About the client
National park Plitvička jezera is the oldest and most famous amongst eight glorious national parks in Croatia. It was etablished in 1949, and its placement in the very heart of Croatia makes it accessible for tourist who visit Zagreb and continental parts of the country, as well as for the ones who visit the long and beautiful coastline first. More than 1,2 million visitors throughout each year arrive mostly from Germany, Japan, The Netherlands, Italy, France and Croatia. The National Park spreads to almost 300 sq. km, with 16 lakes pouring one into another over tufa barriers along the 5,5 km long line.
Our task was to help tourists find their way around the Park, stay informed about the weather and accomodation, as well as find out about significant events and currency rates. So we decided to develop an app that will enable users to browse content in five different languages, use the rich calendar and currency converter, and explore locations through augmented reality by pointing the device in the desired direction. We also included different hiking trails and bike routes, which included information such as length, walk time, elevation gain and difficulty, to help the user prepare for the adventure ahead and plan their day accordingly.
The accomodation info includes photos and description, as well as most important info – maximum guest number, number of rooms and beds – under subsequent icons. A filter may be added to browse only for locations within a certain range. The information may also be shared via native sharing functionality, depending on the OS, to help the user spread the news with their friends or family. In order for the users to get familiar with important sightseeing points, we added galleries with stunning photos of the lakes, forests and places to see, in different seasons of the year. Finally, the info corner contains weather forecast, currency converter, tickets and the Park’s working hours.
To make all those data available and up-to-date, we created a custom CMS tailored specifically to the needs of the app and its administrators. Here new locations, data updates and media files may be added even by users not familiar with development tools or databases. To make it quicker and easier, we also added a little script which parses data from the Excel sheet and auto-fills the corresponding fields in the admin panel. This way we made sure the updates are smooth and kept users and beneficiaries happy.
Our cooperation with the tourist board and the local community was very close and warm, so we expect at least 10% of the visitors to download the app in the first year. As the National Park did not have a custom app built beforehand, it is hard to make comparisons, but the local offer of restaurants, souvenir shops, cafes and accommodation should definitely heavily benefit from the availability of their postings and raise the occupancy rates for at least 5-10%, depending on the category and excluding the visitors’ YoY growth rate. This all is not to mention the positive impacts that will raise from greater spending inside the Park and larger levels of satisfaction that should emerge from superb and accessible structure of relevant information.