Ancient meets modern in a new iPhone application promoting the Australian Outback. The app was created for the Northern Territory in Australia, the third largest of the eights states and territories but also the least populated. Its primary focus is to entice more travelers to the region by offering an easy-to-use but factual self-guided tour.
The app debuted in Alice Springs, the Northern Territory's second largest town. The town is the geographic center of the country and situated in the heart of the Outback. Alice Springs is also home to many popular tour groups because of its proximity to Uluru (also known as Ayer's Rock). All of these factors led to DIY Yourself, the company who launched the app, choosing the town as the headquarters.
Since the Outback is sparsely populated, wireless service is hard to come by. However, this GPS app allows users to access exact GPS points and a map without a cell phone or internet coverage. Additionally, users have access to location-detailed audio commentary for a distance of over 100 km. The commentary plays at predetermined GPS points and contains 80 minutes of facts, route and travel suggestions along with an image gallery. Tourists will now have a historical appreciation for land that in the past was overlooked as desolate. Furthermore, the tour audio, once downloaded, can be played anywhere in the world, allowing people to relive their Outback adventure at home.
DIY Tourguide's The West MacDonnell Ranges Self-drive Audio Tour starts in Alice Springs and brings tourists through West MacDonnell National Park. Travelers are exposed to the adventures of early pioneers, the history of Aboriginal culture and a science lesson involving flora, fauna and geology. The amazing aspect is that they are introduced to all this information without access to their cell phone or the internet.
The director of DIY Tourguide, Laurelle Halford, explains, "Many tech-savvy tourists are already using GPS guided iPhone applications in cities and towns around the world but over a smaller area. We wanted to better entertain self-drive tourists and help them to interpret the landscape in precise locations, where they might otherwise see an empty, barren place."
Moving forward, the DIY Tourguide hopes to expand upon this app by developing new tour routes and translating the current app into other languages. The company is hoping both of these improvements will increase international tourism in the Northern Territory.