Visitor information centres are entering the digital age with a new app for tech-savvy travellers wanting a local’s perspective.
Tourism and Events Queensland has developed a new travel app in partnership with the Queensland Information Centres Association (QICA) to help tourists find nearby visitor information centres (VICs) to boost interest in local hidden gems.
Melanie Sands from Visit Queensland says the VIC volunteers have a wealth of local knowledge not found in guide books.
“Some people, especially younger generations, tend to overlook the VICs,” she says. “But our volunteers often know a destination’s best hidden secrets and can point you in the right direction based on your interests and what you want to get out of your stay.
“We’ve all wasted frustrating hours search for information online – sometimes it’s just easier to ask a human.”
QICA president Nicky Young said the app builds on the service that VICs already provide to millions of visitors throughout Queensland each year and is a great promotional tool.
“This app will hopefully see even more tourists go to visitor information centres across the state,” she says.
The app taps into the experience of volunteers by locating the closest VICs and displaying the top things to see and do in the area as listed by the nearby centres.
Minister for Tourism Jann Stuckey said this would make things easier for tourists looking for the best spots in town.
“The idea is to showcase and make more accessible the valuable local knowledge information centres provide to visitors each day about their regions,” says Stuckey. “The new Visitor Information Centre app can be conveniently downloaded from any location and based on where you are it will display the three nearest Visitor Information Centres to a user’s location.
“The app also provides users with up to 12 recommendations from their nearest information centres on local tourism experiences such as events, attractions, tours and restaurants.”
CEO of Tourism and Events Queensland Leanne Coddington says VICs can help tourists save time.
“By visiting a VIC, you can be assured they’ve already done the research for you, so you can get the most out of your time in Queensland’s destinations,” says Coddington.
Premier Campbell Newman, who launched the app with Minister for Tourism Jann Stuckey, said innovation like this has a significant positive impact on the tourism industry.
“This free app will ensure tourists get the timely information they need to have the best possible Queensland holiday experience,” says Premier Newman.
“Innovation and partnership are two of the reasons the tourism industry has turned around and experienced strong growth over the last two years. Initiatives like this will help us increase visitor numbers and double annual overnight visitor expenditure from $15 billion to $30 billion by 2020.”
To download the the VIC app visit www.queensland.com/vics