Earlier this year, the 16 member Wine Consortium of Abruzzo in Italy realized that a hindrance to local wine tourism came from winemakers themselves. Many were so focused on viticulture and fermentation that they ignored promoting their own regional mountain and coastal landscape as a destination for visitors.
Another challenge came when visitors asked consortium members where to visit. Recommending one destination in favor of another could be regarded as biased by local business owners.
A third problem related to directions. Negotiating twisted coastal roads while wrestling a large and unwieldy map over a dashboard does not make for an ideal excursion. Visitors want a breezy and scenic vacation, not a logistical scavenge hunt.
Because the focus of the consortium is to assure the quality of local wines as well as to promote the region, they realized they needed to take action.
Consortium president Valentino di Campli and other members decided to scrap traditional marketing tactics and instead to develop a mobile telephone application (app).
The group mapped out 10 recommended driving routes within Abruzzo. Each, ideally, requires about two days to cover, and all intersect cultural, historical and scenic hotspots. They agreed that for each waypoint along any route, icons could be clicked on the app in order to identify wine bars and restaurants within a selected radius from each point—whether 6, 15, 30 or 45 miles (20, 25, 50 or 75 kilometers) away.
A local developer then created a straightforward app, called Percorsi (Journeys) that displays photos, summarizes attractions and navigates to targeted destinations using global positioning satellites (GPS).
Launched in October in Italian, the app is now also available in English.
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