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New app gives visitors self-guided tours of Ybor

Posted at 4:41 PM, Feb 18, 2020

TAMPA, Fla. -- One of Tampa’s oldest districts is using our newest technology to promote tourism.

There is a new app, called Geotourist, that allows visitors to go on self-guided walking tours of Ybor City.

“Founded in 1905 the Columbia Restaurant is the oldest restaurant in Florida and the largest Spanish restaurant in the world,” recited a voice from Santiago Corrada’s phone. Corrada is the President and CEO of Visit Tampa Bay.

“It provides walking tours of some of the world’s best destinations and Ybor City is one of those destinations,” said Corrada.

Corrada said what better way to promote the neighborhood, than appeal to the modern age tourists.

“They connect to their smart phone, everybody loves their smart phone, but they are also looking for unique experiences,” said Corrada.

The app takes you on a path along 7th Avenue and the surrounding streets, sharing important history, as well as current events, at more than a dozen stops.

“On weekends, the street car brings visitors to the Ybor City Saturday Market,” chimed in the app.

Visit Tampa Bay provided a key partnership when it came to writing the script.

“Somebody who is putting this app together wouldn’t know what the purpose or the meaning of the chickens and the roosters are,” said Corrada.

Over at the Blind Tiger Café, barista Sky Kesler didn’t even realize they were part of the tour.

“During prohibition in the 1920s and 30s, Blind Tiger was a speak easy,” said the app.

“I think it’s incredibly beneficial to our business, once they see we are on the app they will come in more,” said Kesler.

Visit Tampa Bay said even those who have walked these corridors for decades will learn something new.

“I was telling someone who was Cuban born, lived here in Tampa, showed him the app, he said he had no idea there was that kind of history about Jose Marti Park,” said Corrada.