Apps in foot­path could aid tourism

Central and North Burnett Times - - NEWS -

NORTH Bur­nett road tourists seek­ing a hair­dresser or tyre re­pair shop could soon be hit­ting the pave­ment even be­fore the ve­hi­cles roll to a stop.

iPavement, a paver that’s also a wi-fi router, will be in­stalled in 15 towns along the Aus­tralian Coun­try Way (A3), if an ap­pli­ca­tion led by the North Bur­nett Re­gional Coun­cil suc­ceeds.

The iPavement pavers also have built-in apps to

David Wiskar I look at the RVs at the bot­tom of the street (in Monto). They’re not nec­es­sar­ily aware of all the busi­nesses in town.

con­nect peo­ple to prod­ucts and ser­vices in the towns.

The apps, fea­tur­ing town maps, business lo­ca­tors and audio guides for tourist sites, would link busi­nesses with the tour­ing pub­lic, last week’s coun­cil meet­ing was in­formed.

In­creased spend­ing and ac­com­mo­da­tion nights could gen­er­ate an es­ti­mated $3.6 mil­lion to $25 mil­lion fromWar­wick to Rock­hamp­ton, coun­cil cor­po­rate and com­mu­nity ser­vices man­ager David Wiskar said.

“I look at the RVs at the bot­tom of the street (in Monto). They’re not nec­es­sar­ily aware of all the busi­nesses in town,” Mr Wiskar said.

“The key to mak­ing it suc­cess­ful is if you pull up in Gayn­dah, you can find a chemist or where to re­place a tyre if you blow a tyre.

“With the tourism el­e­ment, if you’re here in Monto you can go out to Ca­nia for two days.”

The pro­posed $1.15 mil­lion project would have a pro­mo­tional road sign at each town’s en­trance and touch-screens and iPavement hot spots in­stalled for four part­ner coun­cils – Ba­nana Shire, North Bur­nett, South Bur­nett and Toowoomba.

Coun­cil­lor Paul Lobegeier said the project to in­stall the tech­nol­ogy would ben­e­fit busi­nesses and pro­vide a more “user-friendly” ex­pe­ri­ence for car­a­van­ners and back­pack­ers.

“Sixty per cent of grey no­mads are fully com­puter lit­er­ate, so this would en­able them to use that tech­nol­ogy and en­able our business peo­ple to ad­ver­tise on that medium,” Cr Lobegeier said.

David Gilchrist, for­merly of Rock­hamp­ton, said wi-fi and business in­for­ma­tion would be ap­pre­ci­ated.

“Be­ing trav­ellers, we’re pretty starved for wi-fi in re­gional ar­eas,” he said.

“When you look at free camps, the peo­ple who pro­vide and main­tain the free camps want the re­ward of our support for lo­cal business.”

Gayn­dah Mitre 10 owner John Zahl said he would be in­ter­ested – pro­vided main­te­nance was cost-ef­fec­tive.

“Long-term main­te­nance be­comes a li­a­bil­ity if those re­spon­si­ble are strapped for cash,” Mr Zahl said.

He be­lieved the tech­nol­ogy would at­tract peo­ple un­der 30 as “their life is on the phone” but get­ting vis­i­tors to stop was key.

“We want them to know we’re here,” he said.

EMAIL: ed­i­to­rial@south­bur­nett­

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