Wayfinding in Travel and Tourism

Airport signage

Tourism Wayfinding Research Centre – Travel Navigation

Making Cities Accessible for the Sight Impaired – Cities Unlocked

Making Cities Accessible for the Sight Impaired – Cities Unlocked

According to the charity 'Action for Blind People', there are thought to be over two million people with sight and visibility..

The Art of Queuing and Waiting when Travelling

The Art of Queuing and Waiting when Travelling

It is perhaps not useful to stereotype but us British I would argue have perfected the art of queuing and there is a lot of emotion..

Berrypicking and Real World Wayfinding Techniques

Berrypicking and Real World Wayfinding Techniques

Berrypicking is a term you quite likely have not heard of before when it comes to the discourse of wayfinding. This term though is a..

Wayfinding in Plymouth, England – Ocean City

Wayfinding in Plymouth, England – Ocean City

The potential for the city of Plymouth has always been known and many attempts in the last 30 years, since the Devonport Dockyard began..

TRENDING. The latest highlights


Wayfinding is not specific to tourism but given the nature of travel, wayfinding is something that is inevitably a part of every holiday, business trip, backpacking journey and every road trip. This area of study is largely about getting from one point to another but can also often be for pleasure i.e. exploration (whereby there is no specific route you need to navigate). Local businesses, governments and other providers might though wish to try and still guide and influence your route for commercial reasons, for security and safety issues, or for control considerations (i.e. in customs and passport control in airports). Imagine walking around central London as a tourist, shopping, and with no exact planned route. Even with no planned route, you are most likely still being guided and influenced by city planners and those in control of signage, modal points and markers.

Seoul in Korea

Digital technology and signage in Korea.

Outside of tourism, wayfinding becomes important in many situations and places. A university might be planning a new annexe and given the number of students and visitors who will need to access and navigate the building on a daily basis, good signage, markers and other planning can be essential to effective people flow and for safety. A hospital faces the need for Holidaymarkers in Gatwick airport.effective wayfinding, particularly with the cognitive nature of this field and the emotional turmoil which many hospital visitors may be experiencing. This makes this field of expertise particularly interesting in spatially fixed areas and this site is focused on this field of study but specific to the travel industry.

Similar to the non-tourism example of hospitals, spatiality becomes very interesting in the instance of cruise line travel. Cruise ships have a definite space with which to work, as opposed to land based destinations. The boat is the accommodation, the entertainment centre, the restaurants and a destination in its own right. Colour coding, lighting, clever use of space and carefully planned signage all combine to make wayfinding a well planned activity in cruise tourism.

Multi Disciplinary

Semiotics is one field of study which is considered to be the ‘study of signs’ although the exact description of signs can vary greatly in academia. Signs can be taken  very literally and mean a sign in terms of the symbolic. Literally any communication can be considered a form of sign. Wayfinding hence covers many disciplines including semiotics, architecture, psychology, urban planning, communication studies and several other fields.

On this site we cover the latest mobile wayfinding technologies, digital signage and the industry events (let us know if you are holding a related event in the UK or worldwide), the way in which technology is changing the nature of this industry and everything going on in the world of travel signage and wayfinding. We would love to hear from you if you have any questions, comments or helpful information.

FREE UPDATES. SIGN UP!

Get once a week email update of our latest posts

Consultant

Paul

I love to travel and have been to over 40 countries to date. I am presently studying a PhD in Wayfinding and am the Editor for travelwayfinding.com.

JOIN ME!