All leisure and tourism organisations recognise the importance of using show-stopping imagery in their digital offerings to inspire potential visitors.
Our projects for the likes of Visit Guernsey, Visit Kent and Edinburgh Zoo all incorporated bold, high-impact imagery to showcase the appeal of the destinations and attractions being promoted. But, as each of those client stories reveals, there’s more to tourism and leisure that pretty pictures.
An exhibition of images is not enough for the modern-day visitor, and even runs the risk of the physical experience not living up to the heightened imagery used online - think of a tourist enticed by blue-sky images of London only to be met with a grey, rainy city.
Style over substance becomes quickly apparent to would-be visitors and once the trust is lost, so too is their inclination to visit. So, how can destination and attraction websites become more than just a visual showcase?
Here are two tactics, explained through examples of our client work, which reveal how tourism and leisure organisations can add credence to their credentials.
1. Become more than a point of reference
For the local authorities in the Brecon Beacons, we were able to create a hub of activity, a resource centre for a global audience and a source of pride for local residents. The site includes interactive maps, travel widgets, feeds from Facebook, YouTube, Flickr and Twitter and spaces for local businesses to upload content.
Our work with Visit Coventry and Warwickshire has seen us create three brand new websites to form a contemporary and future-proof digital platform for the organisation, enabling it to target those interested in tourism, business and shopping separately.
We guided Visit Guernsey in shifting its strategy to drive a transition from a ‘destination’ experience to an intermediary website - driving users to the websites of local businesses and generating opportunities for the whole area using strong calls to action.
2. Encapsulate the spirit of the place
Our planning for Visit Anglesey involved workshops with local residents, businesses and council members, to help us define what the place means to them and how the spirit of Anglesey could be epitomised online. By speaking to potential visitors, we were able to align this understanding with their needs. This resulted in us utilising a sleek, modern design inset with key information points and the ability to create individual itineraries.
For Derby Museums, we held a series of workshops and user groups which enabled us to discover the aspirations of those within the organisation and the challenges faced from outside. Derby Museums wanted to share its assets and develop its services. We have guided the organisation through a strategy to ‘disrupt, interrupt and stimulate’ - focused on revitalising their social media and helping them to reach their audiences in a personal, creative way.
The way has been paved for tourism organisations to create a digital presence that not only has the style to inspire its audience, but which has the substance to engage and entice them to plan and make a real-life visit.