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Green light for regional app

February 19, 2014 Apps No Comments Email Email

The Augusta Margaret River Tourism Association (AMRTA) is delighted to announce that it has secured funding to launch an official smartphone app for The Margaret River Region.

A federal grant of $83,000 from the Tourism Industry Regional Development Fund has been approved, along with $15,000 from the Shire of Augusta Margaret River (AMR Shire).  The AMRTA will be contributing $68,000 of its own funds towards the project.

The regional app will be an interpretive tool for visitors to The Margaret River Region, designed to take visitors on an explorative journey of the region’s diverse history – both Indigenous and European – as well as food wine and produce, natural attractions, historical landmarks, arts and culture and events.

Through the use of technology and social media, the app will also allow the visitor to explore the region safely and securely, with the provision of emergency and service information – contact numbers for fire, ambulance, police, as well as directions to safe swimming beaches and walking tracks.

Chief Executive Officer Pip Close said that a regional app was imperative due to the increasing use of smartphones and social media in the tourism industry.

“77% of people use smartphones for searching the web these days, and 95% of people who have a smartphone use it to search local information,” said Ms Close.

“A regional app is a fundamental visitor servicing tool, and with the help of the Federal Government and the AMR Shire, we are delighted to be able to bring this idea into fruition.

“The AMRTA will lead this project, and we have a great team of local partners to work with to keep content fresh and up to date – the Margaret River Wine Association, the local Chambers of Commerce, Geographe Bay Tourism Association (GBTA), City of Busselton and the AMR Shire.

“The app will also have a strong Mandarin component, in order to meet the needs of the growing Chinese market,” said Ms Close.

Proposed benefits of the app include increasing destination awareness, value adding to existing experiences with new opportunities for interpretation and engagement, celebration and promotion of regional events, increased length of visitor stay, wider visitor dispersal and attraction of more Chinese visitors.

The AMRTA is also in discussion with the City of Busselton and GBTA regarding potential partnership on the project. A project management group including key stakeholders and content contributors will be appointed to help scope and test the app.

The app will be completed by November 2014 for an anticipated launch in December 2014, and will be free for visitors to download.

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