Cellphone tour on-track

By Karen Fallon

Caron Soulliere, who works with the Fort Malden Historical Site, appeared before council as the representative for the Amherstburg Museums and Galleries Group to explain the Voices of Amherstburg Cellphone Tour to the new council members.

Anne Rota, Manager of Tourism and Culture noted that for $1,000 in the base budget the town is partnered with the AMG and that they do “all the work.”

“It really is great value and we are so appreciative of all the work they do,” said Rota.

The unique tour is a joint initiative put on by the AMG which includes: the Park House Museum, the Black Historical Museum, the Gibson Art Gallery, Fort Malden, Holiday Beach and the Marsh Historical Collection, along with the Town of Amherstburg.

The AMG was nominated for the “Innovator of the Year” Ontario Tourism Award in 2010, for the cellphone tour, which is now into its third year.

There are 24 stops on the tour where people can dial 1-866-578-0242 and submit their comments.

“We receive several calls per month asking our advice on how to set up cellphone tours,” said Soulliere.

These include inquires from across Canada and the US.

“To keep up with the trends” and “stay one step ahead” it is the hope of the organizers to expand the tour to include such things as phone apps, video phone tours and bar code technology.

“We have to continue to adapt to changing technology and visitor travelling trends,” said Soulliere. “A lot of people like this kind of tour because you do it at your own pace…it’s a self guided tour.”

Possible new tours that are being explored are the War of 1812 tour and an architectural tour.

In response to councillor Carolyn Davis’ inquiry about the ability to add different languages to the initiative, Soulliere says there is the capability to add “any language.”

“It is a very versatile tour so we can add any language that we like, the cost would just be for the translation of the script and to get someone to record it,” noted Soulliere.

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