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This year's #DTTTCampus is just over a month away and we’re getting excited to mingle with the industry’s best DMO experts in Oslo. As our host city, we wanted to catch up with VisitOSLO's digital team; Widar Pastoor, Creative Project Manager and Kjersti Stensrud, Editor and Content Manager. Widar and Kjersti will be hosting a talk about New Technology in Destination Marketing and VisitOSLO's brand new Augmented Reality app at #DTTTCampus, alongside a host of DMOs, all sharing knowledge and expertise about the destination marketing landscape today.

1. Please introduce yourself and your organisation. 

We both work with digital content for VisitOSLO, the official marketing organization for Oslo and the surrounding regions. Widar is a creative project manager, specialized in innovation and technology. Kjersti has recently taken over as the editor of visitoslo.com. For the last year, we’ve worked together with the development of an AR app for Oslo.

2. What do you consider key to making VisitOSLO an inspiring and attractive brand? 

Actually, we are not too concerned about boosting our own brand – our efforts are focused on the city we promote. We like to think of VisitOSLO as “Oslo’s wingman”; our mission is to make sure that people choose Oslo.

3. What are the main challenges facing VisitOSLO today?

Oslo is still an unknown destination to many, somewhat overshadowed by our Scandinavian siblings Stockholm, Copenhagen and the Norwegian fjords. But it is one of the fastest growing capitals in Europe, very vibrant and with tons of exciting stuff going on in everything from sustainability to local cuisine. VisitOSLO works hard to get this message out there.

4. And as the Digital Content Manager what is the biggest content marketing challenge for VisitOSLO?

The answer is pretty straightforward, I guess: to create content that engages and touches people to the extent that they decide to come and visit us. The competition is tough, so getting our unique selling points across to the right people, making Oslo top of mind, is a challenge we face on a daily basis.

5. Without giving too much away, could you tell us about the development of the new AR app.

The first edition of our AR app is bringing a world-famous playwright back to the streets of Oslo, where app users can meet him in person and hear him tell stories about his life in the city. By using motion capture technology, known from the gaming industry and Hollywood productions, we have created an animated character of a quality and lifelikeness that is truly world-class.

6. What results has this achieved so far?

Our project has brought together tech start-ups, artists, cultural institutions and the travel industry, which we are very happy with.

7. How important is AR when it comes to promoting Oslo and engaging with its visitors?

AR technology lets us add a whole new dimension to the visitor experience. We certainly believe that a good AR city app will attract visitors and that the technology has the potential of bringing people closer to the city and its many (previously hidden) stories.

8. What are your future plans for the app?

Our aim has been to create a platform where different attractions and institutions in Oslo can include their own AR experiences over time. This has the advantage of splitting the cost of content development across many collaborators and ensuring that Oslo gets one comprehensive AR app that our visitors can use across the city.

9. Based on your experience, do you have any advice for other DMOs looking to incorporate AR into their strategy?

Start saving! No, but AR is a costly technology to develop, so securing funding will certainly require some footwork for most DMOs. In our experience, there’s a lot of interest in AR out there, though, so that's an advantage. We also think it is crucial at this point to develop AR experiences that are excellent and genuinely engaging. The time where the novelty of AR in and of itself was enough to capture people's interest is undoubtedly behind us.

10. What can attendees look forward to from your talk at #DTTTCampus? 

We’ve certainly broken new ground with this project, both technologically and conceptually, and we have several interesting insights to share from this process. The project has also prompted us to think a lot about the advantages of AR in destination marketing and digital storytelling, and we’re looking forward to presenting these thoughts.

That's all for now, but we can't wait to hear more about their insights and future plans around AR. #DTTTCampus kicks off in Oslo between 13th – 14th June 2019 where Widar and Kjersti host, 'New Technology in Destination Marketing and VisitOSLO's brand new Augmented Reality app alongside other keynote speakers from Travel Oregon, Slovenia Tourism and more. You can register for tickets right now or find out more about #DTTTCampus here

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