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Lake Lanier Convention and Visitors Bureau takes site mobile
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The Lake Lanier Convention and Visitors Bureau has launched a mobile website that will provide visitors with everything they need to know right on their cell phones.

“It’s kind of a visitors’ telephone directory,” said the bureau’s president, Stacey Dickson. “It’s up and running and we’re adding continually to it.”

The site is formatted especially for “smart phones” with Internet capabilities and includes information about attractions, shopping, dining, lodging and directions in the Hall County area.

“When someone goes online and looks for lodging ... they’ll scroll through all of our lodging properties and the phone numbers are highlighted, and as they scroll onto that phone number they can direct dial,” Dickson said.

Dickson said fewer and fewer people are stopping to pick up brochures and paper maps at welcome centers when they travel. The mobile site is one of the ways the convention and visitors bureau is trying to keep up with the ever-changing way that travelers are using technology.

“We’re just responding to the visitors’ needs,” Dickson said.

It’s also in the best interest of the area to court more of the visitors who prefer to use the Internet to find things for themselves.

“The visitors that are the most lucrative and high spending are more tech-savvy,” Dickson said. “They don’t want to ask somebody, but they’ll look on their phone.”

The convention and visitors bureau site follows the trend of Web sites like, which have become popular ways for people to select restaurants by reading user reviews. Peer organizations like the state of Georgia and the Athens Convention and Visitors Bureau also recently put up mobile Web sites for visitors, Dickson said.

Dickson said the Lake Lanier site will help direct people toward locally owned businesses that they may not otherwise find on their own.

“We’re trying to help promote a lot of small businesses,” Dickson said.

Franci Edgerly, president and CEO of ITI Marketing in Brunswick, said mobile websites allow convention and visitors bureaus to reach more people.

There is a segment of the population that has never stopped at welcome centers that may now be interested in looking to their phones for advice while they are on the go.

Because the site is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, it will also be able to provide information for the public even when the welcome centers close down for the day.

“It increases visitor services and visitor experience,” Edgerly said.

But Edgerly said she doesn’t foresee websites replacing welcome centers in the future.

“I think nothing can beat the human connection,” Edgerly said. “It’s integrating. You have to have more tools to reach and engage more people.”