Verizon’s 4G LTE wireless Internet connection for speed and reliability.
Local businesses also benefit in a big way. Charles delivers real time analytics to advertisers, providing a dashboard that shows the effectiveness of each ad. Business owners can change their advertised prices and promotions, or track sales remotely from their desktop computer or mobile device.
“We were one of the first businesses to advertise with Charles,” said David Compton, owner of the Old South Carriage Company in downtown Charleston. “Charles has changed the tourism industry in this city, and it’s making things easier than ever for people who come for a visit.”
Charleston-based City Corridor created Charles to replace the cluttered wall of travel brochures that are a mainstay at visitor’s centers. Charles eliminates the need to page through multiple brochures, instead offering information and deals based on an interactive menu of choices. The company may expand and place kiosks in other cities in the future, but for now, Charles will continue to serve those walking Charleston’s centuries-old cobblestone streets.
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