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Niagara River in FallAs one of the earliest digital tourism sites featuring the first online itinerary builder, this website took an innovative approach to a) promoting more sustainable modes of tourism and alternative tourism destinations in the Niagara Greenbelt region, and b) developing a dynamic, community-focussed database of interpretive information about the area and its features.


Using a suite of web-based tools and portable digital technologies, the project provided logistical and interpretive information about destinations, low-impact tourism activities, and alternative transportation options to reduce auto dependence (including cycling, rail, municipal public transit, and pedestrian travel).


Visitors to the Niagara Greenbelt were able to obtain information about individual destinations, trails, features, or other points of interest (POIs), and to construct custom trip itineraries which include location information, digital maps, detailed turn-by-turn directions, GPS coordinates, and both written and audio-based overviews of the selected POIs.


The site also featured downloadable thematic audio or multimedia tours for use on iPods, smart phones, and other portable digital players. Point of interest information pages were set up to allow the community of users to annotate and edit content, and visitors were able to post reviews of certain destinations and features.


Users were able to submit profiles of their own thematic tours for other visitors to use or modify for their own purposes. Interpretive resources were developed to allow integration with forthcoming locational multimedia technologies, where GPS coordinates automatically trigger directional and interpretive information on portable digital devices.


The Niagara Greenbelt Routes and Discovery Centres project was a multifaceted partnership initiative that strengthened Niagara's leadership role in developing greenbelt awareness programs that create excitement, enhance knowledge and foster discovery through participation in Greenbelt projects, activities and events.


Funded by the Ontario Greenbelt Foundation, the project was a joint venture involving Tourism Niagara (a division of Niagara Economic Development Corporation), Brock University's Department of Tourism and Environment (now Geography and Tourism Studies), Niagara's Greenbelt municipalities, and participating agencies. The main product is the Niagara Greenbelt Gateway Website, an innovative user-focussed site that features trip planning, itinerary building, mapping and directional capabilities, multimedia interpretive aids, user feedback features, and a comprehensive database of Niagara Greenbelt points of interest.


Read all about this project in these overview papers:

Digital Discovery and Electronic Explorations:
Promoting Sustainable Tourism in the Niagara Greenbelt


More Digital Discoveries and Electronic Explorations - A Locative Media Platform for Heritage Interpretation in the Field (2019)



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