Saturday, November 19, 2011

The Relaunch of XplrNZ

In a recent email to advertisers, AA Tourism announced the release of their own brand new iPhone mobile app and confirmed that they have relinquished their relationship with an app released last year called XplrNZ.
"Please note that AA Tourism is no longer involved in the development of the XplrNZ application and all AA content is being withdrawn. We no longer endorse its development and therefore any emails you receive from them should be considered unsolicited."
The XplrNZ app has recently been updated and stripped of its AA branding by developers i-Visit Limited. Many of the app's original features have been removed that included the use of "augmented reality" that allowed users to view real-time pictures through their camera that were overlaid with clickable icons that revealed location-based information from tourism advertisers.

It would appear that last year's listing data from AA Tourism advertisers have remained on the XplrNZ app and it's interesting to see that these tourism businesses are now being contacted directly by i-Visit and encouraged to "update and renew" their listing.

In order to breathe new life into XplrNZ that is offered to smart phone users for free, i-Visit are continuing to throw substantial money at development. An Android version has been launched and there is a new mobile site for Blackberry and Nokia phones. RTOs are being contacted to update regional and specific location based features and a joint promotion with Telecom NZ is planed with smartphones on offer as prizes to encourage use of the app by tourists over December and January. 

XplrNZ claim "Live booking via the App" and it is unclear what this may mean? Are the developers about to integrate real-time booking in an attempt to clip the ticket or does this simply mean that app users are able to hyper-link to advertiser's contact details - via phone, email and web?

While i-Visit are currently offering listings to operators for "free" it will be interesting to learn how the considerable investment in developing this app can be recovered?

After a yet to be determined time evaluating this stand-alone marketing initiative, I wonder what the uptake would be if operators were to receive a pro-forma invoice for a continued listing on the XplrNZ app?

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