NORTH BAY -- Tourism North Bay is hoping to boost local tourism by partnering with Driftscape, a smartphone app helps the user find hiking trails, local landmarks and tourism hot spots. The goal is to help North Bay be the gateway to northern adventures in these difficult times.

Whether you're a fan of rushing waterfalls, military history or famous landmarks, it all can be in the palm of your hand thanks to a partnership between Tourism North Bay and the Driftscape app.

"So far, we've loaded up a couple of self-guided tours and our hiking trails, which is great for not only visitors visiting the area, but our locals who are looking to get out and explore," said Tourism North Bay marketing coordinator Trevor Beard.

Once downloaded onto your smartphone, the app highlights local destinations nearby the user is encouraged to visit, such as natural scenery or historic landmarks.

“With COVID-19 around us, there's definitely a need for tourism to pivot or innovate and Tourism North Bay was a go-getter," said Pooja Chitnis, director of marketing for Driftscape.

More destinations will be added

Originally, Tourism North Bay wanted to develop its own app, that is until it came across Driftscape. As the partnership is only a few days old, more locations and destinations will be added as time goes on. Beard is hoping local businesses get on board.

"We are seeking to add more businesses and hotels,” said Beard. “It's going to be a really local focussed initiative so that when we do have visitors, they'll have the information.

Tourism spending has dropped by two-thirds in the second quarter of the year as the Canadian visitor economy faces new challenges with the pandemic. Tourism North Bay hopes the launch can solve local issues.

"We're hoping to add a couple more tours and get the Lake Timiskaming tour added and that's more of a driving tour between two provinces," said Beard.

Driftscape is expanding to more municipalities in Northern Ontario. Currently, four cities use the app with its tourism sector.

"When you google things to do in North Bay, there's just so much of the most popular things, but you miss out those local historic gems that only the local people know about," said Chitnis. “Driftscape is a great way to bring these stories to everybody.

The app is free on the app store for iPhone users and Google Play for Android.


Pooja Chitnis' formal title is director of marketing for Driftscape, rather than marketing coordinator.