A taxi driver has teamed up with a seven foot tall alien who needs help finding his way around Northumberland.
Andrew Park, who runs Park’s Taxis in Seahouses, is working with BLA the alien to launch his new business, Big Local App Northumberland. The unlikely pair are visiting businesses across the county to encourage them to sign up to the new resource, which is a mine of information for local people and visitors coming to the county on holiday.
Big Local App contains everything you need to know about life in Northumberland, from local news and council information to sports centre opening times and facilities, tourist and arts information and a business directory. The information, which is free to download on a smart phone, is fully searchable and users can also take advantage of money-off vouchers for shops, sports and leisure facilities across the county.
Andrew said: “Big Local App was invented by a UK web developer and is a brilliant resource. I saw the idea on a website and decided to take on the franchise because it’s just what we need in Northumberland, whether you live here or want to make the most of your visit.
“Imagine the racks of leaflets you see in hotel and B&B receptions – the Big Local App actually replaces all of those. It’s like having hundreds of leaflets in your pocket that you can access from your phone or mobile tablet device.”
Smart phones are increasingly the tools of choice for people looking for information on the go. There are currently around 31 million smart phones in the UK, with iPhone and Android covering 92% of the market at the end of 2012. Mobile devices were responsible for 50% of internet access in 2011, and that number is only set to increase.
Other interesting stats show that 95% of Smartphone users search for local information with 88% taking action within the same day. For business related searches, 61% will then follow up the search with a phone call and 59% will physically visit a business. A staggering 9 out of 10 Smartphone user have taken action after a Smartphone search.
Andrew said: “Everyone has become more and more dependent on their smart phones and in future, this is the method people will turn to first to find out information – especially when they are out and about.”
He is now working with BLA the alien to sign up Northumberland firms to the Big Local App business directory, where they have the option of creating their own mini-app to highlight their services and communicate with their customers.
“I’m hoping to grow the Big Local App so it becomes a top choice for tourists coming to Northumberland and at the same time helps local companies to win extra business,” said Andrew.
“This really is the future of finding local information at your fingertips.”
BLA is FREE to download from the Appstore and Google Play now.