FGC: “We are developing some spectacular interactive 3D maps for winter and summer.”

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Ferrocarrils de la Generalitat’s “Tourism and Mountain” division is in charge of five ski resorts in Catalonia: La Molina, Vallter 2000, Espot, Port Ainé and Vall de Núria. Their resorts have been using their own app since the 2012/13 season.

La Molina, is one of the Spanish pioneers ski resort. There have been skiers there since 1908 and it was the first resort to have a ski lift.

The five ski resorts are situated in ideal locations to practice winter sports. For example, Vall de Núria is located in a natural setting full of tradition and history. Vallter 2000 is set at the head of the Ter River Valley and has views of the Costa Brava. Finally, Espot and Port Ainé is located in Pallas Subirà, in the idyllic natural setting near the Aigüestortes i de l’Estany de Sant Maurici National Park.

Apart from being great winter sport destinations, all of these resorts offer a large assortment of summer activities to take advantage of the mountains.

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In this post, Ricard Palou Adriàn, part of the Digital Marketing department of FGC’s “Tourism and Mountain” section, discusses his experience with the five resorts’ apps and this season’s newest release, the 3D Interactive maps.

We appreciate the time he has given us and are sure that you will find this an interesting read.

When did you see the need to develop a mobile app for skiing?fgc-app

From the moment that, through our clients’ opinions (skiers, resort guests and visitors), we saw the need to make “live” information about snow conditions, facility openings and webcam images of the slopes, all available on their phones. Considering when a client is deciding to go or not go to a ski resort, one of the most influential elements in their decision is what the weather and snow will be like. Normally, the client has to do some significant traveling and it is important that at any moment or place, they can obtain reliable information from the resort.

Besides that, we saw the need to distinguish corporate mobile content from a more “fresh” content that which a client or visitor can participate or interact with. We saw the opportunity to gain customer loyalty through Skitudes proposals: to create contests for prizes, to use My Skitude profiles so skiers can view their ski’s statistics, then compare it with others and establish rankings, etc. We think all these proposals are great.

What does this new medium offer your clients? What advantages does it have over other apps?

We think a distinction should be made between the content and the uses available in the responsive mobile website of each tourist destination from the mobile app version: focusing on the mobile app to provide complete information about the facilities opening status and the weather, developing a range of games and competitions to gain our app user’s loyalty and delivering the GPS located users more personalized content and segmented information through push messages when they are at the ski resorts.

Are you planning to release any new features?

Actually, since last July we have been developing an overarching project for all of our resorts that creates 3D interactive maps for both winter and summer seasons. The users then can use these maps to view information about the slopes, trails, open lifts, webcams and weather forecasts in a visually appeasing way, whenever they wish, and all with the advantage to be able to see their exact location by activating the GPS locator. By taking advantage of this technology, we have revamped our resort’s “Virtual Races” (the most well-known is the Cami Vell Time-Trial, from Queralbs to the Vall de Núria) by creating new races in the Espot y Port Ainé resort (for now).  We made user race participation easy through a simple app registration and measuring the time between QR code scans (one at the beginning of the race and the other at the end),and the user doesn’t have to pay to participate.

Considering your partnership Skitude, what are the best qualities?

FGC trusted Skitude as their consultant and mobile app developer from the very first moment. Skitude’s team is heavily connected to the world of snow, their close and kind treatment and the easy interpretations of our needs has made whatever project launched a success. Thus developing our relationship into a partnership of two companies.

FGC Resort apps available for iOS and Android

espot-appAndroid et iOS

molina-appAndroid et iOS

vallnuria-appAndroid et iOS

portaine-appAndroid et iOS

vallter-appAndroid et iOS

 

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