Visit Somerset to launch new website following huge success
The Visit Somerset website has now been in the hands of the Somerset Tourism Association (STA) for just under three years after being taken over from Somerset County Council.
Over this time, the website has undergone many changes, helping to increase its appeal and reach to potential visitors world-wide.
Tourism is worth over £1 billion pounds per annum to Somerset and supports an estimated 38,000 jobs across the county so the STA is well aware of the importance of having an up-to-date and versatile digital marketing strategy.
To this end, the STA has worked in partnership with the leading supplier of e-Tourism solutions, New Mind, the company whose technology powers over 150 destination web sites across the UK and Europe.
Whilst all destinations have been growing their visitor numbers, www.visitsomerset.co.uk has been growing at a faster rate than many of its competitors and is now in the top 12 most visited web sites produced by New Mind.
Given that it was not in the top 20 three years ago and New Mind delivers solutions for the likes of Visit Scotland, the English Riviera and Costa del Sol, this is definitely an example of a destination punching above its weight.
With monthly unique visitor numbers now approaching 100,000 per month, up 65% up since 2011, there is no doubt that the Visit Somerset web site is becoming the primary source of inspiration and information for prospective visitors.
Whilst the STA has always wanted to put its own stamp on the web site and invest in a full redesign and development, budget constraints have until now prevented this.
However, the STA is delighted to announce that, after 3 years of successful development of membership and credibility of the website, the Association is now in a position to bring Somerset’s tourism and leisure industries digital marketing strategy right up to date.
Scheduled for launch at the end of November, the new website will have a great deal more functionality, including live accommodation availability and pricing, Trip Advisor Reviews and a revolutionary approach to social media, with all round better opportunities for their members to gain increased exposure.
The site will also come with full optimisation for smart phones and tablets, as many Somerset attractions are finding that up to 40% of their web traffic is being requested from this new breed of mobile devices.
A new phase
Bob Smart, Chairman of the Somerset Tourism Association, comments: ‘We’re delighted to be entering a new phase in our long and successful relationship with New Mind in managing the Visit Somerset website
“The latest user friendly changes will add functionality and content, making the site much more valuable and attractive to advertisers, their customers, and everyone who wants to find out more about Somerset.
“I’m grateful to all my colleagues and to the New Mind team for working long and hard on this proposal.’
John Turner, the project lead and vice chairman, comments: “This is an incredible step forward for the association, the Visit Somerset platform and the county.
“Even without these further developments the website has been commanding incredible results but our members are expecting bigger and better things of us now.
“As we increase Somerset’s exposure further, we have to take the county’s marketing strategy forward embracing new technology.
“We are very proud of what has been achieved all through private sector development and innovation! I must thank my team and New Mind for their incredible support and vision.”