York Unveils Digital Tourism Initiatives

coppergate appYork is aiming to enhance its appeal to tourists with a range of digital initiatives aimed at visitors to the historic city.

City of York Council has teamed up with appeartome.com to develop a free app that makes characters from the citys past, including Dick Turpins hangman, Richard of York and railway king George Hudson appear on screen in a number of locations around the city, explaining elements of the citys history.

The app includes four free guides, with 16 more available to be purchased for £1.49. It also guides visitors to locations, and gives hints and tips on nearby cafes, bars and restaurants. Another version of the app is used at the nearby Yorkshire Air Museum, which includes aviator Amy Johnson and Sir Barnes Wallis, inventor of the bouncing bomb.

In the citys Coppergate area, panels containing NFC technology and QR codes are being used in celebration of the Jorvik Viking Centres 30 year anniversary. The panels are installed around the outdoor shopping square, enabling visitors to uncover 360 degree images of artefacts uncovered on the site.

Another app has been created to aid tourists in exploring the rich history of Yorks many churches. The York Churches app uses GPS to guide visitors to the churches, and provides an introduction to their history and current use. For nine of the churches, it also includes a plug-in which reveals details of their interiors and stories from their construction and history.

“York now has more ways of exploring the city through technology than anywhere else in Britain,” said Kate McMullen, head of Visit York. “Yorks tourism businesses are embracing new technology to help visitors explore our 2,000 year old city using the very latest 21st century know-how and expertise. All of this, combined with the arrival of free city-centre wide wi-fi, which is available to all visitors with a free login available from our Visitor Centre, will make York on of the best interpreted cities in the country. In years to come well see visitors exploring York in a whole new way.”