A small business offering digital audio travel guides for self-drive tourists in Outback Australia has won a prestigious 2011 Northern Territory Brolga Tourism Award in the category of Specialised Tourism Services at the weekend.
DIY Tourguide’s GPS triggered iPhone app, MP3 and CD audio tours are the first of their type and this niche product for the Northern Territory reinforced its acceptance by the marketplace by rising to the top of the Brolga Award category over national companies offering tourist products for buses and trains.
The Brolga Awards are the tourism industry’s highest accolade and recognises tourism businesses that strive for excellence in every area of their operation. Winners represent the best products and services in the Northern Territory.
“I am thrilled to receive the Brolga Award and see innovation and small products recognised,” said Alice Springs based Laurelle Halford, who is the director for DIY Tourguide and the only employee in the business. She is also Creative Territory's Alice Springs consultant.
“More and more tourists coming to the Outback are travelling independently in their own or rental cars rather than in a group with an on-board tour guide, meaning they miss out on vital information to help them fully appreciate the region.
“We wanted to better entertain self-drive tourists and help them to interpret the Outback landscape as they drive through it and not see the centre of our country as an empty, barren place.”
Along with CD and MP3 tours, DIY Tourguide’s unique iPhone application offers detailed, location aware audio commentary over a distance of hundreds of kilometres giving self-drive tourists a new appreciation of the region as they travel.
“For the tech-savvy tourist lack of mobile phone and internet coverage in Outback Australia no longer needs to be a barrier to accessing latest technology.”
Ms Halford says work is underway to expand the company’s self-drive routes beyond the West MacDonnell Ranges and between Alice Springs and Uluru to other routes across the Northern Territory and Australia.
DIY Tourguide is one of the many Brolga Award winners who will represent the Northern Territory in the Australian Tourism Awards in Cairns on 2 March 2012.
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