Online excursion brings Florence tourism to the 21st century

FLORENCE, Ore. -- The tourism board hopes to send more people to the central Oregon County with a new online tool that gives people an interactive video tour of Florence.

The Florence Chamber of Commerce, Sea Lion Caves and other businesses are using a technology called Navi-FUN to bring the coast to anyone with a computer.

Think of this as 21st century tourism combined with the type of views seen in an Imax theater.

Photographers used 9 cameras to shoot the eight-minute video tour around the town. Chamber of Commerce member Cal Applebee said the Navi-FUN video gives visitors a full view of the coastal landscape.

"It's a navigation friendly, universal navigator. It's a new online experience to help showcase everything that the Florence area has to offer visitors," said Applebee.

Directors said the Florence Chamber website and area businesses had a combined 32,000,000 web hits over the course of 2012.

Gerald 'Boomer' Wright, manager of the Sea Lion Caves (one of the first tour stops), said that the video gives people a chance to explore the coast from home before they see it in person.

"So the marketing is there, the people are there. All we have to do is just let them know what a wonderful place western lane county is," said Wright.