Business

Arlington-Smokey Point Chamber prepares to take visitors on 'CyberTour'

ARLINGTON — The Arlington-Smokey Point Chamber of Commerce will be taking tourism digital with its new "CyberTour" in 2013.

The CyberTour will create a mobile tour of the city of Arlington, with signs at strategic places. Those with smart phones will be able to use the QR code to read about the attraction they are viewing. Those with regular phones will be able to call the phone number listed on the sign and listen to a recording about the attraction. Each attraction invites tourists to proceed to the next location, with 12 total in Arlington, including:

• The Arlington Municipal Airport.

• Local Naive American tribes.

• Parks, trails and other outdoor recreational opportunities.

• Art locations, coordinated with the Arlington Arts Council.

• Historic sites and farms, the latter coordinated with the Red Rooster Route.

• Shopping and dining spots in Smokey Point and downtown Arlington, the latter coordinated with the Downtown Arlington Business Association.

The Chamber Board will also be changing the mission of the traditional Visitor Information Center in Smokey Point to focus entirely on Arlington and Smokey Point businesses and attractions.

"We believe that many visitors are up to date with technology," said Mary Jane Harmon, managing director of the Chamber. "Everyone has a cell phone these days, and this CyberTour tracks all usage statistics, and allows us to flex the tour to what people want. We will also retain the traditional model with the Visitor Information Center, with paper brochures and maps, so we can charm visitors with Arlington's historic feel and friendly faces while also being thoroughly modern and observant of traditions."

"The main strategy behind the CyberTour is grabbing people that are already here in Arlington for one reason, and letting them know 11 other reasons why they should stay longer or come back soon," said Jesica Stickles, chair of the Chamber's Tourism Committee.

The Chamber has applied for several grants from the city of Arlington and Snohomish County to defray startup operational costs. They hope to have the CyberTour up and running by the summer of 2013, and look forward to attracting new tourists to Arlington.

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