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Bajan’s iLandGuide Barbados app online


Natasha Beckles

Bajan’s iLandGuide  Barbados app online

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FORGET TRADITIONAL TOURIST BROCHURES; more and more travellers are using mobile applications to learn what their destination has to offer.
And now visitors to Barbados can benefit from iLandGuide Barbados, an app that features comprehensive listings of local things to do and places to go along with maps and GPS services.
Regional sales director Monique Welch told BARBADOS BUSINESS AUTHORITY the programme has been available for download to iPhone and android operating systems since August.
“What we do is, we take everything that a tourist might collect when they go to an information kiosk: the maps, the flyers, business cards [and] brochures, and we condense it into a smartphone app that works completely offline and is fully searchable.
“It allows visitors to type in anything they are looking for and find it,” she said.
iLandGuide is an international company that launched its original app for Thailand, and Barbados was the first country in the Eastern Caribbean to be featured.
Since then apps have been launched for Antigua and Barbuda and St Lucia.
Welch explained that the inclusion of Barbados was based on her initiative.
“I was working before with my own company doing marketing consulting.
“In reaching out to potential customers on LinkedIn I came across iLandGuide worldwide so I spoke to the CEO and told him I would love to manage it in Barbados.
“He said, ‘Well we need to see a local marketing plan so that we can decide if you’re a good partner for us’.
“I did one for him and they were so impressed with it that they actually use it as a model for all the other franchises,” she said.
Welch noted that the company’s operations are franchised out so that a local person in each destination s responsible for constantly updating the app.
“We have an up-to-date event calendar.
“We allow all our advertisers to put in their own information so if they’re having a sale, if they’re having a special event and they want everybody to know . . . they can add it to the app themselves,” she said.
Welch noted that the event calendar had proven to be the most popular feature so far, and she expects competition in the holiday app market to heat up in coming years.
“Just from talking to people who are interested or advertising with us, I’ve seen that there is a very strong interest in app technology.
“People recognize that there is a value in it.
“Once you have a product that is doing well and that people are using you’re going to have competition,” she said, noting that brochures were becoming obsolete.
Welch said iLandGuide had already started offering advertising to various businesses and the marketing drive would pick up for the upcoming winter season.
“The biggest challenge has always been getting the word out and letting people know that the app exists and this is more so locally.
“The reason for that is because we’re now getting started and I’ve just started to get the team together here that will be promoting the app, so once the local marketing campaign launches this month then the word will definitely be out in a stronger way,” she said.

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