21st CENTURY technology could boost tourism in Portsmouth, with a free app that provides a 'cyber tour' of its top destinations.
Created by Visit Portsmouth and London-based company Geo Tourist, a 15-point tour of Portsmouth is now available on the Geotourist app for mobile phones.
The 12.5km walking tour includes attractions such as Southsea seafront, The D-Day Story, Hilsea Lines, the Mary Rose Museum and the Emirates Spinnaker Tower with accompanying audio descriptions.
Councillor Steve Pitt, the council's head of culture and leisure, hoped the app would highlight some of the city's rich history. 'We're really excited to launch this new geo tour of Portsmouth,' he said.
'It will enable visitors to explore the city's diverse and interesting history, as well as all our exciting places to visit.
'The tour will show people the wealth of things to see and do across the whole of Portsmouth, to encourage trips off the beaten track - as well as some of our biggest tourist hotspots.
'Portsmouth is ideal for this initiative as it’s not only a vibrant city with lots to discover, but also accessible and flat - making it ideal for walking tours.'
Geo tours have also recently been launched in London, Bristol and Plymouth.
For chief executive officer of Geo Tourist, Shaon Taulker, the tour's development provided an opportunity to learn more about the city. He said: 'The Geo Tourist app will make it easier to connect with unique stories from each town.
'We worked with Visit Portsmouth to find out stories from different places like Southsea and the Mary Rose project.
'I learnt a lot about Portsmouth in the process, I didn't know before that it was the birth place of Charles Dickens, for example. It's clear that Portsmouth has a lot of diversity.
'People can find out what interesting things there are to see before visiting a town or city. It might influence their decision to spend time there.'
Tourism in Portsmouth supports around 12,500 jobs and pumps £40m into the local economy every year.
The Geotourist app can be found on the Apple app store and Google Play.