Alive Surf School expands its visibility via an app based on geolocation and augmented reality

The company

Alive Surf School is located in Portrush, a small touristic coastal city in Northern Ireland and owned by Ricky Martin since 2009. The school teaches surf to almost 5,000 people every year, mostly during summer time.

One year ago, Mr. Martin created the Activity Breaks UK cluster group, a network organisation which gathers various tourism and leisure facilities from Portrush to join efforts on marketing and promotion activities.

The challenge

Alive Surf School is a seasonal business. Mr. Martin wished to expand and grow its business also in low season, but the small company did not have enough human ressources and budget to develop marketing campaigns on its own. Through the Activity Break Cluster, Alive Surf School mobilised other tourism facilities (such as bars, hotels and snorkelling facilities), to provide information and promote each other. The challenge was thus to switch collaborative and promotional activities from an informal to a formal approach. 

The satellite solution 

One year ago, Mr. Martin created a partnership with Awakin, a Northern Irish digital SME, which developed Go Explore NI, an informative, fun and free guide of Northern Ireland, to allow the Activity Breaks UK cluster group members to be featured on this app. 

The mobile application integrates useful tourist information and contacts, as well as offers, deals, QR coupons and event information. After downloading the application, users can select and be easily guided to the point of interest, thanks to the navigation system embedded in their smartphones.

In addition, users of Go Explore NI can download or stream video tours of key sites of the Northern? Irish heritage – such as Causeway, the Londonderry/Derry Walls or the Titanic construction sites – some of which integrate augmented reality allowing users to discover pieces of History.

The Result

The partnership allowed Alive Surf School as well as all members of the Activity Breaks UK cluster group to leverage Go Explore NI as a new, cheap and effective communication and marketing tool, and to attract new visitors, including in the low season. By providing useful tourist information on a unique platform, the Activity Breaks UK cluster group is able to improve visitors’ experience and make the whole area more attractive.

Finally, the small digital company which created the service benefits from featuring additional points of interest, contributing to the success of the app, which has already been downloaded 7000 times

‘Alive Surf School needed a new way to connect with potential customers via a digital medium. Partnering with Awakin allowed Alive to utilise GPS technology and build a new client base through a simple, easy-to-use App.” Ricky Martin, Alive Surf School owner