Skip to content

How Sternberk Castle achieved 80% visitor engagement with a digital tour guide system

In recent years, digital audio guides have been enhancing tourism, allowing visitors to connect with places and attractions on a deeper level. Historical sites steeped in centuries of stories and legends can now unlock their true visitor potential and unseen visitor engagement too, thanks to digital audio guide solutions. This case study delves into the transformative impact of digital audio content on the visitor experience at Sternberk Castle, a historic gem nestled in the heart of the Czech Republic. By transitioning from traditional paper guides and brochures to SmartGuide's innovative tour guide system, Sternberk Castle has not only significantly increased visitor engagement but also attracted more visitors by providing certified COVID-safe experiences during the 2020-2022 pandemic. The castle visitors are now able to access audio tours in 6 languages on their phones.

SmartGuide digital tour guide at the Sternberk castle


Discovering Sternberk Castle's rich history with SmartGuide’s digital tour guide platform

Sternberk Castle is one of the oldest and most magnificent castles in Czechia. With a rich past dating back to the 13th century, this fairytale fortress has captivated the hearts and minds of both locals and visitors alike. 

Sternberk Castle stands apart from other castles in the region, boasting breathtaking architecture that bears witness to centuries of cultural evolution. As visitors wander through its stately halls and chambers, and take in the picturesque views of the surrounding landscape, they will be transported back in time, discovering the castle's intriguing museums and impressive collections that preserve the essence of Czech cultural heritage. 

Attracting thousands of visitors annually, Sternberk Castle has become a must-visit destination for travelers seeking a truly immersive historically-relevant experience in the Czech Republic. To cater to foreign-speaking visitors, the castle historically offered guided tours, accompanied by paper brochures containing information about its past and attractions. This approach aimed to bring the castle's history to life while providing an informative and engaging experience for visitors from around the world. However, as technology advanced and visitor expectations evolved, Sternberk Castle recognized the need to adapt and enhance its tour offerings to meet the needs of modern visitors.

To further enhance the visitor experience, Sternberk Castle has embraced the power of the digital tour guide system by implementing SmartGuide. This digital guide platform is transforming the traditional guided tour into an interactive journey, providing audio tours in multiple languages, directly on visitors' smartphones. Additionally, SmartGuide has offered certified disease-safe experiences during the pandemic by eliminating the need for shared devices or materials, reducing physical contact, and allowing for social distancing during self-guided tours. SmartGuide allows visitors to delve into the castle's history and secrets while enjoying a safe, personalized, engaging, and unforgettable adventure.

Tour guide system by SmartGuide guiding visitors around the Sternberk castle

Navigating Sternberk Castle's historical landscape with SmartGuide: Overcoming challenges and providing opportunities 

Sternberk Castle, like many historical sites, faced a number of tourism challenges before the implementation of SmartGuide. SmartGuide has been resolving the following issues in order to enhance the visitor experience and engagement:

1. Sternberk Castle relied on traditional paper brochures to provide information to visitors.

This method used before implementing SmartGuide was not only costly and environmentally unfriendly but also resulted in outdated or insufficient information being circulated.

Solution: SmartGuide replaced paper brochures with digital content that can be easily accessed through the platform. This not only reduces costs and waste but also allows for real-time updates and improvements to the information provided, ensuring that visitors receive accurate and up-to-date content.

2. Traditional guided tours and paper brochures at the castle lacked interactive elements.

This often limited the opportunities for visitors to engage with the site and its history, as they lacked interactive elements that can capture visitors' attention and spark curiosity.

Solution: SmartGuide has been incorporating interactive features such as images, and videos into its platform. This multimedia approach encourages visitors to actively engage with the content, increasing their understanding and appreciation of Sternberk Castle's historical worth.

3. Castle faced challenges in catering to the diverse needs and preferences of its visitors.

Conventional guided tours often follow a fixed route and schedule, making it difficult to accommodate varying interests, age groups, or physical abilities.

Solution: SmartGuide’s tour guide system has been offering self-guided tours that make it possible to tailor visitor experience according to their interests and pace. This personalized approach ensures that different audiences can explore and appreciate the castle in their own way and guarantees an unforgettable journey, fostering cherished memories for all.

By addressing these challenges and offering digital audio tour solutions and guides at Sternberk Castle, SmartGuide is allowing users to better engage with and appreciate the site's rich history and cultural significance. This transformation encourages also other castles, museums, and various tourist destinations and travel businesses to incorporate SmartGuide in their offerings.

Enhance your visitors' experience with SmartGuide

SmartGuide Elevated Sternberk Castle’s visitor engagement with its innovative features

The introduction of the SmartGuide tour guide system at Sternberk Castle marked a pivotal moment in improving the visitor experience, resulting in a substantial enhancement of their engagement with the tourist site. SmartGuide's following innovative features and functionalities have brought the castle's rich history to life:

1. Multi-language audio content: Visitors can now explore the castle at their own pace, listening to engaging stories narrated in 6 languages. This audio tour app not only caters to an international audience but also allows for a more personalized experience.

2. Interactive Maps and Location-Based Navigation: SmartGuide offers interactive maps with location-based navigation, making it easy for visitors to find their way around Sternberk Castle. This not only prevents visitors from getting lost but also helps them discover hidden gems and lesser-known points of interest (POI) within the castle premises. As a result, users can enjoy a more comprehensive and well-rounded experience while exploring the historic site.

3. Multi-media and additional context: extended content to various exhibits is served through engaging audio tours played on visitors' own mobile phones.

4. Digital audio guides have solved the lack of human guides available in different languages and help serve a lot more foreign visitors now.

In addition, the decision to switch from paper guides to SmartGuide’s tour guide system for visitor engagement was made after careful consideration of the changing preferences and expectations of modern-day visitors. Traditional paper guides, while informative, lacked the appeal to today's tech-savvy visitors. Moreover, printed materials contribute to environmental waste and require frequent and often costly updates to remain accurate.

By adopting SmartGuide, Sternberk Castle also aligns with its commitment to sustainability, reducing its environmental footprint by eliminating the need for printed brochures. Overall, embracing SmartGuide has enabled the castle to offer a more enriching, dynamic, and eco-friendly experience for its visitors.




SmartGuide's impact on Sternberk Castle visitor engagement in numbers

The employment of SmartGuide at Sternberk Castle has had a profound impact on the visitor experience, offering a captivating journey through the castle's stories.

Impressive statistics and data reveal the effectiveness of SmartGuide at Sternberk Castle - visitors engage with a surprising 80% of all the audio content on average. This surge in engagement is a testament to the app's ability to captivate its users.

Additionally, this tour guide system not only enhances the visitor experience but also improves comprehension of information about the castle, thanks to its high-quality audio content, accurate historical facts, and curated digital tours. By allowing visitors to interact with the points of interest that resonate most with them, SmartGuide ensures a more meaningful and memorable experience. This helps visitors gain a better understanding of the events and people that shaped the castle's history.

Helena Gottwaldová, Castle Manager, shares her thoughts on the benefits of using SmartGuide: "We use the SmartGuide application for foreign language visitors. This solves the problem of the lack of foreign language live guides. We chose SmartGuide instead of paper and traditional audio guides because the application is much more attractive to visitors. We were positively surprised by the results that during the first season, users of the application consumed an average of an incredible 80% of all content."

The remarkable success of SmartGuide at Sternberk Castle stands as a shining example for many destination management organizations (DMOs) and tourist attractions of how the app elevates visitor experiences and fosters a newfound appreciation for history and heritage.

Unlock the power of big data in tourism with SmartGuide

Conclusion: A digital guide success story at Sternberk Castle with SmartGuide

The implementation of SmartGuide at Sternberk Castle exemplifies the remarkable potential of digital audio guides in revolutionizing the tourism industry, delivering sustainable, inclusive, and unforgettable experiences for visitors. SmartGuide has redefined the way visitors explore and appreciate the castle's rich history.

The overall success of SmartGuide at Sternberk Castle can be attributed to its innovative features, such as multi-language audio content, offline accessibility, and interactive maps. These functionalities have not only enhanced the visitor experience but also addressed various tourism challenges faced by the castle prior to SmartGuide's implementation.

Are you looking to enhance your visitor experience and drive engagement at your attraction or historical site? Discover how the innovative SmartGuide solutions can elevate your offerings. Contact us today and take your visitors' experience to the next level.