http://www.itoursavannah.com">iTour Savannah is an all-digital tour service offering downloadable audio tours of Savannah’s Historic District for playback on MP3 players such as Apple Computer’s iPod. The tours are also playable on mp3 equiped cell phones and PDAs at no additional air time charges. “These are audio tours for savvy travelers,” says company owner and president, Phil Sellers. “We have combined the best tours available in Savannah with the latest portable media technologies to create a memorable experience unlike those offered by typical vehicle or walking tours.” Customers planning to tour Savannah go to the website and select from an inventory of tours, download them and take the tours whenever they like, according to the company. “People who take our tours like to go at their own pace,” Sellers says. http://www.itoursavannah.com">iTour Savannah currently offers walking, driving, or bicycling modes to match the pace of each.
Sellers, who is a licensed tour guide in Savannah, does all the narration of the tours himself. He says he uses his radio-trained voice but likes to do the tours live on location in Savannah’s streets and squares. “You get the feel you are there with your guide that way,” he says.
According to Sellers, the tours are knowledge-based and sustainable. “Without a doubt, the initiatives of The Creative Coast and its partnership with the City of Savannah have shaped our thinking in the design of this tourism business model.”
Although this appears to be the first of its type in the South, Sellers admits he did careful research while designing the web-based business.
“There a several audio tours of this type offered in bigger metropolitan markets like San Francisco, Chicago, New York and
London. None seem to have put together the focused approach like we have, however.” Lee Heidel of http://www.heideldesign.com">Heideldesign, the web development company who designed the http://www.itoursavannah.com">iTour Savannah site, says the solely web-based venture had to meet several objectives including branding, legal disclosures, and product delivery. “iTour Savannah used a hybrid of technologies to execute,” said Heidel.
According to the owner, with the template up and running in Savannah, the Charleston and St. Augustine markets will soon follow. “Audio Tours and Adventures, LLC is Savannah based, but poised to expand as appropriate to bring these fun, schedule-friendly tours to other travelers.”
Research firm, iSuppli, is predicting that shipments of MP3 players are expected to rise by nearly a factor of four from today thru 2009.
“Total MP3 player shipments will expand to 132 million units in 2009, rising at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 29.1% from 36.8 million units back in in 2004.” Sellers says Apple Computers’ iPod product line is such a staggering success, it is difficult to ignore.
"Our product merely reflects the growing demand for unique digital content.”