Traditionally, airport apps only cater for the part of the travel experience that covers curbside to take-off, but this means they focus purely on time in the terminal. Jean Jacques Lottermoser, president of Monument Tracker, explains how his company’s digital solution shifts its sights to beyond the departure gate – encompassing the passenger’s whole trip, opening up new revenue streams, building loyalty, and bringing benefits for airports, airlines, tourism boards and travellers alike.

Why did Charles de Gaulle Airport choose Monument Tracker’s passenger app?

Jean Jacques Lottermoser: The traditional airport app caters for passengers’ requirements only up to the point of departure and focuses solely on the airport itself. It is useful but not sexy. Our approach is a user-centric app that positions the airport as the gateway for passengers’ entire travel experience.

The app provides offers and extensive experience for every international destination the airport serves in one unique app, with offline versions also available. It has exhaustive suggestions for recommended points of interest and activities, and will encourage users to see as much as possible – as well as acting as a prompt to return for those who don’t manage to see and experience everything during their first visit. In this, Monument Tracker is a life travel companion for 85% of its users.

What services does the app deliver to its end users?

A preparation tool within the app enables users to select what they want to see, create their own map of visits and activities, be notified of nearby sites and challenge other users to compete at addictive games – 30% of our travellers are playing cultural games and challenges, and this number grows to 60% when there are queues or delays. The gaming process awards points and prestige to the user, who then becomes an expert, sharing their experience and challenging other experts on a leaderboard. This encourages them to engage more and win more points, and so on. The more they interact with the app, the less likely they are to stop using it.

What are the exclusive benefits the app provides?

Compelling content, a wide list of points of interests – we won a Content Digital Award – gamification, metrics that help airports and destinations understand new means of use and interaction, travel preparation and free cloud storage for each user to save their experience of the different places they visit around the world. It offers different things to different users:

  • for airports, our program manages arrivals, transit, and departure mindsets and content
  • for tourists, content is translated into ten languages – Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Russian and six European languages – and delivers geolocated points of interest, activities, itineraries, addresses, expert travel tips and much more
  • for passengers in transit, it reveals the nearest shops, events, promotions, limited edition offers, special
    benefits, coupons and so on, directly managed by shops themselves and with the benefit of conversion metrics.

How does the app help stakeholders gain users?

Airports gain more users through luggage belt screening for arriving passengers, screening at departures, adding email addresses to their database, Wi-Fi connectivity and visibility through their homepage.

The app also uses a geofencing tool that pushes a post when one of our one million users arrive at the airport: if a user downloaded our New York Monument Tracker app, when they arrive in Paris, they will be notified of the Paris airport’s existing app. That contact then enters into the computer reservation system.

Why should airports adopt and launch the app?

Our solution is global, and we provide contents, ancillary revenues through local activities, advise with best practices to recruit and engage users, and deliver metrics beyond the traditional passenger name record elements. The granularity offered by Monument Tracker gives a better understanding in terms of continuity throughout the year – even if the app is closed and the traveller opts to use a train to get to a destination, the airport receives the analytics on their dashboard. It is a customer-centric means to improve the passenger experience and encourage route development.

How would you sum up Monument Tracker’s overall vision?

We started five years ago with some destinations by enhancing their offering for their territory. As the former director of the Cannes Tourism Board, I, along with my co-founder, identified a new need for users and cities to develop a more interactive and amusing way to enjoy a journey. We are eight passionate people with a strong vision to become a worldwide cultural trip adviser with rich contents and a truly engaged audience.