, 1er journal des professionnels du tourisme francophone

Château de Versailles: Sycomore introduces its business plan to partners

Innovation, Sycamore’s primary quality

Sycamore welcomed on March 26 its partners and investors in the majestic Château de Versailles. For the opportunity of a private tour of the castle, a walk in the gardens, and to present its business plan around a friendly cocktail. Sycamore was born in 1986 of two innovations : The first one : technological (infrared headphones ), which would dethrone the walkman, the only audioguide known in its time, that would constitute the first step toward a continuous evolution from then on. The second : methodological (design messages according to a new writing method, based on the principles of message advertising), which would be referred to for cultural mediation.

Rédigé par Press release translated by Joséphine Foucher le Samedi 29 Mars 2014

A Pioneer for 28 years
If we welcome you today at the Château de Versailles, it is because this site is a "laboratory" for hospitality services for a grand public, thanks to the enthusiasm of the Public Institution who has trusted and accompanied us in our research over the past fifteen years.

Thus, this site, which welcomes 70% of foreign visitors, of more than 30 different nationalities, now includes all “visit aid” services available, for or group visits]b

• Universal digital audio phones (Guidepass +) for visits with speakers from the Château and tours with guides from Guidatours agency
• Audiophone tablet (undergoing tests and currently being developed) for specialized tours with speakers from the Chatêau

For individual visits

• Digital MP3 audio phone, synchronized with audiovisual presentations of the XVIII century Gallery (Audiopass +), included in the entrance ticket (over 2 million audio guides distributed annually), with 5 circuits in 12 languages, also available for temporary exhibitions

• Readable guide (Audiopen), sold by the agency Guidatours and the Versailles Tourism Office, offering a tour of “La Cours des Senteurs” and part of the old Versailles, the Grand Apartments, the gardens, Marie-Antoinette Queen’s Hamlet and the Trianon,

• Multimedia guide (being deployed) for an individual visit from a 3D dynamic perspective in the royal court and with an interactive map,

• Smartphone App, for Android and IOS (being deployed), using the same design as the multimedia guide, with in addition, a 3D orientation panorama in the entrance courtyard and the possibility of a local free high-speed download.

Over the past 28 years, Sycamore has maintained its reputation as a pioneer in bringing forth innovations, both technological and conceptual.

Thus, among others, its work with memorial tourism, through the design of "entertainment circuits," gave birth to a new form of writing (the "story telling ") which is now a technique largely adopted by all professionals in the sector, as well as the design of breakthrough programs for PDAs which gave birth to multimedia guides and smartphone applications that museums and heritage sites cannot live without today.

Adapting to market changes

The changes that we have undertaken in recent years include all the ingredients of our pioneering spirit to develop products and services that answer the expectations of travelers, mostly foreigners, as well as those of professionals (tour operators, tourism offices) who accompany them throughout their journey, most specifically during the discovery of tourism sites (towns , museums, heritage sites.)

Whether for group tours or individual tours, Sycamore has innovated technical solutions, contents and concepts for visits to improve the quality of services provided to customers and to enhance their experience.

One goal: become the leading provider of “visit aid” for tourism professionals

• Being the world reference, the go-to label, of cultural and tourism visits

• Be present for every step of the visit experience

• Provide customer solutions adapted to every distribution intermediary

• Combining technology, virtuality and physical services

• Being present on all major European tourist landmarks: cultural and tourist capitals, landings of maritime and river cruises

With a new range of products...

• miniaturized audio phone, to be used freely around the world,

• transmitter of memory audiophones for the dissemination of prerecorded multilingual audio files

• multilingual GPS system for wireless broadcast in bus and river cruise ships,

• audiophone tablet for a “optimal” group visit

• readable audioguide based on a paper plan:,

• readable audiophone,

• Updated reality API from documents (a guide map, for example) or from objects (paintings, sculptures, furniture).

And services...

• It was necessary to adapt program contents to the public in terms of cultural references, time format and practical information. We have also developed new experiences such as a "family" tour that guides parents and children in a fun discovery circuit.

It was necessary to adapt to constraints, mostly logistical, related to service delivery (delivery of equipment in hotels and at the entrance of the tourist sites, for example).

In this regard, we believe it is more appropriate to group all hospitality services in the same area for heritage sites or within a network of multi-service spots adapted to cities, according to a standardized format, reassuring for foreign tourists.

Today Sycamore is a key national leader

More than 4 million visits each year through Sycamore, with 900 productions since 1986.

20,000 audio phones and audio guides in operation and dozens of mobile applications, thousands of downloads.

The supplier of the biggest tourist attractions in France and abroad supplies 300 sites, thousands of references with 28 years of service.

- 3.5 million euros in revenue

- 38 permanent employees

- A network of partners around the world


2, rue Louis Armand

95600 Eaubonne - France

Tél.: 01 34 06 18 70 – -

Château de Versailles: Sycomore introduces its business plan to partners

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