New phone app available for area's driving trails

New phone app available for area's driving trails

June 4th, 2013 by Ben Benton in Local Regional News

GET ON THE TRAIL

To learn more, go to www.southeasttennessee.com and click on the Google Play button or go to the Google Play or Apple iTunes sites to search for and download the application.

The Southeast Tennessee Tourism Association is launching a mobile phone application in connection with a new driving trails brochure to give people a resource while they track down the state's best destinations.

The Southeast Tennessee Tourism Association wants to ride along in your pocket next time you go day-tripping across the region.

The association this month released its mobile smart phone app "Cultural Heritage Driving Trails" that contains the association's seven theme-based driving trails, director Paul Archambault said.

The app guides motorists to sites along each theme-based trail, starting with some of the nearest ones and providing driving distances and a link to a smart phones' GPS or mapping software.

Fully completed trails so far are the Civil War and the American Indian trails, Archambault said. Those two trails became available May 10.

At least one site is on the other trails, though even the incomplete ones have some information and guidance information, he said. The remaining trails are the "Outdoor Recreation Guide," "Fun on the Farm," "Arts Trail," Music Trail" and the "Religious Heritage Trail."

"The next big one we want to get out is the 'Outdoor Recreation' mobile app" because of its high demand and popularity since the region has received national recognition as an outdoor recreation mecca, Archambault said.

The apps work on iPhone and Android platforms.

"We have a number of sites on that already, but we're constantly doing revisions, making additions and adding some new sites on the mobile map," he said.

Chattanooga Convention & Visitors Bureau CEO and president Bob Doak said the new app will enhance information the bureau can provide to visitors.

"We have a great partnership with SETTA, and we're excited that they have rolled out this new app where people can explore the area's driving trails," Doak said. "We're also celebrating the 150th anniversary of the Civil War this year so it was great that they were able to launch the app with the Civil War Trail."

Archambault said there will always be demand for printed tourism materials, but ever-growing smart phone use has created a huge market for the app.

"With mobile searches predicted to outnumber desktop searches by 2013, 63 percent of travelers already use their cellphone to plan a trip and approximately 79 percent use their cellphone while traveling," he said, citing 2012 study data from the State of the American Traveler.

Contact staff writer Ben Benton at bbenton@times freepress.com or 423-757-6569.