Author: lydia

Albuquerque Tourism at its Best

The Albuquerque Tourism & Sightseeing Factory (AT&SF) has been going strong for over 10 years now in thanks to the 2 co-founders vision for locals and visitors to explore the city. The company has diversified it’s tour offerings significantly with the Best of ABQ City Tour on an open air trolley, Duke City Peddler on a party bike, The Lux tour in a luxury Mercedes Sprinter, and Albucreepy Ghost Walk.

Tour Buddy Apps

The Best of ABQ City Tours has both a driver and a guide that makes the fully narrated tour even more memorable for guests.  AT&SF wanted to add more information and a multi-media experience to the trolley ride.  Tour Buddy Apps technology made it happen with Off Line Video capabilities to alleviate any connectivity problems on a GPS triggered App.  This automatically activated offline videos for the guests to enjoy  and allowed the guide a hands off technology experience.

Interested in Off Line Video for your Tour?  Contact Tour Buddy Apps for more information.

Barnard Castle Old Photos & Audio Walk

 

 

The small market town of Barnard Castle located in Teesdale, County Durham, England has transformed itself into a heritage destination thanks to local resident Geoff Dixon and the Making Barney Brighter Together Group. The vision to revive Barnard’s Castle high street includes showcasing the area’s rich history with tours, a phone app, and more.  The Barnard Castle Old Photos & Audio Walk is easily accessed on the Tour Buddy Historic Tours App available for download on the App Store and Google Play for free. 

 

The App

There are 50 points of interest included in the app to visit as you walk around the scenic town. The points of interest include stories of the past, videos from the town in 1913, and 21 audio interviews with late historian Alan Wilkinson. The app also includes a total of 250 historic photos most taken over a century ago creating the biggest ‘Spot the Difference’ competition for users. The ‘Then and Now’ contrast is a remarkable sight to see. The walk goes in a circle through the town and along the river and can be started and stopped at any point with the option to activate GPS auto play so the points of interest will automatically open as you enter the area.

 


 

 

Watch the Promo Video!

[embedyt] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ztjinqqr4Jo[/embedyt]

 


 

 

 

Click Below To Learn More About The Tour Buddy Historic Tours App:

 

Learn More

 

Want To Discuss A Tour For Your Area?

Contact Us Today!

 






Boys Town Village Tour

Father Edward J. Flanagan, the founder of Boys Town was inspired over a century ago to the mission of saving children and healing families.  His legacy lives on as the Boys Town organization is committed to this outreach for the next century to come.  Boys Town welcomes visitors to tour their village in Omaha, Nebraska.  They have created an app that visitors can use as both a virtual tour and a driving tour of the village.  The app is available for free on the App Store and Google Play.

 

About the App

 

Boys Town chose the Tour Buddy App Builder platform to create their app to tell their organization’s story through various tours of the Boys Town Village.  The hands free GPS capability allows visitors to drive around the Boys Town Village and hear the story (audio coming soon) of Boys Town.  The app also includes other tours including the Hall of History Tour, then guests can take in the beauty and learn the significance of Dowd Chapel, and guests can also  walk through Father Flanagan’s Historic House.  The app also provides links to a donation page through the Boys Town website and a copy of the Boys Town printed map.

Contact Tour Buddy Apps to learn how your organization can create a tour of your facility or location.

Maui GPS Guide Graphic

Maui GPS Guide

[embedyt] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I3FvwEbBp9g[/embedyt]

 

The Maui GPS Guide (previously Hana GPS Guide) in Maui, Hawaii gives visitors a complete tour from corner to corner of this beautiful island.   Including the Road to Hana which has approximately 620 curves and 46 one lane wide bridges with almost all of it through lush, tropical rain forest.  In 1985, Craig and Charlene Henderson saw a need to help visitors learn about and navigate without getting lost or totally missing the hidden waterfalls, spectacular views, and rich history.  The first recording was on cassette tape and rented along the roadside with a cassette tape player. In 1999, Craig upgraded the tour to CD version for visitors to use in their rental cars. The original narrated tour has now upgraded again as Maui GPS Guide and is available on The App Store and Google Play for $7.99.

 

The Maui GPS Guide App

The tours are separated into 2 categories on the app: Island Wide & Hana and Haleakala.  Both tours are full of facts and information about the areas, they are GPS triggered and all audio tracks will automatically play as you pass the various points of interest along the highway. The tours guide visitors to waterfalls, sugarcane plantations, popular surf spots, a humpback whale sanctuary, bird valley, an arboretum, the Haleakala volcano (which sits on an 10,023-foot peak, the highest point in Maui) and much more.  As the app says, “It’s not necessarily the destination you’re after today; it’s the drive itself, with all the hiking, exploring, taking pictures, and just having a nice day discovering a piece of Hawaii not many people get to see.”

 

The Map

One of the extremely useful tools that has helped this tour through the decades is a detailed high quality paper map that serves as an advertisement in addition to the usefulness on the island.   The app contains pictures of this map and users can obtain a free copy if desired at a local gas station.

 

Interested in creating a driving tour of your own? Contact us for more information.

Bookmarks Book Festival App

Bookmarks 14th annual Festival of Books and Authors going on September 6th – 9th, 2018 is known as the largest annual book festival in the Carolinas.  Bookmarks is a literary arts nonprofit based in Winston-Salem, NC with a mission to connect readers with authors and books.  This year’s festival promises not to disappoint with 51 award-winning authors, panels & exhibitors, readings, book signings, & Family-friendly events.  And, for the first year ever you can plan your festival experience with the Bookmarks Book Festival app available on the App Store and Google Play for free.

The App

The festival app not only contains scheduling and directional information but also includes each authors biography and website.  The scheduling categories include: Schedule by Day, Schedule by Venue, Ticketed Events, and Booksigning Times.  With this easy to use app any of the venues can be quickly found using the GPS directions or the custom Festival Map. Other categories in the app include: Exhibitors & Food trucks, Sponsors, & FAQ’s bringing all that is available right at your fingertips.

Tour Buddy Apps is proud to work with Bookmarks that in 2017 reached 40,000 people through its programming and hopes to reach more than 55,000 in 2018.

History Makers Camp Creates Interactive Tour Map

 

Founded in 1824, the Historical Society of Pennsylvania (HSP) is the home to unique historical collections from 350 years of American history comprised of some 600,000 printed items and more than 21 million manuscript and graphic items.  With all these resources the HSP hosted a History Makers Camp for Philadelphia high school students to create a mobile-friendly walking tour guiding users through the African-American struggle for freedom and equality in Philadelphia.  Nine students in this two-week program under the direction of a panel of historians, educators, and elected officials created Explore Philly, an interactive tour map which is also available for free on the App Store and Google Play through the Tour Buddy Historic Tours App.  

 

Interactive Tour Map

Currently there are 3 categories included in the tour: Abolition Period, Progressive Era, and Civil Rights Movement.  The content for each key landmark include a video link, interesting historical background information and useful links where you can learn more.  “There’s something powerful about bringing these stories of struggle and success from the pages of a historical document to the streets of a city where they are still playing out today,” says Beth Twiss Houting, senior director of programs and services at HSP.  Stay tuned for more to come from this great program.  Experience the tour>>

 

iOS & Android Apps

The flexibility of the App Builder platform allowed HSP to launch not only a virtual tour for mobile web browsers, but also an iOS and Android App through the Tour Buddy Historic Tours App.  The Explore Philly guide is available for download through the Tour Buddy Historic Tours App for both Apple and Android devices.  The mobile app allows users to turn ON the GPS Auto Play so that whenever they are close to a point of interest on the tour, the stop in the app automatically opens.

 

Interested in creating an interactive tour map for your area?

 

Learn More

Historic Quincy Walking Tour App and Virtual Tour

 

Shopping malls that were created  to replicate the feel of the traditional Main Street are dying. Historic downtown areas across the United States are being restored and becoming destinations among themselves. Quincy Main Street’s vision to revitalize and preserve the rich and diverse culture in Quincy, Florida informed their mobile app tour and virtual tour project.  With funding from the Florida Department of State, Division of Historical Resources the Historic Quincy Walking Tour App and virtual tour are now available on the App Store and Google Play for free!


 

The App

 

Take a stroll through the 36-block National Register Quincy historic district broken up into 3 walking tours: Commercial District, Eastern Residential District & Western Residential District. The tours include outstanding examples of architecture ranging from early 1800s antebellum cottages to Queen Anne mansions. Learn the history of the old Quincy State Bank Building and Opera House and its association with the Coca-Cola Company as well as how the Bell and Bates Building became the nationally accredited Gadsden Arts Center and Museum.

 

The cohesive experience of the app allows users to walk around and listen to Quincy’s story offline without using data.  The GPS enabled map give users the ability to find their blue dot on the GPS map and click on the various stops to ‘Get Directions.’  The images take visitors back in time to see what buildings looked like in years past.

 

The Virtual Tour

 

Not only did Quincy Main Street want visitors to be able to experience Quincy on site, but also as a virtual tour on their desktop.  The virtual tour shows all of the same content with images, a GPS map and audio, but can be viewed on a desktop computer or on smartphones through the browser.  Adding a virtual tour gives Quincy access to even more potential visitors who are curious about this beautiful town and its history.

 

Check out the Quincy Historic Walking Tour Virtual Tour.  

 

Interested in creating an app for your historic town? Contact Tour Buddy Apps.

Tulsa Zoo Train Tour upgrades to the Tour Buddy App

The Tulsa Zoo is an 85 acre non profit zoo that has been welcoming guests to their grounds for 90 years.  Not only are education and conservation  integral to their mission, but also creating an unforgettable experience for guests every day.


The ONEOK Safari Train offers guests transportation on a fun ride from one side of the park to the other.  The train also provides a talking tour of the park and since its inception, GPS hardware was installed to give the tour over the loudspeaker.  But, over the past 8 years, the zoo wanted to update their tour’s content but were not able to easily change their content using their installed GPS hardware.

 

The Tulsa Zoo began investigating other options and found the App Builder Platform, which would allow them to create a GPS triggered audio tour but with much more flexibility at a lower cost.  The App Builder would allow them to create and launch a general tour through the Tour Buddy App within a matter of days using a smartphone.  The smartphone would connect to their train’s speaker system through an auxiliary cable – no expensive equipment necessary.  Then, for holidays and special occasions, the conductors can create alternate tours by simply choosing a different category in their guide.

 

 

The Tulsa Zoo is now able to continue giving a fun and high quality tour to their guests with even greater flexibility and ease.

 

 

Learn how you can create a GPS triggered audio tour for your operation.  Contact Tour Buddy Apps.

D.C. Driving/Walking Tours App Available for Download

Washington D.C. is one of our nation’s most historic and popular places to visit.  Whether you are visiting to see the pink cherry blossoms or one of the many museums or monuments there is plenty to experience.  Capitol Entertainment Services wanted to help guests maximize their visit to this history rich city with 3 self-guided tours of the most historic locations in Washington D.C.  These tours are all available in the D.C. Driving/Walking Tours app for $4.99 on the App Store and Google Play.

 

The App

The three tours included in the D.C. Driving/Walking Tours App provide a comprehensive and flexible way for guests to see D.C. from their cars or on foot.   The first tour is along Capitol Hill and Pennsylvania Avenue.  The second tour includes national monuments and memorials.  The third tour is a walking tour only as you walk along the White House Promenade.  The audio automatically plays as visitors approach and pass each point of interest.  Visitors can take in the iconic scenery as they listen to engaging narration.

 

Experience Washington D.C. on site or virtually and download the D.C. Driving/Walking Tours App on the App Store or Google Play today.

3 Ways for Tour Operators to use the Tour Buddy App

[embedyt] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uQEn2Cz3LkQ[/embedyt]

As the winter freeze leaves and spring is in the air Tour Operators all over begin gearing up for the new season ahead.  Each wondering how to maximize their time and resources by offering their tour services in a new clear, concise, innovative way.  Tour Buddy Apps helps Tour Operators across the globe launch unforgettable GPS triggered app tours.  

 


3 ways to use the Tour Buddy App:

  1.  The Tour Buddy App can be connected to the vehicle’s speaker system.  The app then plays engaging GPS triggered content.  The audio plays hands free every time automatically.  The hands free audio can provide a high quality tour every time without depending on a live guide for the entire tour.
  2. Offer foreign language tours and cater to guests from all over the globe.  The guests download the Tour Buddy App and then access the tour in their language through a private sign-in.
  3. The Tour Buddy App can be pre downloaded on Apple or Android device with the tour operator’s tours.   Guests can then pay an additional fee to rent the device.  This removes the need for guests to download apps to their own device.

Bonus Option! These features are all included with a Branded App, that can be easily launched by the tour operator with the easy to use Tour Buddy App Builder.  The branded app can include tours for purchase as well as  a private sign-in for guests who pay for tickets on site.

Sign up for our 30 Day Free Trial to see how easy it is to create a tour.

 


Contact Us Now for Pricing and to learn more






 

Polynesians Adventure Tours foreign language apps

Haleakala National Park Tour now available in 6 languages

Polynesian Adventure Tours Gray Line has just celebrated their 40th anniversary in style by adding a new fleet of luxury mini coaches.  They are honored as one of four tour companies selected for concession contracts in Haleakala National Park located in Maui, Hawaii.  Polynesian Adventure Tours wanted international guests to be able to experience this unique and memorable experience in their native language.  Together with Tour Buddy Apps’ technology and translation services the English tour is now available in 6 languages including Korean, French, Spanish, German, Chinese and Japanese.  

More About the Tour App:

 
Foreign language passengers are given an iPad and earbuds so they can enjoy the tour with the rest of the passengers in their native language.  Not only are the views breathtaking but they will all learn about ancient Hawaiian legends, the history of Haleakala, and its significance to Hawaiian society and culture in their native language.  In addition, there is information about the unique plant and animal life, types of volcano’s and the ongoing conservation efforts to care for this mountain, its wildlife, and its natural resources.  Polynesian Adventure Tours mission is for passengers to return home with a new sense of Aloha and respect for this very special place.
Contact Tour Buddy for more information on how to make your tour available in multiple languages

The Look Book Hunt App

The LOOK Book Hunt App is a product of self-published author Barbara Tibbetts’ scavenger hunt book series, The LOOK Book.  Barbara had a vision to make these well loved scavenger hunt’s available as an App for family outings, adult competitions, and team building.  This stimulating, interactive outlet is now available on the App Store for $2.99.

The App

The current scavenger hunts available are:

  • Nantucket Christmas Stroll
  • L.A. California (The Getty Museum)
  • Philadelphia, PA (Constitutional Walk)
  • Springfield / Home of Abraham Lincoln, Illinois
  • Washington, D.C.
  • Boston, MA
  • Boston, MA (Custom House)
  • Boston, MA (Freedom Trail)
  • Cambridge, MA
  • Concord / Lexington, MA
  • Nantucket, MA
  • Salem, MA

Each scavenger hunt has 10 stops.  Each stop contains a picture for the participant to look for, some interesting information about the location, and a quiz question with multiple choice answers.  The quiz is interactive and fun for adults and children of all ages alike with “Oh No, Try Again!” and “Congratulations! You got a sticker!”.  Competitive anticipation can entice the participant to fill up their scorecard to get to the next stop.  Each stop has GPS points and a google map for those that may need help finding a location.  Happy Hunting!

Want to learn more about the Tour Buddy App Platform?  Contact Us!

 

 

Experience Historic Garland

Historic Walking Tour App for Garland, Texas

[embedyt] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ytCsB67XNis[/embedyt]

Downtown Garland, Texas was recently added to the National Register of Historic Places.  To celebrate this great honor, the city held a “Rockin the Square” party complete with music, fireworks and fun.  This adventurous city is rich in history, urban appeal, natural resources and pure Texas charisma.  What better way to represent it than with a free walking tour app for all visitors and residents to enjoy!

 

THE APP

 

Currently, there are 3 walking tours in the Experience Historic Garland App: Historical Main Street, Henry’s Heritage Hike, Historical Downtown

 

Each of these tours contains black and white photos from years past of the same streets and corners, along with the history that happened there.  Users can learn how the second east-west transcontinental highway, now known as US Highway 67 was routed through Garland.  The app also includes a story about how  a Thanksgiving Day fire razed the downtown square, which caused the town to rebuild.  Garland’s location along railroads also formed the town, commerce and its people.

 

The city of Garland not only wanted to showcase all the historic places and events in their history, but also make it user friendly and lively.  The Tour Buddy platform provided the technology for a GPS triggered self-guided tour.  You can download Experience Historic Garland on the App Store and Google Play.

 

Interested in creating a walking tour in your city?  Contact Tour Buddy Apps to find out how you can build a better visitor experience!

 

 

On Site Consultation for Historic Trolley Tour

Tour Buddy Apps helps tour operators all over the world engage and delight visitors.  Learn more about how Tour Buddy Apps helps tour operators here.

The City of Easton, Pennsylvania is one of Pennsylvania’s most historic towns nestled in the Lehigh Valley on the border of New Jersey.  With an iconic town square, wonderful architecture, canal boats, and so many family friendly attractions, the city of Easton wanted to share their rich history with locals and visitors on their free trolley ride around the city.  Not only does the free trolley take visitors around the historic downtown area, but also over to Hugh Moore Park and the Delaware Canal Boat Museum

The GPS triggered Tour Buddy App allows the trolley to provide a location based tour over their speaker system.  The hands free audio automatically plays and the trolley driver focuses on road safety and transportation as guests enjoy the tour.  Tour Buddy expedited the process of setting up the tour with an onsite visit to help the city of Easton launch their tour quickly with expert advice on timing of audio and training the staff to use the app.

 

The City of Easton Trolley runs their historic route on the weekends as well as several other routes to service the farmer’s market, a night route and trips to and from the Canal Museum.  See their full list of tours and so much more at Easton Trolley.


Interested in a site visit to set up a GPS triggered tour?






Carrollton, Mississippi Walking Tour App

Walking Tour of Carrollton, Mississippi

The Town of Carrollton, Mississippi, sits nestled in the hills overlooking the delta, waiting to delight you with beautiful old homes, stately churches and history on every corner.  The Mississippi Humanities Council and Walt Grayson wanted to bring this rich history alive not only for the residents, but for visitors as well.  They used the Tour Buddy platform to bring all this history to life in your fingertips using GPS triggers, exceptional content, and audio from Walt Grayson. The Walking Tour of Carrollton, Mississippi is now available for free on the App Store and Google Play.

This App is just in time for the annual Historic Pilgrimage and Pioneer Day Festival.  The new app will compliment the most popular Pilgrimage home tour.  For more information on this event go to http://visitcarrolltonms.com/carrollton-pilgrimage/.

Interested in a walking tour of your home town?  Contact Tour Buddy.

Interview with Tour Buddy Apps founder Yvonne Jouffrault

Tour Buddy Apps is constantly thriving to build a better visitor experience.  The new CEO of Tour Buddy Apps, Sarah Pounders sat down with the founder Yvonne Jouffrault on May 31, 2017 for a Facebook Live interview to get the inside scoop on how she created and launched her software development business for mobile app tours.

Watch the full interview above or read the transcript below.  Hear the story of how Tour Buddy Apps was created and what led Jouffrault to launch a mobile app tour software development company.

Yvonne launched her company in 2010 in Savannah, Georgia. Her background is in finance and institutional real estate investment. However, she had always wanted to travel and explore new places and after moving to Savannah, Georgia in 2007, she became fascinated with Savannah’s history and walkable streets and squares. She created an original walking tour of Savannah with audio that visitors could listen to using MP3 players but as time progressed and the smart phone began to emerge, she realized the potential for a walking tour app.

Q: We would like to know, what inspired you to create Tour Buddy Apps? What idea did you have or need did you see that made you wanna create walking tours and mobile app tours?

A: I’ve always loved to travel and I’ve been around the world. One of my favorite things to do when I travel is go to museums and I always do the audio tour with the wand and you go through. I wanted to bring that concept outside. And I wanted to give people the opportunity to be able to walk around outside, and be outside, and have this basically rich interactive content overlaid on their physical environment. I see people everyday walking around downtown Savannah, they’re looking at a map… There’s a school of history and they don’t know any of that history because they’re just looking at their map and kind of just staring at all the beautiful houses, and trees, and landscape. I started Tour Buddy so that those visitors walking around experiencing destinations could actually understand what happened there and get all of that information, because they wanna know.

Q: So you started out with MP3 players but as time progressed, you moved into the smartphone. What lead you to that point?

A: MP3 players were obviously clunky and inconvenient. And that was right around the time when the iPhone had launched and apps were becoming popular, so it was a natural progression to take that content and put it on an iPhone, an app. An iPhone is something people had with them. And then we realized after the popularity of that first tour that at that point it was really hard to get iPhone apps built. There weren’t a lot of tools out there. You had to hire someone and just kind of take your chances that they were going to be able to produce something that people liked. I had the idea of creating a platform that would allow all destinations and cities around the world to build these apps easily and for a reasonable price. And something that was a good user experience that tourists and visitors would really enjoy using. And just create that platform so that all those destinations could put all their content into it easily, and then focus on creating good content instead of spending a lot of money, and time, and effort trying to create a technology.

Q: I think that with the popularity of apps sometimes people think, “Oh, well, I can just get a app created on my own,” and kinda have this app built. But you didn’t wanna just create apps. You created a website where people can upload their own content and make their own app. How easy to use is the website for the public?

A: It’s really easy. I’ve had people say, “Oh, this is just like WordPress.” or a lot of times clients are apprehensive when they first sign up with us and then as soon as they start using the website they’re like, “Oh my gosh, this is awesome. This is so easy to use.” And they love being able to change their content in real time. That way they don’t have to worry about putting something out there that might not be finalized. They can just keep changing it.

Q: You have this software development company, you create mobile app tours and you’ve been in the business for seven years. In dog years, that’s like 50, right? How have you seen the mobile app tour business change in the past seven years?

A: I think in the beginning when we first started… Honestly a lot of our potential customers, the cultural destinations and cities, they were like, “Yeah, mobile apps, I don’t really get that, I’m not sure why we need one of those.” And we had to work hard to educate them on why this was an asset and why this would improve the visitor experience, but now, everybody wants one. I think now we’re just basically fielding calls where people say, “We know we need to have this, we know that our visitors want this, we know we need this. Tell us how to do it.” So for us, our business has changed, from really having to educate people on what our product is and what it can do for them, to working with a lot of our clients on really just figuring out all about their destination, what that content should be for them, how we can really structure that and deliver it in a way that this is going to maximise that visitor experience and again, allow people to really understand the context of that location and the history behind it and walk away from it being like, “Wow, that was amazing, I really learned a lot about that.” So yeah, I would say that we’ve really pivoted from having to educate our clients to really just helping that… They know that they want to achieve the goal, and really helping them figure out how their story can be best told through our platform.

Q: So it sounds like, although you’re a software development company, you take it very seriously to see what that end user experience for the guest and visitors at the destination is gonna be, in kind of working backwards so, because I think that people think, if you understand the technology, then you’re going to create a good app, but it sounds like you really start with the guest experience in mind and help your clients figure out what the best way to present the content is, and how to deliver the app, and all of those things that are really important to them, and then you work backwards.

A: Yeah, pretty much. And honestly, the way that we’ve designed our app and our user interface, we’ve been tweaking it for years, we’ve been building and rebuilding and updating it is really with that end user and that content in mind, really understanding the way that these visitors wanna interact with that information and what that user experience should be. When they’re at the location, what’s the first thing that they wanna see, how do they wanna be led through the tour, whether it’s push notifications or how can they really enjoy their experience without having to think about the app, basically. We want it to be completely intuitive so that the visitor feels like its guiding them through the experience and they’re able to learn so much without any effort.

Q: It’s easy to go to a tech conference and say, “Oh, look at my app.” But if you can get people who say, “Well, I’m not very technical and I wanna learn about this place or that place.” to use your app and enjoy it like you said and not be distracted by it, and have that app make it a better experience, it sounds like that’s the goal. It’s not to have a cool app, it’s to have a great experience at a location.

A: I think, to me, the metric of success, is, I love to go in and read app reviews for a lot of our client’s apps and people rarely mention the app itself, they always say, “This is amazing, I learned so much about this city. This really brought everything to life for me.” They’re excited about what they learned in the app and they don’t mention the app experience at all because it is intuitive and they’re not thinking about the app, and they’re not thinking about using the app, they’re just thinking about all this great information that they’re absorbing, and I love that.

Q: So I think you’ve already touched on this, but, what do you think makes a really good mobile app tour?

A: Content is king, so it all comes down to, is it engaging content that people can’t find elsewhere? If this is something they could figure out on a web search, or I should say, find elsewhere easily? So, the apps that we see the greatest amount of engagement, have an audio component to them. They’re usually historical in nature because people are really hungry to learn history and if you’re out walking around at a battlefield or even at a lot of indoor cultural destinations and museums, there just isn’t enough information readily available about what you’re looking at and people are… They wanna understand that in context, they wanna understand the story behind things. So I think audio is the best way to tell that story. People can passively listen to audio while they’re looking at things as opposed to having to read something. So, clearly I am biased, ’cause I started by saying that I loved the audio tours in museums, but I think any audio component makes an app more engaging. And they say that people that download apps when they travel, they claim that the two most compelling reasons they’ll download it is for the content and also for the reviews. So, you know back to those reviews where people are saying, “Wow, this really helped me learn so much.” So, I think it’s telling the story and people connect with that, and they remember it, and they walk away with a really good experience.

Q: Tour Buddy Apps the headquarters is in Savannah, Georgia, how has being a Savannah company shaped your business?

A: Half of our customers don’t even know where Savannah, Georgia is [chuckle], which I think is great and hilarious. We’re putting Savannah on the map, I hope, in the tourism industry, in the hospitality industry around the world. But for us, honestly, we live our lives every day surrounded by visitors and I live in a tourist environment. Like every day, when I go to the beach, when I walk around downtown, we are in a heavily visited area full of history, full of information, full of stories. All these things that we’re talking about make great content for our app. Literally every day I’m thinking about ways to improve that visitor experience and watching and learning from the visitors around us. Being in Savannah has been a fantastic asset for building that user experience and that visitor experience because we live our product every day. Every day we’re out interacting with and experiencing Savannah, this great visitor destination, through the eyes of visitors.  And it’s also a lot of really great design talent because of the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD). We have a great community here and we’ve been fortunate to be able to find a lot of great talent… That are available and eager to work on a local product.

Q: A lot of creativity, and tourism, and the beach, which makes us all jealous, but yeah. Recently, you decided to change your user dashboard and your app builder that we already touched on the app builder which is the platform where your clients build their apps. And it’s already user-friendly but you decided to change the dashboard that you’re rolling out this week and why did you decide to change that? What problem were you trying to solve?

A: We are always doing new feature and product development. We’re always adding, and improving, and changing.  Initially when we first started, we were just releasing an app at a time for each of our clients. But our business has shifted, whereas now we’re having more… We’re having a lot more multi-guide apps, where we have lots of different guides that are available for download within one app. Those guides might actually have different users within an organization or across multiple clients. So we have the need now for individual users to be able to manage different guides across different accounts and be able to have the ability for a super-user, an admin, to manage all those accounts. And as our product type has grown from  that single app on the App Store to now we have the multi-guide apps and we have our monthly plan that’s very popular for people to really try out our service and see how it works. Now with all these different product types, we wanted the user experience on our dashboard, which is the entry point into the app builder, to really reflect all those different products. And we wanted our website to be a lot smarter about making recommendations. We’ve created a new onboarding wizard that kind of walks someone through that initial creation and make sure that our customers are putting in the right media assets and the right information for whichever product type that they’re creating.

Q: It sounds like, there’s three different types of products that Tour Buddy has. You wanna just touch on that briefly what the different types are?

A: Yeah. We have our monthly plan that allows customers to sign up. They just use the service. They use the website. They create their guide or their tour, and they can download it through the Tour Buddy app and use it on their rental devices. They can use it, plug it into their transportation devices so that it triggers audio as they drive around. Basically just use that content, use our tour, use their tour through the Tour Buddy app on their own devices. And then we have a single-guide app … That we will release a white-labelled app for a customer with their branding that has a guide in it with all of their content of course. And then we have the multi-guide app, which is really growing and changing as we get more customers using it and again, that’s the ability to have lots of different guides within one app. So this might be an app for a city that has all of these different downloadable offline guides that someone could use to explore the city. It could be a destination that has, again, different types of tours that someone can download. Or it can be a lot of different organizations that are banded together that wanna all have content within one app.

Q: To get an app on the App Store and Google Play takes a lot, right? It takes developers, it takes a lot of planning, and compiling, and it does take a lot of technical work. So, sounds like the multi-guide would allow kind of some flexibility and if different organizations work together or different groups, maybe more affordable even to use something like the multi-guide for a large area like a city instead of everybody having an individual app, they could all have an app together. So, sounds like there’s a lot of flexibility with the multi-guide.

A: Yes.

Q: Okay. Well, so you are no longer CEO. I (Sarah Pounders) am CEO of Tour Buddy Apps. And so now that you’re no longer CEO, what are you up to in your professional life? And it sounds like you have a lot of ideas. You created Tour Buddy Apps. So what are you onto now?

A: Well, I’m still building product for Tour Buddy. That’s my main passion. But we’re about to launch a new product called Flye. F-L-Y-E. That is a GPS-based scavenger hunt app that will allow families and kids to play a scavenger hunt wherever they are. We’re creating more of a video game interface for creating a much more gamified user experience with lots of minute tasks to complete and a lot of feedback in the app, so we are looking forward to rolling that out, probably later this summer. And we do actually have a version of it on the App Store right now that’s based on the Tour Buddy platform, but we’re gonna be rolling out a spiffy new app for that later this summer. So that’s taking a lot of my focus right now. But honestly, it’s the same thing, it comes back to improving that visitor experience and people’s ability to learn and interact with their surroundings through digital.

Conclusion:  Alright, well that sounds exciting. We’ll be looking for Flye, F-L-Y-E, and the version two. So, thank you so much for your time today. And everyone visit Savannah, Georgia, come see Tour Buddy Apps and all that it has to offer. Thanks for taking your time for this interview.

City Festival and Walking Guide for 150th Anniversary

The App

Fort Thomas’s Birthday

A new app is being rolled out just in time for the 150th birthday of Fort Thomas, Kentucky. The town has employed the Tour Buddy app to keep participants informed about the long list of events that are in store during the sesquicentennial in early July 2017.

Fort Thomas birthday festivities:

  • Cupcake eating contest
  • Fireworks display
  • School of Rock Concert

Fort Thomas’s History

Not only does the app include the schedule and details about the upcoming festivities, it also includes historic tours around Fort Thomas. For example, one stop showcases the oldest home in Fort Thomas, the Taliaferro Home. GPS location triggers help participants find their way. Historic black and white photos, accompanied by modern color photos show how the home has changed throughout the years. Nuggets of historic information are included in the app as well.

Did you know that in 1947 a plane crashed in town and a local grocer came to the rescue?

Learn more while taking the Fort Thomas North End Tour. Or, take the City Center Tour, to view the home and studio of Harlan Hubbard, aka “Kentucky’s Thoreau.” Tour participants can view the accompanying video that celebrates the memory of Harlan and Anna Hubbard to learn more.

Check out the video >>>

In the News

The Fort Thomas Matters online newsletter quoted the city’s sesquicentennial planning member, Chuck Keller discussing the new app, “It becomes a very interesting e-card for the city, a way to introduce ourselves to new businesses and new residents.”

Read the full article >>>

http://www.fortthomasmatters.com/2017/02/fort-thomas-city-council-oks-money-for.html

Appeal

The app will not only benefit the citizens of Fort Thomas, who will now be able to learn about their town’s history and upcoming citywide events, but it will also appeal to visitors who may be unfamiliar with the long and rich history of the area. This app gives local businesses a chance to introduce sales and promotions directly to users as well. From providing programming information about upcoming town festivals to sharing stories from the town’s long history, the Tour Buddy app is helping to maintain a strong and unique community.

Come experience the magical Sedona Drive Tour App!

The Sedona Drive Tour offers an opportunity for a self guided visit with beautiful red rock views and great locations.  This mobile app tour is all at your own pace and you can spend as long as you like with the comfort of your own car.  The Sedona Drive Tour App for iOS and Android shows what Sedona is truly about.


The App

The Sedona Drive Tour App offers guests a GPS triggered self-guided tour with images, audio, a GPS enabled map and a journey like no other.  The app takes you to several vortex sites and explores what a vortex is.  Destinations in the app include Bell Rock, Cathedral Rock, The Chapel of The Holy Cross and so many more.  In addition users will learn about Native American History and why the rocks are red.  The app also features the “Best of Sedona” The app including shopping, restaurants and things to do.   Users can download the Sedona Drive Tour App for free and preview the LITE version and they can also download the full version for $9.99 as an in-app purchase.

 

Behind the Scenes

The app was inspired from an existing CD & DVD Tour still available at www.sedonadrivetours.com.  The Sedona Drive Tour was written by local Sedona writers.  Produced and Directed by Robert Berman he said,”I wanted to make a tour throughout Sedona, that was both informative and intimate, while honoring this very sacred land.”  Tour Buddy had all the tools and technology to help Sedona Drive Tour activate this tour for a new era of app users.