TOURISTS visiting York’s historic streets are being encouraged to take advantage of the new technological offerings the city now boasts.

In a new era of what has been dubbed “techno-tourism”, industry officials are working to make York the top British destination for those travelling with a smartphone or tablet.

Kate McMullen, head of Visit York, said: “York is a beautiful city, and we often see visitors using smartphones and tablets to take photographs and videos during their visits, but this year, York’s top visitor attractions are taking this one step further, with a host of apps and augmented reality to bring this historic city to life with the very latest technology.”

York is already pioneering the world’s first app-based tour which features holographic guides, through a partnership with City of York Council and to develop an app that makes characters from the city’s past appear on screen in a number of locations around the city.

Working with similar technology Yorkshire Air Museum, in Elvington, is set to become the first attraction in the world to introduce virtual guides, including Yorkshire-born Amy Johnson and inventor of the bouncing bomb, Sir Barnes Wallis. Also using technology to bring history to life is the JORVIK Viking Centre through its Coppergate Alive! app, York Museums Trust with its Kirkgate app, and the York Churches app.

A further free app, ‘Cycle Yorkshire: Ride the Routes’ pays homage to the legacy of the recent Tour de France Grand Depart, which passed through York on July 7, offering a guide to the routes followed by the peloton.

Later this summer, Visit York will launch York’s first Events app. Kate McMullen added: “York now has more ways of exploring the city through technology than anywhere else in Britain.

“York’s tourism businesses are embracing new technology. All of this, combined with the arrival of free city-centre wide WiFi, will make York one of the best interpreted cities in the country.”