AN Oxfordshire attraction is using technology to help predict visitor numbers and manage the flow of guests.

Blenheim Palace has joined forces with Oxford Brookes University to develop approaches to 'smart tourism' through the use of artificial intelligence (AI).

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The plan is to build on existing and new sources of data to produce algorithms for predicting how many people will come to the site and how long they stay for.

AI will also be used to enable better planning and management of staff.

Blenheim’s Head of Innovation, David Green, said: “We’ll be looking at two main areas of the visitor experience as part of the project.

“A new ‘Customer Insight and Prediction’ module will focus on predicting visitor numbers and will allow us to model for different scenarios, such as weather conditions and related visitor behaviour.

“The second part of the project will focus on mapping out what the visitor journey through Blenheim looks like, from the moment they book a ticket online, to the moment they arrive and enjoy Blenheim Palace.

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“Once we understand what visitors do, we hope to create a system that can help staff anticipate visitor needs and deliver the best possible guest experience."

The partnership with Oxford Brookes is expected to run for 32 months and will also engage with a range of partners.