Virginia launches tourism iPhone app

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The Virginia Tourism Corporation launched an iPhone application October 5 to give visitors immediate information about the state and its attractions and lodging options.

The tourism group partnered with digital marketing firm eBrains and SIM Partners, an interactive marketing agency, to create the app.

The application is available for free through iTunes. It includes maps and directions to various attractions around the state, as well as information about accommodations and restaurants, said Richard Lewis, press relations manager at the Virginia Tourism Corporation.

“[The app will help consumers] know there is a resource available right at their fingertips without having to go to secondary resources,” he said.

The app provides points of interest near a geographic location and lists all cities and municipalities in Virginia. It also gives consumers information on current and upcoming events around the state. The app also has an e-commerce element, directing consumers to make reservations by phone or the web.

Travel and tourism marketers can partner with the Virginia Tourism Corporation on promotional packages, such as discounts, and offers via text message. The app also includes descriptions, pictures, videos, ratings and reviews.

Lewis said the app's target audience consists of visitors to the state, as well as residents who are traveling outside of areas they know well.

Earlier this year, Virginia targeted summer vacationers with a campaign using search, e-mail, social media, print and TV, despite only having a marketing budget at 1996 levels.

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