Tourism Northern Ireland Project Deploys Simpleview's Full Armoury

26th July 2021

Categories: Our News

A major national project for Tourism Northern Ireland (Tourism NI) involving the development of the main Discover Northern Ireland tourism website, a series of regional sites and the implementation of a range of complementary technology solutions is well underway.

Tourism NI contracted Simpleview in 2020 after a thorough procurement process in order to accelerate the digital ambition of both the organisation and the wider tourism industry.  The project is part of a Digital Transformation Work Programme which aims to leverage digital technologies to improve the visitor experience, encouraging visitors to stay longer and spend more.

Tourism NI required a supplier to deliver a Platform-as-a-service (PaaS) e-Tourism solution to support its tourism website development, including consumer, travel trade and MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Events) markets. As part of the specification, they were looking for the full delivery of a Destination Management System, including development of websites for Tourism NI consumer and MICE audiences, with the potential roll out the platform to multiple local councils and other key partners within the destination.

The new bespoke Discover Northern Ireland site was delivered just 4 months after appointment and went live in July 2020. The brief for the site was wide-ranging, having to incorporate the destination’s world-class visitor attractions, award winning food and drink scene, proud status as a screen tourism destination (Game of Thrones®) and of course, the dynamic city of Belfast with its history and bustling pub culture.  The ‘Embrace a Giant Spirit’ brand is at the core of the site, offering experiences themed around culture, landscapes, legends, cities, coast and food.  

A new microsite for  Tourism NI’s travel trade was launched in January 2021, packed full of information and resources to inspire the development of a range of enticing programmes to Northern Ireland. 

Simpleview’s MailMinder e-Marketing solution is already enabling optimum engagement with the destination’s visitors, businesses and partners and an SEO maintenance and support contract ensures continuous visibility to the DMO’s target markets. Integration with CrowdRiff (link to Webinar save the date piece) allows Tourism NI to source high-quality user generated content (UGC) and put it to work on their websites. A touchscreen kiosk map allows visitors to create their own giant adventure in location.  The HopStay chatbot will be deployed later this year, allowing Tourism NI to automate customer support and increase content reach and Polling functionality will enable Tourism NI accommodation providers to promote availability from multiple booking channels within the main destination site.

As part of the programme of works, Tourism NI has also funded the rollout of regional websites for 8 councils, based on the design of the main Discover Northern Ireland site but customised to reflect each of the councils’ unique branding, imagery, multimedia and content:

Sites are also currently in development for:

  • Mid Ulster 
  • Fermanagh Lakelands
  • Ards & North Down
  • Mid & East Antrim

All of the above are built upon the concept of estates for each destination that have been created inside the national Destination Management System. This enables each local partner to have access to the advanced functionality of Simpleview’s technology platform whilst also sharing data as required with each other and Tourism NI.

Claire Cromie, Digital Programme Lead at Tourism Northern Ireland comments: "Our long-term aspiration was for a collaborative and synchronized online presentation of Northern Ireland tourism across the destination, and we have surpassed expectations within the first year of working with Simpleview.

I am delighted to see four regional tourism websites go live following our strategic investment and look forward to seeing the next four join the Simpleview platform. Together with the new Discover Northern Ireland site and in-destination technology to support, Northern Ireland’s world-class visitor experience is reflected in inspirational digital solutions across the board."

Managing Director of Simpleview Europe, Richard Veal comments: "The Simpleview Platform is optimised to work at country level with implementations for destinations being developed off the core shared dataset. This project for Tourism NI is a really excellent example of how to leverage such economies of scale to the benefit of the tourism economy at every level. Tourism NI and its partner organisations have been bold and ambitious in their plans and we are looking forward to helping them achieve their goals over the next few years."

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