SALEM — Want to know what’s going on in the Witch City this fall without handling a printed guide or going face to face with volunteers? There’s an app for that
Destination Salem, a tourism driver and marketing arm in the city, has launched a smartphone app that centralizes info on events, restaurants and lodging.
The app is an all-digital substitute for the organization’s printed guide, which year to year has provided season-long listings for hundreds of events, places to check out and more in Salem’s “Haunted Happenings” season.
The app is also built to make life in the city easier under the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Kate Fox, executive director of Destination Salem. That includes blog posts and information on the latest restrictions in the city, and — perhaps most importantly — push notifications.
“If, in October, the parking garage gets full, or we’re looking to disperse people who are downtown, we can send out push notifications saying these areas are full,” Fox said. “Or we can send out reminders that masks are required.”
Tourism officials are unsure what to expect from the October season this year, with most major Halloween events called off because of the coronavirus pandemic. With five weekends in October and with Halloween landing on a full-moon Saturday, the city was expecting record crowds.
The app was built through Aloompa, an app developer that works heavily in the music festival industry to help festival-goers get around.
“They’re really used to showing people how to get to different stages, where different pavilions will be in a large music festival,” Fox said. “Whether it’s push notifications or highlighting parks, different areas downtown, how to get here… all that information is on the app.”
The app is currently available on the Android and iOS app markets, the latter of which covers all Apple devices. It can be found by searching either app market for “Destination Salem.
Contact Salem reporter Dustin Luca at 978-338-2523 or [email protected]. Follow him on Facebook at facebook.com/dustinluca or on Twitter @DustinLucaSN.
The ongoing tourism season was expected to set records, given the continued growth of each prior season and how October 2020 had not just five weekends but Halloween landing on both a Saturday and full moon, sharply increasing its significance to practicing witches today.