Austin-based BarZ Adventures, in partnership with the Austin Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB), introduced a GPS walking tour of Austin, which it claims is the first GPS walking tour of any city in the nation.
The audio/visual tour guides tourists to leading attractions and sites via GPS technology linked to the audio/visual handheld device. Details on attractions are narrated by KXAN anchor Michelle Valles, and special features including trivia and optional detailed descriptions allow visitors to delve deeper into specific attractions that pique their interest.
The GPS Ranger, BarZ Adventures’ destination tour product, introduces sightseers to Austin’s historical and cultural attractions with a walking tour piloted by Global Positioning System (GPS) technology. The audio and video tour, which is narrated by local KXAN News Anchor Michelle Valles, guides visitors to more than two dozen points of interest, providing a comprehensive overview to Texas’ Capital City and the Live Music Capital of the World. An American Sign Language tour is also offered, increasing the city’s accessibility to the deaf and hard of hearing.
Tours, which cost $11.95 each, are available at the Austin Visitor Center at 209 E. Sixth Street. One lightweight handheld device with a four-inch screen can be shared by several people. As visitors approach each point of interest, the GPS Ranger triggers location-based content, telling the story of the site or attraction utilizing audio narration and video components. Attractions highlighted on the tour include the Texas Capitol, Sixth Street, Zilker Park, St. Mary’s Cathedral, Moonlight Towers and the Ann Richards Congress Avenue Bridge, along with the city’s famed bats. Events and local flair are also featured with narration on the “Keep Austin Weird” campaign, O. Henry Pun-Off, Spamarama and more.
While BarZ Adventures has launched GPS Ranger tours at about two dozen national parks and zoos, the partnership with Austin CVB is its first with a destination marketing organization. The Austin tour is also the first GPS tour to also be made available in American Sign Language. Working with Communication Service for the Deaf, Inc. (CSD), a national private nonprofit agency providing services to the deaf, hard of hearing and individuals with speech disabilities, Austin CVB and BarZ Adventures adapted the tour to make it accessible to the deaf. CSD hopes to replicate this model in other locations around the nation for those who use American Sign Language as their primary language.
For more information on the Austin GPS Ranger video tour, call the Austin Visitor Center at 512-478-0098 or visit www.austintexas.org. The Visitor Center is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Saturday and Sunday from 9:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. For more information on the Austin CVB, visit http://www.austintexas.org/ For more information on CSD, visit http://www.c-s-d.org/
For more information on BarZ Tours, visit http://www.barzadventures.com/