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SIM Partners Launches 'Virginia Is for Lovers' iPhone App
Oct 05, 2010 (02:10 PM EDT)

Virginia Tourism Corporation Becomes First Statewide Destination Marketing Organization to Offer Mobile Visitors Guide

CHICAGO, Oct. 5 /PRNewswire/ -- SIM Partners, a full-service interactive marketing agency that develops innovative, ROI-driven solutions to help Fortune 1000 companies acquire customers, today announced that it has created the first-ever iPhone app for a statewide destination marketing organization.  "Virginia Is for Lovers" was developed by SIM Partners for the Virginia Tourism Corporation (VTC), one of the nation's leading destination marketing organizations, utilizing destinationM™, an integrated mobile marketing platform for travel destinations and states.

destinationM™ is jointly owned by Chicago-based SIM Partners and eBrains Inc., a Virginia-based leader in online marketing in travel and tourism.  These two partners have created measurable online marketing solutions for counties, states and other destinations, and more than 1,700 hotel properties and attractions throughout the country.

The Virginia-branded app, available free for download in the iTunes store, enables VTC and its industry partners to provide promotional incentives, maps and directions to more than 600 destinations and thousands of attractions, events, accommodations and restaurants throughout the entire state of Virginia.  Its comprehensive content also includes descriptions, pictures, videos, ratings and reviews. Features include:

  • "Near Me": View all the points of interest that are nearest to a geographic location
  • "Pick City": View a comprehensive list of all cities and localities in the state of Virginia.
  • "Categories": Choose from a variety of categories (Shopping, Dining, Sports and Recreation, Nightlife, Art, Museums etc.) to find points of interest are presented in an easy to read list or placed directly on a map.
  • "Special Offers":  Find the perfect travel package or a great discount throughout Virginia.
  • Events: Access to all current and upcoming events.
  • Favorites:  Create and edit an itinerary list of favorite places and offers.

"We selected destinationM™ as our mobile partner because of SIM Partners' and eBrains' deep understanding of mobile and the travel industry," said Dave Neudeck, Director of Electronic Marketing for VTC.  "SIM Partners developed an extraordinary customized app that delivered everything we wanted.  It's fun, easy to navigate and interactive.  This mobile visitors' guide to Virginia provides an engaging user experience to assist travelers during the planning and exploration stages of their trips."

The app provides unparalleled value to the state's many travel industry partners, including attractions, restaurants, shops and hotels, through a co-operative mobile marketing program.  Partner packages, including a variety of options such as special discounts, text message offers, video, user-generated content and real-time tracking and reporting, can be tailored based each partner's budget and needs.

"We were able to select a partner package that's a perfect fit for our marketing campaign," said Cathy Chaplain, Regional Director of Sales and Marketing at Great Wolf Lodge in Williamsburg, VA.  "It's an exciting and cost-effective option for connecting with families while providing us with measurable results."

"VTC has long been a visionary in statewide destination marketing.  Its new 'Virginia Is for Lovers' app is yet another example of how Virginia continues blazing new trails in tourism promotion," said Jon Schepke, President of SIM Partners.  

"At SIM Partners, we understand that destination marketers and visitors' bureaus don't have time or resources to add to their marketing plates.  That's why we specialize in creating apps that will help them increase their marketing ROI and connect with travelers before, during and after their trips,"  Schepke said.

SIM Partners has extensive roots in the travel industry and more than a decade of experience helping leading companies in travel, financial services, retail, restaurant, home services and other industries increase their marketing ROI through mobile marketing, search engine marketing and social media strategies. The agency specializes in apps that engage users with relevant content and rich functionality and provide real-time tracking and reporting features for better decision-making and results. Capabilities include exclusive mobile offers and online/offline advertising support.

SIM Partners, in partnership with destinationM™, recently launched Visit Fairfax, a comprehensive mobile travel guide created for Fairfax County, Va.

About SIM Partners

SIM Partners, based in Chicago, IL, is a full service, interactive marketing agency specializing in innovative, ROI-driven solutions that help Fortune 1000 companies cost-efficiently acquire customers through the use of mobile marketing, search engine marketing  and social media strategies. Our integrated and comprehensive marketing solutions are used by leading companies in the travel, home services, retail, B2B, real estate, financial services and restaurant industries. Our proprietary technology platforms are designed to help clients achieve their digital marketing goals with minimal internal resources. Our offerings include SIM Partners' Local Search Platform, our Text Messaging and Mobile Marketing Platform, mobile application development for smart phones (including iPhone and Android), and our Ask-an-Expert social media application. For more information, visit