With new travel app, Asheville entrepreneurs add storytelling details to destinations

Jason Sandford

Jason Sandford is a reporter, writer, blogger and photographer interested in all things Asheville.

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A new, free smart phone app called UGoTour promises to add storytelling details to an array of destinations.

Led by Paul Hedgecock, president and founder at E-Commerce Business Solutions, the app recently launched on Google and Android platforms, and is available for the iPhone. The goal of app is “to connect stories, places and people” says Brett McCall, who is heading up marketing for UGoTour, as well as developing new tours.

The Asheville Urban Trail tour is a good example of how the UGoTour works, says McCall. There’s a map with all the points of the downtown Asheville walking tour noted, as well as a written description, photos an an audio clip. The idea is to put turn average tourists into “engaged visitors,” McCall says.

The possibilities for tours are seemingly endless. McCall says he’s developing everything from a “Not So Touristy Tour” to capture off-the-beaten-path stops, as well as the “Tour like a Tourist,” which can appeal to both out-of-towners, as well as staycationers. Imagine an “Asheville Entrepreneur Tour,” a family reunion tour or tours aimed at AirBNB guests. McCall says he’s also working on building tours for single parents, as well as tours designed specifically for children.

An updated version of UGoTour will allow people to design their own tours, or build a tour just for a particular night – say a bachelor or bachelorette party – McCall says.

There will also be commercial tours, ones where businesses can pay to be featured, he says. “The Little Town That Rocks tour in Black Mountain is our first commercial tour,” he says. “It is filled with places people would want to shop, eat, co-work.”

Some UGoTours also include built-in Easter eggs – little rewards for users, such as coupons, McCall says. UGoTour has more than 1,000 downloads since January, according to McCall.

UGoTour got a big boost when the N.C. Department of Transportation commissioned it to create tours for all 54 of the state’s official Scenic Byways. McCall says the McDowell County Tourism Development Authority also commissioned UGoTour to create a tour showing off the county’s attractions: art galleries, wineries, hiking trails, waterfalls, etc.

McCall says he’s excited about UGoTour and its offerings and development. It’s all about putting “a tour guide in your pocket.”

Jason Sandford

Jason Sandford is a reporter, writer, blogger and photographer interested in all things Asheville.

  • 1

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  1. Barry Summers July 6, 2016

    If I’m going to be a character in this theme park ride, I want to get paid.

  2. Santa July 6, 2016

    It’s like connecting with people without having ever have to deal with any people! Win-Win!! Wowzers!!! (Santa speaks fluent P.R. flack.)


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