Tourism management at St. Peter’s Basilica

Case Study | POPGuide

The Scenario

St. Peter’s Basilica is one of the most visited and sacred sites on the globe. It is the largest church ever constructed and has historical connections dating back nearly 2,000 years. It is the dominant feature of Rome’s Skyline and is one of our biggest POPGuide success stories.

The Opportunity

Admission to the sacred site is free to the millions that visit every year, but without a professional guide it’s difficult to fully understand and appreciate its many points of interest and fascinating stories. With tourism growing around 20% annually, the tourism management operator at the Basilica faced the same issues as many other major institutions: How to cope with the log-jams caused by increased visitor volumes, as well dealing with the backlogs surrounding peak- time lack of availability of trained local guides in the right languages or physical guiding hardware.

The Solution

The management team addressed the problem by choosing ‘POPGuide for Museums & Cultural Attractions’ as their tool to provide high quality multi-language guiding services to individual visitors on an ad-hoc basis. For a small fee at entry, or pre-purchase online, visitors quickly download the POPGuide application onto their smartphone. Then, selecting from any one of 11 languages, they enjoy high-quality, point-by-point audio commentary and insights from Renaissance historians and art experts. POPGuide supports their entire visit, allowing them to fully explore at their own pace and in their own time. What’s more, the audio, text pop-ups, floorplan and graphics remain on the visitor’s phone after their visit as a long-term souvenir.

The Result

More than 2,000 visitors per day opt to purchase POPGuide on-site and it receives incredible online reviews. POPGuide helps the tourism management company absorb the extra volumes, peaks and troughs, and provides the Basilica’s clergy with rich data on visitor movements, preferences and interests. POPGuide has helped the team improve visitor satisfaction, better manage traffic flows, develop new visitor services and create fund-raising opportunities.