The Basque Country now boasts the first technological Tourist Office in Spain
The Basque Government has opened a circular interactive office at Loiu Airport with four video screens, where the tourist will find information in five languages.
The Basque Government's Minister for Industry, Innovation, Trade and Tourism, Bernabé Unda, opened the innovative facility, accompanied by the Deputy Minister for Trade and Tourism, Pilar Zorrilla, and the Director for Tourism, Isabel Muela, along with the project designers and the director of Loiu airport. This new facility makes Bilbao Airport one of the most innovative passenger reception areas in the world.
The Bilbao-Loiu Airport, one of the main entry points of visitors to the Basque Country, now has an innovative high-tech tourist information point, the first of its type in Spain, where new image technologies are used for the tourists to learn about the territory.
The Basque Government's Minister for Industry, Innovation, Trade and Tourism, Bernabé Unda, opened the innovative facilities, accompanied by the Deputy Minister for Trade and Tourism, Pilar Zorrilla, and the Director for Tourism, Isabel Muela, along with the project designers and the director of Loiu airport.
The Basque Government initiative seeks to provide the tourists to the Basque Country with an initial image of an innovative country. The design by Iturralde and Sagües Ingenieros in conjunction with Arena Comunicación Audiovisual and Avzeta soluciones audiovisuals achieves this, and focuses on creating an initial impact and transmitting sensations.
The designers have used light as the fundamental elemental and integrated the office into the very space of Bilbao Airport. It is circular in shape and is built with four high resolution video wall screens in a vertical position (28 "46" screens) where first-rate high definition audiovisual contents are screened. The contents are part of the perimeter of the information point and its circular base makes it stand out as a beacon.
The facility seems to hover over the ground thanks to a beam of light around the bottom, and its innovative system enables it to operate and be visible at day and at night, even in dull lighting. This high tech system allows the tourists to interact with the facility and the images provide them with first hand information on everything the Basque Country has to offer. When the tourists contact the office, they meet a 1:1 scale character who welcomes them to the Basque Country in any of the following languages: Basque, Spanish, French, English, German and sign languages.
This new office is yet a further example of the Basque Government's commitment to innovative tourist policies. This facility follows on from the introduction of marketing experiences, the commitment to accessibility in the sector and an online television channel where anyone planning to visit the Basque Country can find all the information they need to do so.
The Basque Minister stressed that the impact of these continuous improvement policies in this sector could be seen in the 2011 tourist figures which is going to be the best year in history in terms of the number of inbound tourists. Other details of the Loiu Airport Tourist Information Point: the office also has an audiovisual facility that can generate visual eye-catching tricks, particularly in the transition from one to another sequence. Thus, for example, the images rotate lengthwise, creating the sensation that the whole information point is turning. It includes some image lines that suggest real elements generating sensations similar to those of projection video-mapping. This resource is used specifically as an eye-catching feature or changes the "mode" in which the information point is operating.
On the other hand, a trompe-l'oeil visual trick is used to extend the real space towards the inside of the screens and thus creates a false perspective. This enables us to play with similar effects to those of augmented reality, as the scenario is always rather virtual, which fits in with the real setting to perfection. It in turn creates a mirror sensation, changes in light, the integration of the logo into a space that is holographic in appearance, etc. Interactive: The tourist can use the two terminals on the outside of both sides of the entrance to access specific contents through touch screens that are always accessible, even when the information point is not manned and open to the public.
These screens have an application that easily answers the standard questions of a passenger that arrives at the airport, such as: how to get to Bilbao, Vitoria, San Sebastián or other destinations, taxis, car rentals, accommodation within easy reach, lost luggage and recommendations of places to visit or things to do.
Modernising and innovation: The facility boasts the latest innovative systems: low technology, sustainability, contents, durability. Low technology: simple and austere construction elements are used. The structure blends well into the spaces where it is located and is light.
Sustainability: There are few physical and many digital features. That creates an impression of austerity and efficiency. Dynamic contents: This is the most innovative aspect of the facility, beyond the hardware or machinery. Some aspects are on a human scale, as sequences are generated where the narrator is avoided and the characters seem to be real people. The contents are dynamic and organic hierarchical structures are used, based on tag cataloguing.
The contents structure thus goes further in the line of the semantic website, the ideal sought by the network, than the current 2.0. The post-production of the contents is in advanced digital environments, but that is never visible, as the appearance to the viewer has to clean and light, and the innovation has to be invisible. Durability: The structure and facility host totally renewable and editable contents. And it uses a video resolution that is much higher than any current format.
It is therefore ready to host future formats, resolutions that are even greater than the HR and contents generated in definitions that are still to be invented. Inside, the desk has been made out of natural grey limestone with a rustic sawmill finish that will become more glossy with use.
This item combines stone with oak, with an unvarnished wax finish, and its current and nearly structural shapes create a bridge between the traditional construction materials and the culture of the Basque Country and the new materials of the setting.
The visitor's chair is going to be produced in oak by Jose Pablo Arriaga, the artist from Markina. The other furniture will include a cupboard to store the day-to-day documents and to discretely house the heating and cooling system for the premises. There are two display units which can be used for information leaflets or to exhibit products. These, along with the coatings of the backs of the monitors, will be made by combining the aforementioned materials.