Great Dane Inc., the publishers of St. John and St. Croix Guidebooks and Maps, has made two new electronic guidebooks — one for St. Croix and one for St. John.
Although it strongly believes that its unique printed guidebooks and maps will continue to be widely used by arriving tourists in the future, it is paying a lot of attention to the millions of iPhones, Android Phones, iPads, etc. as well as the use of the Internet on all kinds of computers when people are planning their trip to the Virgin Islands.
Great Dane Inc.’s main task over the years has been to get visiting tourists into the stores, restaurants, hotels, diving operations, etc. by getting its guidebook into their hands when they arrive. This is not enough anymore. The company also needs to get them into the customers many Web sites before they arrive on the islands.
Tourists can now see the new electronic St. John and St. Croix guidebooks without any charge on their computers, and in most cases, phones, before they arrive, two pages at a time, exactly like they hold the guidebook in their hand, which they will still get when they arrive. By swiping the pages, they can go through the book page by page, not only reading important information and seeing beautiful photos and Linda Smith Palmer’s lighthearted cartoons, and reading the stories and even hearing the pages turning but also seeing the actual ads from Great Dane’s customers.
Probably the most valuable feature in the new electronic guidebook is built-in links bringing the reader to Great Dane’s customers by clicking on the different ads. In the near future, clicking on a phone number will allow the user to call the advertiser. Although this process works wonderfully on any computer, not all phones work alike, yet. Opening the electronic guidebook on a phone using
the Android 2.2 system with the embedded Flash Player (fast becoming the
world’s most popular smart phone operating system) gets the best results. For other smart-phones, the user has the choice of the PDF version, which is more like a slide show but also with the links. However, soon all phones are expected to work using HTML-5 technology, and the reception and appearance of the electronic guidebook will be optimal.
The company has always distributed printed guidebooks, not only locally but also off-island, to selected places, but, realistically, it has been a drop in the ocean. By using the most sophisticated access to search engines, electronic guidebooks now reach the maximum number of tourists planning their trips to the Virgin Islands.
This media is very eye-catching with color cartoons, lighthearted stories, excellent photos, etc., and now, in its unique form, stands out among other advertising on the Internet.
This new addition to the printed media will greatly increase the number of users not only on St. John and St. Croix, but will also reach the tourists before they arrive on their vacations.