Archive for the 'Tourism' Category

3D Internet Living

After introducing Walk Score and Drive Score to you, today we’re announcing a new site which merges the technical ability of Google 3D with a virtual online shopping (and traveling) experience. Available only for select cities across the world (yes, Miami Beach is one of them), Everyscape Beta allows visitors to walk along virtual paths seeing everything as if they were really there. The 3D view is integrated with features that provide restaurant, hotel, and nightlife information and in some cases indoor views.

Aside from being fun to mess around with, Everyscape appears to be the pioneer in this form of online marketing. The program is functional, easy to use, and creative enough to hopefully lead to a new form of tourism marketing.
EveryScape lets businesses and organizations build engaging, immersive relationships with consumers through three-dimensional, photo-realistic experiences of cities and towns, streets and sidewalks, building exteriors and interiors. Now you can take your business to the next level by bringing visitors into your establishment, allowing them to view, explore, and engage with your offerings like never before.

The Grove’s Information Booths

From the Miami Today:

EYES ON THE STREET: Small black kiosks are popping up around Coconut Grove as part of a City of Miami pilot initiative to have more “eyes on the street,” Commissioner Marc Sarnoff said. He proposed the idea in May, calling for increased enforcement officer presence. The booths are to serve as bases for police officers “most of the time,” he said, and sometimes for code-enforcement officers. During special events, they could also serve as information booths for visitors, he said. The city hopes to complete the booths before the Coconut Grove Arts Festival, which begins Feb. 16. “If this (pilot) works, we’re going to bring it up Biscayne Boulevard around the performing arts center,” as well as to the Upper East side and possibly Little Havana, Mr. Sarnoff said.

The CGG has a different view:

They look like prison guard stations or even worse, Gulag booths. Do they need to be black and do tourists really need an info booth? The Grove is three streets long. The best thing is to let the tourists wander around and go into stores and ask around for things. It will bring more business to stores this way and it makes it a friendlier place than to have a cold black info booth.

We here at Transit Miami like this new approach to keeping our streets safer. The booths will create a place for tourists to seek advice while keeping a vigilant eye on our higher pedestrian areas. They promote safety and tourism while encouraging people to walk about our most urban neighborhoods. I think we could use a few of these along Flagler, Brickell, and Little Havana. Your thoughts?

Leave a comment and let us know what you think on our poll in the left sidebar…

Museum Park Ideas: Zadar Sea Organ

I was perusing through the internet (as usual) when I came a cross an idea which would likely work well if integrated along Biscayne Bay in Museum or Bayfront Parks; the Zadar, Croatia Sea Organ. The premise is simple: holes of varying length, size, and shape are cut into the seawall to create an organ which plays random and somewhat harmonic melodies as the tide and waves crash along the wall. Water, forced into each opening, compresses the air out of a perpendicular opening which thus produces the sound. The Croatian seawall is the centerpiece of the Nova Riva redevelopment plan in Zadar and since its 2005 public debut it serves as a gathering place for locals and tourists to enjoy the breathtaking Mediterranean sunset. The pictures and movies below depict how the organ allows people to interact with the coastal space of Zadar:Click here for the Sea Organ Audio only…

Via Tekenstein

The 7 Day Metropass has Arrived!

That’s right folks, today MDT unveiled their new 7 day metropass geared to Miami’s tourist market:
The $19 pass will come with a countywide transit system map including detailed maps of Miami Beach and downtown Miami showing visitors how to get to numerous tourist attractions and destinations using Metrobus, Metrorail and Metromover. A scratch-off calendar will let passengers choose the seven consecutive days they wish to use the pass.

Now, if only we could accelerate plans to unify the tri-county transit systems and implement system wide technology which would enable the use of credit cards, we’ll really be making some logical progress…

The pass will initially be sold at Miami International Airport, four visitor centers, select hotels and businesses and MDT’s transit service centers. For exact pass sales locations and hours of operation, call 305-770-3131 or visit Online sales of the pass will begin in the fall on MDT’s website as well as a number of international travel websites.

Tax the Tourists for Transit (Part II)

Legislators are a step closer to placing an additional $2 per day tax on the upcoming election ballot. The proposal, would double the tax collected per day for rental cars rented in Florida. The counties which approve the rate hike would then see a greater return per rental in their county, a figure estimated at over $100 Million annually for the entire state if ratified in every county.

This is a win-win for the Florida citizens. We reap greater benefits while not causing a greater tax burden on ourselves and use the proceeds to help rebuild our crippled transportation infrastructure. We see no reason why anyone would be against a measure that would help spur growth in our communities by further capitalizing on the booming tourist industry. Heck, Disney isn’t going anywhere and neither are our beaches which gives us all the more reason to further profit from our visitors. Not all legislators see the great opportunity the tax hike can provide, saying:

”The power to tax is the power to destroy…”
-state Rep. Randy Johnson

Ok, Patrick Henry, take it easy on the prophetic taxation ideology. Tourism already provides a huge economic boost to our economy. A greater taxation on the services used by tourists would allow us to further enhance the mobility options for tourists in our cities. May it be a rail line in South Florida or a quaint trolley line in a lazy beach retirement town, the money collected will benefit all who are required to drive in our state…

Tax the Tourists for Transit

Florida Lawmakers are coming up with a great plan to have tourists subsidize mass transportation projects in south Florida by a new $2 per day tax on all rental vehicles. We believe this is a great idea, which will in the end help us all, including the tourist sector. The measure would have to be approved by Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach voters in next November’s elections. Approximately $42 million can be raised annually and will be used to gain further federal funding for the South Florida Regional Transportation Authority (SFRTA, which manages Tri-Rail.) Future plans could include a rail link between the three airports, commuter rail along the FEC corridor, or some Light Rail Transit Opportunities.
This is a win-win for all residents. Any of the options listed above would spur vast economic growth along the rail lines. We would see more Transit Oriented Development occur where we need it most and would see a greater amount of our residents relying on public transportation. This sentiment isn’t shared by all however, some Broward NIMBY’s (not in my backyard) are already challenging measures to bring commuter trains to the FEC corridor. With gas at $3 per gallon, I don’t know too many people who would like to sit idling on I-95 for hours everyday, why not consider alternatives people!
The next SFRTA meeting is set for Wednesday night at the Gwen Margolis Community Center in North Miami…