Season's Greetings & 2018 Review

12th December 2018

Categories: Our News

It’s been an interesting and challenging year as far as the global landscape for tourism is concerned, but it’s good to see that our DMOs keep innovating to deliver the best visitor experience possible. 

A key theme this year is that flexibility is essential, so our strategy has been all about giving our destinations choice. This year’s projects reflect this and we’ve successfully launched a host of new sites, from sophisticated, fully functional implementations to more affordable sites built on our ever-popular Tourism Pro and Tourism Essentials platforms. This flexibility has been adopted for our SEO support packages too and our DMOs have reaped the benefits during the year.

Here’s a summary of some of the key milestones of 2018:

A big welcome to….

The year started with a bang with the rollout of a major project for Destination Staffordshire involving a new Enjoy Staffordshire destination site, industry channel site and the Staffordshire Escapes microsite using NVG’s web-in-a-box solution.  Marketing NG, the official place marketing organisation for Nottinghamshire also launched a new site in January, in a bid to persuade the visitor to see more and stay longer.

Visit Nottinghamshire

Visit Windsor was just one of the many destinations to select our Tourism Pro solution, with the resulting site being unveiled just in time to attract global attention in the weeks leading up to the royal wedding in May.  Tourism Pro was also the platform of choice for Enjoy Tees Valley as it commenced preparations for its UK City of Culture 2025 bid.

Visitors were enticed to explore the ‘coast with the most’ by Poole Tourism’s new improved site incorporating the latest functionality and features and our fourth site for Visit South Devon was packed with images, film and interactive footage to take visitors on a rich journey of discovery.  Meanwhile, another long-standing customer, Marketing Cheltenham decided to revamp its site to achieve its ambitious growth plans.

Visit Cheltenham

In the Summer we completed a makeover for Weston-super-Mare, featuring a new brand identity, packed year-round events program and more promotional features for the destination’s tourism businesses. Visit York’s brief was to create an immersive and intuitive experience for business and leisure visitors and the resulting site didn’t disappoint, with stunning photography and some great content.

Last month we completed an ambitious project for the new Great West Way multi-modal touring route running through six counties from London to Bristol and powered by our Tourism Aggregated Dataset (TAD-UK).

Great West Way

And in Norway…

Visit Sognefjord was one of many of our destinations (both in the UK and Scandinavia) to target international markets with a dedicated language site. A new Spanish site was launched to meet the needs of the growing number of Spanish visitors to this fascinating destination. 

Our Tourism Essentials solution proved to be the ideal platform to exploit the beauty of Lom and Jotunheimen in the heart of Norway and our Tourism Pro platform helped to take Visit Telemark to the next level with an improved design, increased functionality and an enhanced visitor experience. Always looking for ways to innovate, the destination also introduced some new simplified route planning functionality for its hikers and bikers later in the year.  Fjord Norway’s Go Viking site set out to inspire visitors to get into the Viking spirit and experience a new dimension by visiting the region during autumn, winter and early spring.

In the pipeline…

We’ve got a few sites which are due to go live soon. The Tourism Pro platform will showcase the events and attractions of the heritage city of Peterborough and Marketing Sheffield will be launching ‘a new type of city break’ combining outdoor adventure with a city experience when their new site debuts next yearHastings and 1066 Country's site will promote the area's unique mix of heritage and contemporary culture. Watch this space…

Record breaking visitor volumes…

The implementation of a series of platform improvements, combined with some great weather, a couple of bank holidays and of course, the royal wedding gave visitor numbers to many of our destination sites a welcome boost during May.

Our SEO packages proved to be a hit with our clients throughout 2018.  As Google has continued to evolve over recent years, so too have our SEO services and earlier in the year we introduced three flexible SEO packages, SEO Health Check, SEO Maintenance and SEO Growth, designed to meet our DMO’s needs, resources and budgets.

In September 2018 we completed a six-month program of SEO updates and were delighted to be able to report that the platform updates were not only delivering significant traffic gains but were also resulting in our destination sites outranking TripAdvisor. In October a number of our clients, both in the UK and Scandinavia were keen to spread the word about the success of their SEO strategies.

New partnerships…

In the spring, early adopters Marketing Liverpool and Marketing Manchester seized the opportunity to introduce a new revenue stream in the form of WebTicketManager’s online ticketing solution, BoxOfficeWidget, allowing them to sell tickets for attractions, events and tours from their destination sites.  Since then many more DMOs have followed suit such as Go North Wales, Isle of Man, York, Chester and Brighton.

Later in the year we announced a partnership with HotelPlanner.com, to provide our destinations with access to the lowest hotel room rates available via GDS integration. This is again proving a hit with DMOs and it has been taken up by Manchester, Chester, Cheltenham, Cotswolds, Durham and Liverpool.

The year culminated with our merger with Simpleview, the global leader in software and digital services for the destination marketing industry. We look forward to being able to offer our clients all the benefits of our combined products, knowledge, experience and resources.

In the meantime, we would like to thank you for your continued support and wish you all the best for a great Christmas and a prosperous 2019.

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