Tourism app has local flavour

The High Prairie and District Museum and Visitor Information Centre is one of the local site listings on the new History Check mobile app for Alberta.

Richard Froese
South Peace News

A new mobile app to promote tourism and communities in Alberta has been initiated by two people from the region.

App creators Sheila Willis, of Smith, and Scott Astle, of Kinuso, are eager to get partners on board the History Check mobile tourism app.

History Check is a map-based platform that features attractions, services, businesses and historical sites and stories by GPS co-ordinates.

Site information includes links to local information, contact details and images.

“Position yourself in an expanding market using smart phone technology,” says Willis, the creative force behind the app and the contact for the project.

“Interactive listings on History Check mobile app allow travellers to connect with your business, while exploring and experiencing the history and attractions of your area.”

She says the goal of the app is to attract travellers to rural areas.

Astle is the tech lead and prefers to remain behind the scenes, she says.

“We invite participation from all levels of government, heritage and cultural societies, tourism organizations, non-profit groups, businesses and even individuals who have a bit of knowledge they wish to share,” Willis says.

Celebrations will be held June 21-23 to launch the province-wide app primarily hosted by visitor information centres and museums, including the High Prairie and District Museum.

Some events will include regional prize packages awarded through social media sharing and event “Show Me the App” specials by local businesses.

Businesses are encouraged to take advantage of the free site listings and to advertise using keyword targeted marketing which adds them to the search functions.

The annual fee for advertising is $350.

Individuals can submit sites through the blue slide-out arrow on the app and share with friends and family.

The service to non-profit groups is free.

“Non-profit organizations are invited to submit site listings and take advantage of our affiliate marketing program; in essence, be our sales team and raise funds for their organization.”

A need for the app was expressed in historical circles to share the sites and stories of Alberta’s history through a single online source and to search for inter-related sites, Willis says.

The project is growing.

“History Check has been very well received from those who we have engaged with,” Willis says.

“The project is an example of what can be accomplished of people working together for the benefit of all and we are proud to have spearheaded it.”

Receiving the Outstanding Achievement Award in Heritage Awareness presented by the Alberta Historical Resources Foundation in October, followed by the Marketing Award at Growing Rural Tourism in February, helped gain the credibility needed to kick start that momentum, Willis says.

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