'Still' Scenic Route Installation, Tomintoul
The SnowRoads Scenic Route has launched a new mobile application to help visitors explore as they travel through the heart of the Cairngorms National Park.
The app uses the latest virtual and augmented reality technology to bring the route to life for adventurers and includes an augmented reality treasure hunt, an audio guide and 360 panoramic filming.
It also curates local stories and legends and nearby listings of more unconventional tourist attractions which were unearthed during a community engagement programme across the route. The app is free and will be used by businesses to promote the area and by visitors to enhance their experience.
On 23 November 2018, The SnowRoads was announced as the winner of Innovation in Tourism at the Aberdeen City and Shire Tourism Awards (ACSTA) and will go on to represent the region at the Scottish Thistle Awards next year.
The SnowRoads aims to catapult the already iconic 90-mile journey - linking Blairgowrie in Perthshire to Grantown-on-Spey in the Highlands via Glenshee, Braemar, Ballater and Tomintoul - into a destination in its own right.
A £245,000 grant from Scottish Enterprise was awarded under the Tourism Destination Development Fund towards this £315,000 initiative which is being led by the Cairngorms Business Partnership (CBP) with partners the Cairngorms National Park Authority (CNPA).
As part of the Scottish Government’s Scenic Routes initiative, three art installations were commissioned and placed along the route near the Devil's Elbow in Glenshee, a viewpoint at Corgarff and in Tomintoul.
Project Manager of The SnowRoads for the CBP, Jennifer Green, explained the aim is to create a must-do scenic route through the Cairngorms National Park. She said: “We have created a digital toolkit for a truly immersive visitor experience to highlight this destination road which will have a major positive economic impact on communities and businesses along the route.
“We know we have created something authentic that local folk will enjoy, as much of the content has been built around local stories and legends unearthed through a major community engagement project where we asked local people what they would like to see promoted as part of the project.
“There is a huge amount of original content in our toolkit including videos narrated by the people who live and work along the route and even our own five-track SnowRoads EP which was composed and produced by Scottish musician, Calum Wood. The music Calum has created is emotive and reflective of each area along the way and offers a perfect soundtrack to listen to while looking out at the wild and dramatic scenery of this untouched place.”
The content will continue to build as local people and businesses will be invited to add listings and points of interest along the way which will then be delivered straight to visitors’ mobile phones.
The treasure hunt feature encourages people to stop off and explore the area to truly discover the Cairngorms and the rest of Scotland. It’s also a lot of fun so will keep all the family interested.
Jennifer adds: “The SnowRoads does not apologise for its heritage, culture, challenging terrain and at times unruly weather conditions but rather, celebrates these things. It encourages people to discover a road less travelled.
“I’m not alone when I say I love to drive through the Cairngorms National Park. This route has local and international appeal for families on a Highland adventure, classic car drivers and cyclists. The technology and tools we have developed throughout this project will be invaluable for tourists and businesses alike, as they promote this journey as a bucket-list destination to the world.”
Pete Crane, Head of Visitor Services at the CNPA said: “A journey along The SnowRoads takes you through the Cairngorms National Park and over two of the highest public roads in Britain. This stunning route links five communities with the outstanding landscape of the Cairngorms and lots of reasons to slow down and experience this truly inspiring area of Scotland”.
Danny Cusick, Director, Food & Drink, Tourism and Textiles, Scottish Enterprise said: “This is a fantastic development. We know that visitors to Scotland are looking for true, authentic and unique experiences. Through the use of digital technologies this App will enhance the visitor experience, enabling them to fully appreciate this unique destination and increased business engagement will further develop the tourism offering that attracts both UK and international visitors.”
The SnowRoads app is free to download on Apple and Android devices.
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