Tourism Vancouver has released a new destination iPad app designed to be an inspirational trip planning tool and travel companion for visitors from around the world.

The Visit Vancouver app - available for free download from Apple's iTunes store - is interactive, fun to use, and developed to take full advantage of the iPad platform by showcasing bold video and imagery that inspires travel to Vancouver.

The app includes information on dining, accommodations, activities, transportation, events and weather. It also allows users to take photo tours of the city, book hotels, peruse online videos, read travel articles, bookmark and share "Favourites", and search a continually updated calendar of Vancouver events and festivals.

Aside from its vibrant design, Visit Vancouver is differentiated from other city travel apps in that it is free of advertising and was designed to provide optimized experiences both online and offline. Users who don't have a wireless internet connection, or who are concerned about data roaming costs while travelling, will find that the majority of content is available offline.

"We designed the Visit Vancouver app to meet traveller needs at all points of the trip planning process," said Darren Johner, Tourism Vancouver's manager of Digital Marketing. "It inspires travel to Vancouver for people who haven't yet committed to a trip, provides planning tools for those who have already made the decision to visit, and for travellers who are actually in Vancouver, the app makes it easy to book activities and navigate around the city."

Tourism Vancouver already has a strong online marketing program that includes the award-winning Inside Vancouver blog, an active social media presence and the Vancouver Specialist Program (an online travel agent training tool). In addition, the organization will soon launch a mobile website.

"Tourism Vancouver strives for consistent innovation in sales and marketing," commented Stephen Pearce, Tourism Vancouver's vice president of Leisure Travel and Digital Marketing. "We approached this project intending to deliver an industry-leading travel app and believe the final result is head and shoulders above other destination apps available."

Since launching the Visit Vancouver app on June 1, Tourism Vancouver has recorded downloads from 64 countries. The average consumer engagement time for the app is an impressive 27 minutes.