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Using Interactive Tourist Maps to Promote Your Business Community

It is estimated that almost $800 billion will be spent on travel and tourism in 2011 and nearly two billion business and leisure trips will be made in the United States alone. How will these travelers discover where to stay, eat, shop and play? How will they learn about the businesses in your town?

When I travel or visit a new place I look for fun and informative maps to help me plan my trip before I go. I want to learn a little about the area, find places to stay, and know what to expect when I get there. Once I arrive at my destination I need an easy way to find nearby attractions, restaurants and other businesses. Getting a sense of the neighborhood and some background information makes my visit more enjoyable.

An interactive map can display photos, videos and descriptions of hotels, points of interest, historic sites, shopping areas or museums, and you can click right from the map to advertiser web sites to book accommodations or get more details. Does your community have an interactive map to promote tourism?

Promote your community

Interactive maps are an ideal way for chambers of commerce, travel organizations, cities, towns, or other groups to promote their local business community. If you already have a printed map, adding an online version increases the visibility of your members and entices new businesses to join. As an organization, you might offer a basic listing on the map as a membership benefit. If you want to create a source of revenue for your group consider selling premium listings that display ads, photos, video, or links.

Build an interactive map business

These days people expect to find maps everywhere they go. Have you considered setting up your own interactive map business? Start with your town or community and produce a nice map image. Many artists and cartographers can draw one for you or you might be able to purchase a map of your town or region from one of the many map providers you can find online. Once you have created your map image, look for businesses that want to advertise on your map and then gather images and descriptions from them. Use an online mapping application to upload your map and make it interactive. Think about expanding to another community and before you know it you could have a profitable business creating maps in dozens of locations.

7 benefits of interactive tourist maps:

  1. You can update the map anytime unlike a paper map that depends on long print cycles.
  2. Maps are available online anywhere, anytime.
  3. Using a stylized or cartoon-like map image lets you highlight the attractions in your area.
  4. Maps can link to advertiser's web sites and give them more traffic.
  5. Businesses can be categorized to make it easy for people to find what they need.
  6. Viewers get a visual impression of an area that entices them to visit.
  7. Adding an online version of a printed map increases the value to advertisers.

Creating compelling and useful interactive maps is easy with MapsAlive. Just upload your area map and then add photos, descriptions and video for locations on your map. The MapsAlive software makes your map interactive without any programming. You can even embed your map right in your own web page and make updates at any time.

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