Towns get smart and ‘app’ their game for visitors

Two historic Cork towns have ‘app-ed’ their game to help visitors.

Kinsale and Youghal have both launched smartphone apps to make tours and sight-seeing easier, and to boost visitor numbers.

And the free Kinsale app, which has been launched by Sáile, the town’s sports centre, will also raise funds to help build a new indoor sports centre.

The app’s core function is to act as a mobile directory of businesses and amenities in the area, with almost 100 businesses paying a listing fee to feature. It has a ‘what’s on’ guide, and uses Google Maps to pinpoint where the events are on.

It also features a dedicated ‘route plan’ that will give accurate street-by-street information on how to get to a selected destination.

It is available on both iPhone and Android platforms giving it the potential to reach 90% of the huge global smartphone market.

The idea was inspired through discussions with Kinsale CoderDojo, was part-funded by the West Cork Development Partnership, and developed by graphic designer Donna Buckley, and Ken Forde from CoderDojo.

“The mobile platform is an ideal tool as it allows us to promote Kinsale to a wider audience,” Sáile’s Siobhan Green said.

“This is an added-value marketing tool that can help promote the town, generate much needed funds whilst giving something back to the community.”

The Sáile Kinsale app is now available as a free download from the iPhone App Store and Google Play Market.

Meanwhile, in Youghal, the Heritage Council and Youghal Town Council have joined forces to develop an iPhone app featuring four tours of the walled town.

Aileen Murray, of the Youghal Socio-Economic Development Group, said they were looking for an innovative way of allowing visitors to get a real flavour of the town.

“The app is the perfect solution as it lets them find out about everything at the touch of a button,” she said.

The app provides four tours, including the signposted Youghal Heritage Trail, which takes in 17 points of interest around the town, the Hidden Gems route, which features 20 points of local interest, the Blackwater Valley Guide from Lismore to Youghal, and a ‘nearby activities’ option which tells people about things they could do and trips they could enjoy in and around the area.

Each guide has an on-screen map, with text, images and audio clips.

Headland New Media boss, John Ward, whose company developed the app, said its guides are like mini radio documentaries about what Youghal has to offer.

“There’s the Heritage Trail, of course, but we wanted to include the off-beat as well, so we added Youghal’s Hidden Gems,” he said. “It includes one of Ireland’s quirkiest museums — the Fox Lane Museum and the place has had everyone from Walter Raleigh to Cromwell, Shakespeare to John Huston appreciating its charms, all detailed on the app’s audio pieces.”

The free App can be downloaded from the App Store by searching for ‘Youghal.

Once it’s been downloaded, it can be used offline, so that no roaming charges will be incurred.


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