May 23, 2019

How to launch a tourism mobile app for a specific city?

Alexandru Catalin Trandafir @atrandafir

Hello everyone,

At my software development agency (HeavyDots) we're developing a side project called Discover Barcelona.

The app will be developed by our intern as part of his learning process.

We're going to build it using React Native for both iOS/Android and I will be assisting him during the development.

My other partner will be in charge of the design and content in the app.

The app's goal is to have a fun way to discover the city of Barcelona by playing a kind of interactive hints game that will require you to go offline and actually visit places in order to geolocate your position and move on to the next level.

In terms of promotion I guess we will be doing word of mouth with friends and colleagues, but I am also thinking of preparing a parallel strategy and plan some actions to reach more users.

So does any of you have any recommendations? Or similar apps I could investigate?

Thank you in advance.

  1. 2

    Try putting it on nomadlist.com under Barcelona I think you can get an ad for 99 usd

    1. 1

      Thanks Andrei!! Didn't knew about it, I would definetly look into it.

  2. 2

    I haven't launched mobile applications myself, so can't give you tactics advice specific to mobile, but here are some ideas:
    – Think about who is your audience, is it visitors to the city or locals?
    – If it is for locals, then getting to the top charts of AppStore/PlayStore will be very important.
    – For visitors, getting in touch with some popular travel sites/blogs can get you a good audience for cheap.
    – TripAdvisor forums can be a good source of traffic.
    – Getting some flyers into hotels might be an interesting idea to try. Don't think they'll mind too much.
    – If you want to spend more time and ready for a challenge, probably go to the city officials and get a link to the app on their website, probably even join your app with some "visit museums" card? They should be interested in any promotion like that and if you can help them sell something their interest will be through the roof. Especially, if it doesn't cost them anything.

    1. 1

      Hey Sergey!!

      Yes I have more experience with web than mobile too, so indeed I'll Google for some more ideas, but the ones you gave me look really great so thanks very much!

      I guess the audience will be both locals and visitors, because you have to be in the city in order to use it.

      I'm writing down all the ideas and going to put them into practice.

      1. 2

        I would focus on one group instead of two since locals and tourists have different interests and explore cities differently. You'll market in different places and using different messages for both groups.

        PS Share the app once it's done and who knows, I may decide to make Barcelona my vacation spot this year ;)

        1. 2

          Hey!! Thanks, okay will let you know about it!! :-) And yes definetly recommend Barcelona for a vacation, let me know if you need a place to stay or if you want to grab a beer! ;-) I live on the coast half hour with the train to reach city center.