'Guide yourself' tours on mobile
GYMPIE’S involvement in the Great Sandy Biosphere has already spawned one inventive suggestion to promote tourism in the area – self-run tours with an automated tour guide talking to you, courtesy of a $2 program available on your own iPhone.
Ex-New Zealander Bruce Cresswell, now resident in Noosa, had a brainwave, ultimately inspired by a combination of the latest technology and his experience visiting the USA during the 1980s.
“I was in (American Civil War battleground) Gettysburg and they had a self-guided tour run on tape recorders and you could see where each side fought and have tea and coffee at what had been the headquarters of Robert E. Lee, including the hole in one roof where a cannon ball came through.
“They showed you the trees that can’t be felled because they are full of bullets that will wreck your chainsaw.
“The tapes take six to eight hours and give you a guided tour,” he said.
Fast forward to the present and we have internet and iphone technology, enabling all this to be available on a mobile telephone, complete with detailed pictures, sound and graphics.
Mr Cresswell’s new internet-mobile phone product uses Apple technology to give people a detailed guided tour to areas like the Cooloola Sand Blow and even the entire walk down to Noosa. The tour includes identification of trees and historical information and is intended to be available to tourists in bargain form for $2, Mr Cresswell said.
“In a more expensive version, if you get bitten by a snake, your phone can tell you how to identify it, how to calm down and apply a pressure bandage and it can supply your GPS co-ordinates to the rescue authorities,” he said.
Mr Cresswell, who says he was never much of a conservationist, says his experience of living in Noosa and seeing the beautiful Great Sandy National Park area has turned him “a shade of green” already.
“I’m very interested in the Biosphere ideas,” he said.