Events Calendar of Things to Do In Barbados Goes Mobile for the Booming Market of Mobile Travelers using Smartphones to Plan Holidays at Home and on Location

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The Barbados Tourism Encyclopedia (BTE) has released a mobile app for its WhatsOnInBarbados.com (WOIB), the Calendar of things to do in Barbados. Noting a huge increase in visitors using smart phones, tablets and mobile devices, and with growing importance of the Barbados events calendar, the development team has built a state of the art mobile platform for the future of tourism. http://WhatsOnInBarbados.com

Tourism Calendar for Mobile Travellers

Tourism Events Calendar for Mobile Travel

It is a hybrid of the native app like an iPhone or Android apps and a standard website approach

The new mobile calendar for things to do in Barbados, WhatsOnInBarbados.com, is not just another calendar. It is designed for the future of mobile travel and solves one of the biggest issues in design and accessibility for the diverse range of devices and platforms for mobile.

The problem is that there are hundreds of mobile devices and operating systems. Building native Calendar apps (for an iPhone or an Android app etc) is not always the smartest way to go, as the cost of development and maintenance for all devices is unsustainable for a small team.

A web based Calendar is, on the other hand, universally accessible without having to download apps, which can be irritating for travelers who just want to get the news on things to do, now. Websites for mobile, however, are often too general and do not take advantage of the special features and resources of the different platforms and devices.

The solution is a smart web based platform that responds and configures itself to the device in an intelligent way. In this solution, the software not only reconfigures the information and graphics for each specific device it also accesses and uses native features like the date picker built into the device, just as a native app would.

Kathy-Lynn Ward, COO of AXSES (the company behind the BTE) and developer of a range of tourism technology including several other travel apps, says "Using HTML5 and the jQuery has helped us build a smart Calendar platform that can now be tweaked to work with every device with relative modest effort."

What that means is that as new devices come out and old ones change, the smart system simply adapts to them. "It is a hybrid of the native app, like iPhone or Android apps, and a website approach". says Ward. "The difference is that we program the information about events to display differently for each device and even for each orientation in a device." It is a lot of work upfront but will save a lifetime of work in the future. It is in fact built for the future!

WOIB is the most widely used and most complete calendar of things to do in Barbados. THE BTE website, Barbados.org, is also the most extensive website of Barbados tourism and the most popular according to the Alexa competitive rank.

The BTE calendar has been a feature from early days starting in 1996. it has thousands of users and subscribers and a database of numerous attractions, activities, contacts and venues. The BTE has built a grass roots network with all media, tv, newspapers, hotels, local performers, restaurants, bands, tourism operators, museums, universities, theaters and locals who feed in details of vacation happenings on a daily basis. Much of the work in monitoring and creating the venues is automated and all of it is checked and approved in house.

The release of this app reflects What’s On In Barbados’ commitment to promoting the many events happening on the island to both locals and visitors. An increasing number of people are using the What’s On In Barbados platform (including the website, social media posts, Facebook app and weekly newsletter) to keep up with things to do on the island. The newsletter reach is currently 16,000 subscribers. For January to November 2012, there were 400,000 referrals from the What’s On website to view event descriptions, and an additional 25,000 clicks from social media posts.

With more people now having access to mobile phones than water and electricity, and more and more using mobiles while on holiday or to plan holidays from home, every tourism operator, hotel and destination absolutely MUST have a mobile app.

For more on Barbados Tourism Encyclopedia go to http://www.barbados.org
Website Calendar of things to do on island
Mobile app of Barbados Events

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Kathy-Lynn Ward

Ian R Clayton
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