Many Destination Marketing Organisations (DMOs) have created apps to promote their patch, usually with useful directories of attractions and/or accommodation, but the English town of Milton Keynes has launched a really simple gamified app to highlight some of its unusual cultural artefacts.
If you've enjoyed geocaching, or played any geolocation games like Ingress or Pokémon Go, you'll know how this works.
The DiscoveringMK app is designed to encourage residents and visitors to explore hidden local gems such as an idyllic tree cathedral, a 1,000-year-old moot (meeting place), a peace pagoda (the first one to be built in the western world) and a flood plain crawling with wildlife - all within 4 minutes travel of well-trodden city areas.
The app reveals an interactive trail of 50 locations around the city. At each point along the trail, users can unlock information about the landmark, take a mini quiz and upload a selfie to show where they are.
Milton Keynes is Britain's most famous "New Town". It was designed & built from scratch on a green field site in Buckinghamshire and is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. The city that started as the dream of politicians and planners in the late 1960s is now home to more than 400,000 residents, more than 10,000 businesses, over 5,000 acres of parkland, rivers, lakes, woodland and landscaped areas, a thriving cultural community, and an enthusiasm for new technology, such as their smart, integrated transport network and the UK's first trial of driverless pods in pedestrianised areas.
The free app is available via Google Play and Apple Store and was supported with funding from Heritage Lottery Fund, MK Community Foundation, MK Council and Santander Cycles MK.
It stands out by being simple and fun, and we may see more and more destinations following Milton Keynes' example.