UK tourism received a boost this summer with the acquisition of Cambridge-based ViewRanger by Germany-based Outdooractive. The two outdoor adventure companies joined forces to showcase memorable destinations and outstanding routes to a combined global community of 7.3 million keen walkers, mountain-bikers, cyclists and more.
Hartmut Wimmer is Founder and CEO of Outdooractive, the platform for national and regional tourist boards and brands across northern and central Europe, wanting to connect with outdoor enthusiasts. He said, “At a time when the tourist industry is facing huge challenges, our collaboration will offer instant exposure for UK destinations to our combined user base, enabling them to quickly attract visitors as restrictions are relaxed.
“Our users share a passion for exploring and enjoying the outdoors. By bringing together insider tips from travel writers and tourism partners with recommended routes from publishers and other enthusiasts, we help them to plan their adventures. Creating awareness of gems off-the-beaten track means visitors are encouraged to stay longer to discover a region, generating greater value for the destination.”
Craig Wareham is co-founder of ViewRanger, the company that pioneered the concept of downloading off-road mapping and route guides to a phone; the app provides the security of ‘always-on navigation’.
He said, “ViewRanger has made it possible for people – even those that thought they couldn’t use a map – to find good treks and trails and enjoy sharing them. With gyms and sport centres closed more people have started to enjoy being outside and we have seen uplift in subscriptions.
“We have a strong community of outdoor enthusiasts that have contributed to our route finder, now they will also have access to the Outdooractive platform – and the wealth of content and features that it contains. This is an exciting new phase for ViewRanger.”
Outdooractive has also recently announced the acquisition of mountNpass, the market leader in France for cycling tourism. Its digital cycling network includes 8,000 recommended cycling routes and 120,000 subscribers an exciting addition for keen cyclists.
Based in Bavaria, Outdooractive is Europe’s largest integrated portal for hiking, cycling, mountain-biking and skiing and connects tourism stakeholders with a global outdoor community estimated at 7.3 million enthusiasts.
Wimmer is one of the trailblazers in the digitalization of outdoor tourism. As a keen outdoor enthusiast, he had experienced frustration with the time it would take to plan trips. He saw an opportunity to build a virtual home for like-minded people to share their experiences and adventures and make it easier for them to explore lesser known and memorable destinations
Now with over twenty years’ experience in helping to develop and shape the outdoor tourism industry, Outdooractive’s business partners benefit from access to a global network that consists of more than 2,500 organisations in 110 countries.
ViewRanger is a GPS navigation app used by millions of people around the world to plan, navigate, record and share their outdoor adventures. It combines the world’s best offline maps with interactive route guides and advanced GPS navigation features.
ViewRanger pioneered app development when it was established in Cambridge in 2006 by Craig Wareham and Mike Brocklehurst, who had a strong track record in visual computing technology and shared a passion for the outdoors. Together, they built the very first smartphone apps for the UK’s Automobile Association and Ordnance Survey Ireland, while developing ideas that would eventually become ViewRanger.
ViewRanger’s successes include building a global community comprising millions of outdoor enthusiasts and organisations, a global partnership with CASIO and taking to the stage at Apple’s annual Keynote event to demonstrate the ViewRanger Apple Watch app in front of a worldwide audience. The company was also recognised as a pioneer with its unique augmented reality Skyline technology that annotates the landscape around the user.
ViewRanger partners with 52 national mapping agencies and international cartographic publishers to provide high quality digital topographic maps; works with more 600 organisations – including national parks and major outdoor brands – who publish and promote route guides through the app and is used and trusted by more than 500 Search and Rescue teams across Europe, the US and Canada.
The app is available to download for free on Apple iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch, on Android smartphones, tablets and smartwatches.