New Times / Strokes & Plugs
The following articles were printed from New Times [newtimesslo.com] - Volume 28, Issue 49
Welcome Map goes mobile
By LAREINA GAMBOA
We’ve all seen those blue maps here and there—that painstakingly obvious sign there are tourists among us trying to find their way. For more than 25 years, Welcome Map has been producing these maps for hotels in SLO, Morro Bay, Cambria, and Pismo Beach to provide a bird’s eye view of each town. But in today’s world, though some still like to have that map in hand, most have moved on to anything and everything electronic, and Welcome Map has hopped on board.
The Welcome Map is now being produced with a QR code that can be scanned to help guide tourists up and down the coast. Map in hand, they can have a general idea of the layout of the town. But with the QR code to scan, or by simply typing the website (welcomemapmobile.com) into their smart-phone browser, users can access a wealth of information about hotels, restaurants, and activities.
Under each business, there is basic information including where it’s located, hours of operation, and a phone number.
Welcome Map representative Ray Campos wanted the layout of welcomemapmobile.com to be so user friendly that even the least tech-savvy among us can use it. The design is just like an app—and let’s just say, if you’re reading this sentence right now, then you can navigate through the mobile site.
Welcome Map Mobile’s first page is broken down into six categories: Activities, Food & Drink, Lodging, Shopping, Services, and Coupons & Deals. From there it’s broken down into cities, then once you click on a city it leads to the businesses.
Welcome Map isn’t just for the tourists, though. The businesses that have advertisements in the original paper form of Welcome Map will receive full site privileges online; they’ll be able to feature whatever content they want, including coupons and deals, as though it were their own site being visited. Some shops allow specials to be redeemed right through the mobile page, while others still opt for the old-fashioned coupon clipping. These deals are all based upon the businesses themselves, and are simply featured on Welcome Map Mobile.
Aside from the mobile site, Campos created a regular website for when the smart-phone battery life has been exhausted. And the website is just as easy to navigate; there’s a dropdown menu on the top right-hand side of the home screen to direct you. From your desktop computer or iPad, visit welcomemap.biz to reach the site. At the bottom of both the regular site and mobile site there are links to reach Welcome Map and inquire about advertising. In the meantime, the paper maps can be found at just about any hotel along the coast.
The Arroyo Grande Harvest Festival Grand Marshal nominations are underway. If you or someone you know is eligible for this award, head to agharvestfestival.com to download the form, and mail it back to Arroyo Grande Valley Harvest Festival Committee, P.O. Box 575 Arroyo Grande, CA 93421. All nominations must be in by Aug. 31.
Intern Lareina Gamboa compiled this week’s Strokes & Plugs. Send your business and nonprofit news to firstname.lastname@example.org.