To help increase local tourism, Peterborough and the Kawarthas Tourism is launching a condensed travel planner called Dream Book.
Tourism normally infuses more than $300 million into the local economy annually, according to the agency, but the tourism sector has been hit hard this year due to COVID-19.
“The launch of this new Dream Book is one of the ways local tourism officials are planning to kickstart the visitor economy through a three-phase recovery marketing plan,” a press release from the agency states.
The book is powered with augmented reality technology through a free app which can be found at both the Apple App Store and Google Play Store by searching Neighbur Vue.
Throughout the book, images that are marked with a vue icon will activate the augmented reality technology on a users’ device.
To start, users will be able to see videos of experiences, such as a time lapse video of the Peterborough Lift Lock. In the future, users will be able to have more interactive experiences as well, according to the agency.
“We know, as consumers slowly regain confidence, that hyperlocal and regional tourism are going to be our focus into 2021,” said Kelly Jessup, director of marketing and communications for the agency.
In co-operation with the efforts of federal and provincial tourism agencies, Jessup said they’re aiming to inspire local residents, seasonal residents and day-trippers to explore the exceptional volume and variety of experiences in Peterborough and the Kawarthas.
Over the next six months, PKED will be executing a three-phase recovery marketing plan with tourism at the core.
Phase 1, which kicks off with the Dream Book, will begin with a hyperlocal focus aimed at encouraging locals to shop, buy, eat and stay local, supporting food and drink, retail, artists, attractions and agri-tourism, said PKT.
Jessup said re-entering the marketplace will require a delicate balance between encouraging local spending to support local businesses and responsibly encouraging the return of visitors in a way that considers public health and safety as well as sustainability.
“We are confident that a gradual phased approach will help us support those that need to recoup lost revenue due to the pandemic, while still supporting those who aren’t ready for increased demand yet,” she said.
Phases 2 and 3 will align with provincial efforts, as Ontarians regain confidence and are willing to travel farther to explore nearby regions, encouraging travellers from within the province to explore Ontario through road trips and to check some items off their bucket-list highlighting iconic sites, tastes and experiences in Peterborough and the Kawarthas, the release states.
Marissa Lentz is a staff reporter at the Examiner, based in Peterborough. Her reporting is funded by the Canadian government through its Local Journalism Initiative. Reach her via email: email@example.com
Marissa Lentz, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Peterborough Examiner