Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Washington County Tourism: There's an App for that

The Washington County Tourism Agency (WCTPA) has launched a free app for smartphone users that includes three megabytes of information regarding sites, attractions, hotels, restaurants, festivals and more.

Agency Executive Director J.R. Shaw says that this app kicks off their mobile marketing campaign.

"More and more people are getting their information and are researching their travel destinations online and electronically," he says. He also adds that 25% of cell phone users have smartphones.

Shaw explains that they have "tailored" their visitwashingtonpa.com website to be accessible from a smartphone. Users can download the Washington County Tourism app from that website or iTunes, and it will offer tourist destination suggestions in Washington County. The app includes a "What's Nearby" feature, which operates via GPS to determine the sites the smartphone user is closest to. The app is available for the Android, Blackberry, and iPhone.

Shaw believes the app is the first of its kind in the region, if not the state, and that he hopes other regions catch on because future generations will all have smartphones.

"[The younger generation] demographic is much more savvy on the smartphones and they might not be the target market for travel right now, but they soon will be. We know that our future customers are going to be using smartphones," Shaw said.

The county's heritage sites include Meadowcroft Rockshelter and Historic Village, Duncan and Miller Glass Museum, the Pennsylvania Trolley Museum and 22 covered bridges.

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