02 December 2008

NZ tourists now get personalised radio stations

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Tourists in New Zealand will be treated with a virtual tour guide in rental cars, reports TravelMole, which is designed to give real-time and relevant tourist information, local New Zealand music and navigation.

Tourism New Zealand has developed an innovative radio station run through GPS and broadcast directly to the rental car.  No matter where the tourists are currently located, the GPS system will ensure Tourism Radio plays the local programme so that they can enjoy the local entertainment and the tourism information relates completely to the location of the tourists. 

Tourism Radio's managing director New Zealand and Australia Hayden Braddock said the technology would act as a virtual tour guide.

"Tourism Radio's unique IntelliPoint system draws the driver's attention to prominent landmarks and highlights as the vehicle approaches them, making sure the tourist doesn't miss any key attractions," Mr Braddock said.

"Whether it's the closest visitor centre, an historical insight or information on New Zealand slang and local music, Tourism Radio aims to provide a comprehensive information and entertainment service to travellers," he added.

Tourism Radio has 1600 points of interest from around New Zealand programmed into its system.  The 80 hours of programming will include Kiwi voices, phrases and "a distinct local flavour" so that tourists can get the Kiwi experience.

In related news, Internet giants Google launched Google Street View in New Zealand this month.  The Google Street View allows people to tour the streets of selected cities around the world using the Internet.  Cars armed with cameras patrolled most city centres and suburban streets of New Zealand, the US, Australia, France, Italy, Britain, Spain, Ireland, the Czech Republic, Japan, Switzerland and Norway.  Users will see 360-degree street-level views around selected countries free of charge.  Google aims to cover an entire World Street View.

Tourism New Zealand believes the application would serve as a great tool for international tourists to have a taste of what New Zealand has to offer.  Tourists will now be able to sample the sights of Wellington, arrange meeting points, or view beachside accommodation in remote coastal towns before setting foot into the country.  People considering to move to New Zealand would also be able to make better decisions about which city they choose to settle. 

The New Zealand Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in helping people with their New Zealand visa application.

Article by Jessica Bird, New Zealand Visa Bureau.

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