“Goodnight Carolina”: Read the book, now follow the map

From staff reportsDecember 22, 2013 

— Fans of the local children’s book, “Goodnight Carolina” written by Tar Heels Missy Julian Fox, Elaine O’Neil and Marie Myers Lloyd, now have a new way to enjoy the book, thanks to the Chapel Hill/Orange County Visitors Bureau.

The tourism agency has adapted the popular book into a “Goodnight Carolina” printed map and tour guide brochure as well as an App for the iPhone, ipad and Android offering visitors a new way to explore Carolina and the surrounding communities, according to a news release. Seventy-five people attended the program announcement celebration this month at The Carolina Inn, one of 36 sites on the App and 34 on the companion Family Fun Map.

Like the book, the “Goodnight Carolina” brochure/map and App spotlight the uniqueness of Chapel Hill,Carrboro and Hillsborough in a playful manner.

“In addition to giving families a suggested tour of Orange County, the Goodnight Carolina materials offer an instructive way to learn about our rich history. It’s an ideal ‘edutainment’ piece, that both educates and entertains,” Laurie Paolicelli, the Visitors Bureau director, said in the release.

“For example, the North Carolina Botanical Garden tour stop explains that the garden is composed of 600 acres and asks visitors to look for the Chess Set and Venus flytraps,” she said. “”The Farmers’ Market in Carrboro asks visitors to find ten different items for sale, including their favorite vegetable or fruit. While highlighting bicycling in Carrboro, we teach that Carrboro has more than 20 miles of bike lanes, officially named a 2004 bicycle friendly community. Hillsborough’s Cupola in the old county courthouse offers a history lesson about the clock’s origins in Birmingham, England.”

The Visitors Bureau met with producers of “Goodnight Carolina” early this year and designed a collaboration that would allow the tourism agency to use the photos and copy and the official title and convert them to a piece that visitors could access complimentary. The pieces encourage visitors to purchase the actual book at local bookstores.

Paolicelli said that it was important to offer an App, in addition to the printed brochure. According to tourism studies mobile continues to conquer the Internet. One third of all web traffic now comes from mobile devices. And technology continues to change travel behavior. As of December 2012, consumers spent 81 percent more time in mobile apps than both web browsers and mobile web browsers combined, according to the release.

The free, Goodnight Carolina App gives visitors using smartphones access to the tour highlights presented in the “Goodnight Carolina” book. The Visitors Bureau worked with mobile app developer and designer Laney Dale of Chapel Hill on the project.

For a copy of the companion printed Goodnight Carolina map/brochure, drop by the Visitors Center at 501 West Franklin Street, Chapel Hill from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through and from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday.

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