April 30, 2024

New VRT PodWalks app emerges audiences in new storytelling experiences

VRT and Tourism Flanders joined forces for a new app that introduces a unique and narrative way of walking in Flanders: VRT PodWalks.

This podwalks app, a concept that did not previously exist in Belgium but is hugely successful in the Netherlands, takes walkers on a journey through time with VRT-presenter Arnout Hauben as its guide. Unlike a regular podcast, podwalks works with GPS-guided audio, an innovative technology that tells walkers the exact route in addition to stories about the environment.

Experiencing stories on the spot

Flanders has a unique history and possesses a wealth of heritage. With its own free podwalks app, VRT can connect that knowledge to the experience itself, in line with its current offering. Just like the VRT 1 programme Dwars door de Lage Landen, Arnout tells historical stories and playful anecdotes in an accessible way, without having to keep an eye on your GPS either.

"VRT PodWalks connects stories and people in addition to physical hubs. With its own podwalks app, VRT can bring Flanders' rich history and culture to life in an accessible way, adapted to the rhythm of the Fleming himself. We look forward to expanding this walking concept together and further enriching our current VRT offering with new technologies and experiences." - Lieven Vermaele, director of Partnerships & Operations VRT

Flemish heritage sites in the spotlight

The first five podwalks are situated around Toerisme Vlaanderen's heritage sites: the Poeke castle domain in Aalter, the Leut castle domain in Maasmechelen, De Sint-Godelieve abbey in Bruges, the Graventoren and Tijdenmolen in Rupelmonde, and the Rubens castle in Zemst. At Tourism Flanders, the podwalks app is part of a larger plan around the repurposing and revaluation of each of these places.

"Via VRT Podwalks, visitors to Tourism Flanders’ 5 heritage sites get insight into the soul of these unique places in a very simple way. Just put in your ears and you are immediately off for a journey through time. Along beautiful heritage sites, through natural parks and along hidden gems. Walkers are immersed, as it were, in both the environment and the inspiring stories of the many beautiful heritage sites in Flanders. With VRT PodWalks, we have added a user-friendly and low-threshold tool for exploring everywhere in Flanders." - Peter de Wilde, CEO Tourism Flanders

With the first podwalks, you will discover the history of historical places, from the lord of the castle Charles de Preud'homme in Aalter to the life of Mercator in Rupelmonde. You will take a journey through time past the hidden gems of Bruges and follow in the footsteps of famous artist Peter Paul Rubens.

Later, the VRT PodWalks offer will be supplemented with walks in Roeselare, the Caves of Han and Het Zwin Nature Park.

The VRT Podwalks app can be downloaded for free via the App Store and the Google Play Store.