A new tourism app is set to open up the rural heartlands of Scotland, as part of the A9 Dualling programme.
Highland Discovery has been developed to help tourists navigate visitor attractions in and around the A9 corridor.
The new app has been designed to help visitors in the area identify places of interest and get a glimpse into the local culture of Scotland, with in-car audio channels providing traditional music and stories from areas.
Attractions and businesses ranging from Bronze Age cemetery Clava Cairns to Alyth Museum in rural Perthshire, to Blairgowrie Golf Club and Dunkeld House Hotel, will feature as well as less well-known visitor spots along the corridor. It will include everything from the independent coffee shop to the best highland ice-cream sellers.
Highland Discovery has been produced as part of the Scottish Government’s innovative Civ Tech Challenge, which looks to new technology businesses to solve technological challenges, and is based on work conducted by Glasgow Caledonian University’s Professor John Lennon. Prof Lennon, Director of GCU’s Moffat Centre, has led tourism development in rural areas by encouraging the use of digital resources to connect visitors and market attractions.
He said: “This major infrastructure project is a vital element of tourism development of the rural heartlands of Scotland and it is clear that the A9 Dualling can be a catalyst for much wider economic development in Scotland. By connecting visitors to local attractions through the app, we hope that the experience, information and journey will open up parts of rural Scotland to new and returning visitors.”
The app has been developed by Scottish Technology specialist, Learn to Love Digital, in partnership with Glasgow Caledonian University’s Moffat Centre and Jacobs. The Moffat Centre has been working as a sub-contractor to Jacobs UK Ltd and for Transport Scotland since 2015.
Highland Discovery will initially be trialled with tourists and local communities before being rolled out in full next year.
The Cabinet Secretary for Economy, Jobs and Fair Work, Keith Brown, recently underlined the wider impact of the route and app.
He said: “The A9 Dualling programme is about more than building a road, important and challenging as that is. We also want to take the opportunity to improve the visitor experience for people travelling along the route and uncover the “hidden gems” local to the corridor.”