Minister Carál Ní Chuilín has launched a mobile App competition to boost tourism by showcasing Irish and Ulster-Scots culture.
The DCAL initiative aims to harness the innovation and entrepreneurial potential of culture, arts and leisure by encouraging local digital companies to use these sectors as a source of inspiration and content for mobile Apps.
Minister Ní Chuilín said: “Ireland is renowned internationally for its culture, art and heritage. These are strategic assets for our island. They can inspire the development of new creative content, products, services and experiences for the digital age. In doing so we can help grow our creative industries and enable tourists and locals alike to explore our rich cultures and traditions”.
The competition is being managed by Momentum / Digital Circle, which promotes the ICT and digital content sector in the north of Ireland. Local digital companies are invited to put forward creative and innovative ideas for two apps showcasing Irish and Ulster-Scots culture respectively. The winning applications will be funded to develop the apps in time for the 2012 tourism season.
The content for the Ulster-Scots App is from a range of publications developed by the Ulster Historical Foundation and the Ulster-Scots Agency. The app will also allow users to explore thematic trails based on the Plantation and emigration and also hold information on Ulster-Scots family names.
The Ulster Council GAA and Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann are working together to provide content for an app showcasing the cultural programmes promoted by both organisations. Scór is a GAA competition that promotes all aspects of Irish culture including dancing, music and language. Comhaltas promotes Irish music and culture across the world and, through regional centres such as the Dún Uladh Cultural Heritage Centre in Omagh, delivers workshops on traditional music, song, dance, crafts and Irish language classes.
Both apps will also provide information on local accommodation, restaurants and other attractions relevant to the sites and activities profiled by the apps. This aims to encourage tourists and visitors to travel and stay at locations across the north.