Application in English and Spanish from where you can know and download contents for 20 protected areas of Chile.
Language: English / Spanish
Runs offline: yes (content stored in the cache)
Last update: Android 03/01/2017 (v. 1.0) – iOS 25/01/2017 (v. 1.2)
Website of the developer: Chile’s National Tourism Service
Although areas like Torres del Paine or Patagonia concentrate a large number of visitors, Chile has other national parks and natural reserves that also stand out for their beauty. Knowing the potential of tourism, the Chilean government has launched an application, which forms part of a pilot project to promote the natural areas included in the Plan of Action for Sustainable Tourism in Protected Areas of the State, that brings together 20 of the main national parks in Chile. In addition to information on how to get to these areas and maps, the app also provides interesting data such as entrance fees to different protected areas (in Chilean pesos) or what to do within each national park.
When starting the application, you must indicate your gender, age and country of origin to establish your user profile. The app then allows you to select your favorite activities from those included in a list that appears on the screen (hiking, bird watching, climbing, etc.). Depending on the options chosen, the application will show you different zones.
The app has two main search options:
- Search by text (magnifying glass symbol).
- List of Chilean national parks (the 20 included in the app), according to the favorite activities selected or by region (menu at the top right).
Each tourist attractions has a specific fact sheet which includes the following aspects:
- Information, including accessibility for people with disabilities.
- Activities, which includes a short description of the available routes.
- Hits, where access roads are indicated.
- Map, with the location of the park within the country.
- Attractions, including the most eye-catching places.
- Emergencies, section with phones to turn to in case of emergency.
- Nearby services, option that requires internet access and that allows the search of accommodation or restaurants (during the tests performed, this option did not work correctly).
Aplicación Parques (in Spanish)
Images: the absence of a support team for the application has made impossible to ask for permission to include screenshots of this application
2017 was declared by the United Nations as International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development. This sector, which annually moves «more than one billion international tourists now traveling the world each year», as the UN Secretary-General pointed out during World Tourism Day 2015, is one of the main drivers of the economy, impacting on millions of people.
Thus, countries like Chile, with a breathtaking nature that has made it deserving of the international recognition as an adventure tourism destination and where the the touristic sector registers an annual growth of around 25%, have decided to bet on create value in relation to their natural heritage, developing apps like the present that try to facilitate the planning of the visits offering useful information to the tourist.
This app can be described as a generalist tool. Although it does not stand out for the detail of the information provided, it includes some interesting aspects to take into account, such as the inclusion of the legal aspects and recommendations of behavior that govern the different areas in a priority area. As for possible improvements, it would be interesting to include more detailed maps and improve the Nearby services search function, which has proved to be impractical. It would also be convenient to include information about the different images that the app incorporates, making sure they are free-use photographs, as well as explaining what the user profile is for, since the recommendations are the same regardless of sex, age or provenance. Likewise, it is missing the existence of a support team, a contact section or an e-mail to resolve doubts.