INLAND NSW Tourism is bringing mobile app technology to the inland network of visitor information centres.
Glen Innes has been chosen for tomorrow’s launch of the new mobile app, which the organisation says will enhance visitors’ experiences and “positively increase” expenditure as they travel through a wide sweep of the state.
Inland NSW Tourism covers about a third of NSW local government areas and has a population of more than 400,000.
It amalgamates the former New England North West Regional Tourism Organisation, Outback Tourism, six councils from the Central region and Capital Country (Canberra) Tourism.
Inland NSW Tourism received $100,000 early this year under Destination NSW’s Regional Development Funding Program to deliver a mobile app.
The project, which began as an Outback region initiative, has been developed by Aurora Practical Solutions in partnership with Inland NSW Tourism.
Inland NSW Tourism chief executive Graham Perry said Glen Innes was the launch venue, since tourism and events manager Peter Teschner was leading the way in the adoption of digital technology and how it could be linked to visitor information centres, accommodation operators and tourism products, making them bookable 24 hours a day.
Mr Perry said Mr Teschner had been “incredibly proactive” and taken a strategic approach to visitor centres embracing the mobile app and other technologies, taking the centres into the future.
The app will be within the APPnGo platform, a mobile information management system specifically designed for NSW accredited visitor information centres.
It will connect all visitor centres throughout Inland Tourism’s region.
Products will be linked to themes and experiences designed to meet consumer information and expectations.
Content will be sourced from the Australian Tourism data warehouse, visitor centres and local associations.
The app will cover such areas as driving routes and directions, trails, tours, accommodation, activities, restaurants, special offers and general tourist information.
Visitors will be able to access the system on smartphones, tablets or other mobile devices, both on Apple and Android platforms.
Inland Tourism says the time is right for the visitor centre digital revolution which will enhance its capability to deliver a 24-hour service 365 days of the year.
Research by consultants Aurora Practical Solutions in a Northern Rivers regional visitor services strategy showed 43 per cent of visitors were smartphone users and 70 per cent liked using technology, mobile devices and apps.
“I see the app as a great asset to the Glen Innes Visitor Information Centre and our area,” Mr Teschner said.
“It will enable us to enhance the service we already provide.
“It will benefit people travelling to our area. One of the features is that, when a person comes into our visitor centre, we can build an itinerary and pass it through to them electronically on their smartphone. That will be a huge benefit. The app also allows us to collect data on where the person is inquiring from and to keep a record of the type of attractions and experiences they’re interested in.”
The app will be provided free to Inland Tourism NSW member organisations.
Destination NSW officials, Inland Tourism board members and Glen Innes Severn councillors are expected to attend tomorrow’s launch.