The Paphos tourism board is leading the way using technology to enhance the visitor experience and has launched the first augmented reality application in Cyprus.
The Myth of Aphrodite app, which is free to users, and unique in Cyprus, highlights the myth of Aphrodite, and may be downloaded from both Google and Apple online stores. It will also be free to downloaded at hotels, head of the Paphos regional board of tourism, Nasos Hadjigeorgiou told the Cyprus Mail on Wednesday.
After downloading the app, users will be able to scan relevant photos of Aphrodite in three different places on the beach at Aphrodite rock, Petra tou Romiou, to enjoy Aphrodite in a real environment through their smart devices, he said.
The ‘enhanced’ or ‘enriched’ reality is what its name relatively clearly says, he added as the app is the addition of virtual information through appropriate devices in the environment (space, objects, people) that man perceives, in this case through a telephone device.
“We have started a campaigning to raise awareness of the app on social media, at hotels and with other stakeholders, informing users how to download the app and they will give out the access code as well,” he said.
The scenes of Aphrodite include the mythical goddess emerging from the foam of the sea, sitting on a rock and reading a book on the beach. Signs at the site clearly describe what visitors should do to interact.
“This use of technology makes the myth more tangible in an innovative way and helps users to better interpret the myth and location,” he said.
The current app was a pilot and it will now be rolled out to create a complete experience of all things Aphrodite and will include augmented scenes at the sanctuary of Aphrodite in Kouklia, the sacred gardens (of Aphrodite) in Geroskipou and the Baths of Aphrodite in Neo Chorio to be completed in 2021.
The budget for the pilot was €20,000 which was partly funded by an EU programme and supported by the deputy ministry of tourism.
The tourism board is actively continuing its efforts to upgrade the tourist experience in Paphos and also to transform the district of Paphos into a ‘smart’ destination, the tourism head added.
“One of advantages of Paphos is the rich cultural heritage, which is why the institutions of the area are in close contact with the Department of Antiquities to also make upgrades within some archaeological sites.”