Texas Forest Trail Region is pleased to announce the launch of a new smartphone-friendly web site TFTR.mobi. The web site, which is easily viewable on any mobile device with web browsing capabilities, features an interface for easily learning about events, travel tips, communities and sites within the 35-county Forest Trail Region while on the go. “The smartphone is not the future of travel,” says Dr. Chay Runnels, President of the Texas Forest Trail Region board of directors and program director for hospitality administration at Stephen F. Austin State University. “It is the right now.”
The launch of TFTR.mobi this week is just the first phase in a tiered development of a large mobile presence for the Forest Trail, explained Executive Director Mary Turner. “In partnership with our developer Walking Papers Media, we will launch an expanded mobile site network for many of our East Texas communities in time for use by Summer 2012 vacationers,” she says. Other plans for enrichment of the site are a companion print map with codes that can be scanned by smartphones to quickly access the mobile version and an app to locate clean restrooms, resources such as tourist information and auto repair by GPS, heritage site information, and a scavenger hunt. “We want to put East Texas in the palm of your hand,” says Turner. “No matter where you go, you’ll have a knowledgeable guide to help you make the most of your trip.”
Some July 2011 research data shows that 1 in 3 American adults are smartphone users. When it comes to travel, 81% of consumers are saying that they are using the internet to learn about a business or attraction before ever walking in. “For the travel and hospitality industries, these numbers are game-changing,” says Dr. Runnels. “If information about your organization is not accessible by smartphone, you may not exist to a growing group of travelers.”
Texas Forest Trail Region is a regional tourism initiative developed by the Texas Historical Commission that helps Texans connect with their roots and visitors experience the Texas story. The Texas Forest Trail Region encompasses 35 counties of East Texas including Anderson, Angelina, Bowie, Camp, Cass, Cherokee, Franklin, Gregg, Hardin, Harrison, Henderson, Houston, Jasper, Jefferson, Marion, Montgomery, Morris, Nacogdoches, Newton, Orange, Panola, Polk, Red River, Rusk, Sabine, San Augustine, San Jacinto, Shelby, Smith, Titus, Trinity, Tyler, Upshur, Walker and Wood.