Cities Talking, the mobile tour guide app, has released its 'Citi-Illiteracy' report which reveals that us Brits aren't quite as knowledgeable about our own cities as we might have originally thought. The report found that the average Brit can only name two landmarks in their hometown, with a further 28% unable to name even one!
Founder of Cities Talking, Julie-Anne Uggla, shares the top ten reasons why she thinks British people don't know as much about landmarks in their own cities as they perhaps should do.
The grass is always greener…
It's easy to think that the grass is greener, with other cities appearing more exciting that your own. It's therefore not unusual to venture on tours when abroad or in cities that you have not been to before - but doing the same in your own hometown may not spring to mind! This means that you can sometimes miss what's on your own doorstop! You'd be surprised about the hidden gems and unusual facts that every city has to offer. Just because you grew up there, it doesn't mean there isn't still a lot to learn!
Bored out of my brains
Sometimes it's fair to say that we aren't knowledgeable about topics simply because we find them boring. Dull tours and mundane travel books are unlikely to spark a yearn to learn. By adding humour and unusual, off-the-beaten-track facts, you'd be surprised how much your brain can actually absorb.
In today's busy society, our time is precious. Reading up on new places and going on tours can take time, and when those long-awaited weekends are juggled with seeing friends and family, it can be difficult to find the time to learn about your own city. Having the opportunity to take a tour at your own pace, whether it's at 7am on a Monday or peak time on a Sunday, can be a god-send to those who lead busy lives.
Oxbridge, that's a city right?
Our research shows that 13% of Brits believe Oxbridge to be a real city….now you don't have to be university educated to realise that this is not the case! However, the phrase is widely used in society when discussing the world famous universities in Oxford and Cambridge. It's therefore important that you don't take everything you read as being set in stone, so you can distinguish between what is a real place and what's a buzz word coined by society!
Money is no object?
For most of us, money is in fact, a very real object. Investing in bus or walking tours can certainly tighten the purse strings if you're on a budget. But the internet and mobile devices have opened up a world of cheaper ways for people to explore when out and about. So have a look online and see how much you can learn!
Revert back to your school days where you had an entire syllabus to remember, now think of how helpful those nifty revision guides were. A 400-page tour book can be a bit of a battle to get through, preventing us from brushing up on city knowledge. Finding a condensed and witty way for Brits to learn, can tempt them to swot up though!
Traditional methods of learning about a new places are becoming a dying breed. When fast facts are so readily available with a quick search, it makes Brits lazy even though the speedy search is unlikely to store in your long term memory. Reverse the problem and use tech to your advantage, using GPS technology to locate your way around a city at your own pace.
Top of your voice
Ever sat on a bus next to someone with a screeching or droning voice? Now imagine being stuck on a tour with that voice for the next three hours - it's very tricky to take in what they are saying no matter how interesting the topic. Sometimes this may put people off learning about cities in this way. When absorbing new information, we want to hear a personality-filled voice which is soft on the ears and easy to take in.
A tale of thousands of cities
With hundreds and thousands of cities in the world, and 69 in the UK alone, the thought of learning about them can be a bit daunting! But it doesn't need to be. We are exposed to more information that we know every day - keep an ear out next time the radio is on, and you'll be surprised about how much you can learn.
Too many tours and guides repeat the same, routine facts over and over again. With this expectation, they are hardly wetting our appetite to learn something which will win a pub quiz trophy - making us less likely to want to learn more. Finding fresh and exciting content will keep the nation educated and keep people from all ages in the know.
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