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Kiwi Travel Guide App a Hit with Tourists

Section
Travel,
Publish Date
Monday, 15 April 2013, 12:00AM
Tourists visiting NZ are now able to convert their smartphones and tablets into interactive audio tour guides thanks to a new free app.

Dozens of tourism operators throughout the country who distribute the app have set up free Wi-Fi zones at their depots to facilitate downloads of the app to tourist's devices.

These partners along with advertisers on the app hope to get a slice of the $15 billion dollars international and domestic travelers spend annually in New Zealand.

Campervan tourists alone spend $550 million and are a key target audience for the new app.

The app uses the GPS function in the device to inform travellers about thousands of nearby points of historical and cultural interest as they travel throughout NZ.

The iPhone and Android app provides tourists in the driver's seat with location-based local information in real time while they travel.

In just six weeks, 4500 tourists have downloaded the iPhone and Android app which gives them location based information in real time - from the closest cafe to a detailed history of the immediate area and key cultural insights.

Designer Hayden Braddock says the app has been a hit because it allows tourists the opportunity to experience a true Kiwi road trip.

There are over 1200 points of interest including local landmarks, scenic wonders, hidden gems and attractions, all of which are highlighted as the tourists approach them, says Braddock.

"We have really tried to make sure we've done all we can to show off our beautiful country so nothing gets missed. The app includes the history of each area, details of geography and native flora and fauna, Maori culture and even the best things to see and do, places to stay, wineries, restaurants and cafes," he says.

One of the benefits of the app is that those driving can simply listen to local information without having to read any text while driving. The app can work offline so even in areas without 3G coverage, tourists will be able hear relevant details of their current location.

The app is updated monthly with new content and future updates will include social media integration allowing users to upload their own images and spread the word to their friends and family about their Kiwi experience.

Braddock said the growth in use of smartphones and tablets while travelling has meant the early uptake of the app by both domestic and international visitors has been faster than expected.

Six of the new apps are now available for download from the iTunes and Android stores under brand names of Interislander, Maui, Britz, Mighty Cars & Campervans, Car Rental Republic and Motorhome Republic.

A further four apps are due for release under various tourism operator brand names.
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