Baton Rouge now has a smartphone application, or “app,” that directs residents and visitors toward popular restaurants, attractions and daily events in the area.
The app, called Go BR, was launched by the Baton Rouge Area Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Smartphone owners who download the free app can access information about nearby points of interest by holding up a camera phone to street level while accessing the app.
Then nearby restaurants, businesses, tourist attractions and events — pulled from the Visitors Bureau’s database and events calendar — begin popping up on the screen.
“We are proud to introduce this cutting edge mobile technology to provide visitors and locals with a richer Baton Rouge experience,” said Renée Areng, executive vice president of sales and marketing for the bureau.
Unlike other well-known tourist-friendly apps such as Yelp and Urban Spoon, Go BR does not compile user recommendations or critiques.
The information is controlled by the Visitors Bureau. The app shows the user’s distance away from an attraction along with its address, phone number, a description and a picture of the building.
With the tap of a button, users can also call the business, connect to a taxi service, or view a map with directions.
Theresa Overby, director of communications for the Visitors Bureau, said the bureau launched the app about a month ago.
So far, 288 iPhone users have downloaded the app. The numbers were not available for Android users.
She estimated there are about 1,200 businesses and attractions in the database, which includes the nine parish region.
She said the app is unique because it allows the bureau to promote daily events, like shows, concerts and festivals.
She said the bureau will promote the app to visitors who travel to the area, but also to locals looking for Baton Rouge events.
“We’ll be doing a lot more local awareness for our local public as to what it is we’re doing and the different services we provide,” she said. “It’s a good resource for both visitors and locals.”