Tourisme Montréal and Gowalla help tourists explore the city socially

Montréal can be a confusing city. (image from flickr user guenno)

In an effort to make Montréal’s neighbourhoods, businesses and attractions more familiar to visitors, Tourisme Montréal (www.tourisme-montreal.org) has partnered location-based social networking platform Gowalla (www.gowalla.com) to create a custom branded presence.

The Tourisme Montréal content is available on Gowalla, which is a free smart phone app that lets users to check-in at a location, post a comment and photo, and read tips and recommendations by other users who have been to the location in the past.

This partnership is the first of its kind between a Canadian city and a social check-in network, but it does make sense. Google maps has been indispensable whenever I’m travelling to a new city. And the possibility of experiencing new (or old) sights and being simultaneously connected to other individuals and their experiences sounds like an excellent way to connect with a locality.

My concern, however, is that “checking in” will identify tourists as possible targets for crime, replacing the traditional cameras and unfolded maps.

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