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New Generation Guides for Museums and Sites

Portable multimedia guides are one of the newest trends in the travel industry, and the Ministry of Culture is acting. According to press reports, the Ministry’s Central Archaeological Council approved a pilot program for new media guides last month for 15 archaeological sites and museums, including the Acropolis, Olympia, Delphi, Epidavros and the National Museum.

The media guides will consist of palm-held screens and headsets activated by transmitters located at points throughout the sites, giving visitors the freedom to tour sites on their own. The content prepared by the council for the pilot program is in Greek, English, French and German.

The ministry is purchasing the electronic equipment from Hewlett-Packard in a 9.5-million-euro deal.

Many cities and companies have developed city or walking tours that are accessible using MP3 players or mobile phones. Some of these tours focus on popular sites, while others offer guidance to less well-known parts of the cities. Many feature insider tips from popular figures or celebrities, advice and suggestions from local residents and fellow travelers.

In Venice, “History Unwired” offers a walking tour delivered over location-aware, multimedia phones and PDAs. Visitors are guided by the voices of Venetian citizens who provide personal experiences on the local history, art, public and private spaces.

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