New website launches for North Devon and Exmoor
North Devon tourism is to receive a major boost with the launch of a new state of the art destination website which promotes North Devon and Exmoor. (8 November).
The new www.northdevon.com website launched by the business and tourism partnership North Devon+ showcases the area's tourism businesses to a world wide audience. The website is also being backed by a major marketing campaign worth more than a quarter of a million pounds.
The website will allow North Devon+ to coordinate and promote the diverse range of activities which take place in North Devon and Exmoor. The website which has been designed from the consumers point of view will include a range of services such as online bookings, maps, customer profiling, brochure ordering, e-newsletter publication and live listings for accommodation, attractions, eating out, shopping, events, activities and other tourism venues.
Laura Holt, the Marketing Manager for North Devon+ and project manager for the new website says that www.northdevon.com will prove to be a welcome boost for the local economy: "Tourism is a vital part of our local economy generating £427m for North Devon last year. To fully support this sector North Devon+ has made a significant investment in the new website. With fifty percent of tourists in the UK now researching and booking their holidays online, it is important that North Devon and Exmoor keeps pace with other major tourism competitors, such as Wales, Cumbria and Yorkshire, which have all invested in similar destination management websites, as well as running big campaigns on television and in the media to attract visitors".
The new site www.northdevon.com was developed through visitor research and a series of workshops with local tourism businesses. Laura says the website offers a targeted and cost effective way of bringing visitors and new investment to North Devon and Exmoor : "Domestic holidays grew by 18 percent in 2009, and if North Devon and Exmoor wants its share of this market and to grow visitor spend, then we need a more compelling online offer. North Devon+ is leading the way with a website that will boost visitor numbers, increase visitor spend, maximise return on investment for our members and generally enable us and our partners to do more business with less effort and reduced resources. "
The new website is backed by a targeted marketing campaign as Laura explains: "www.northdevon.com will be promoted through a marketing campaign worth in excess of £250,000 and which also includes, PR, press advertising and direct mail. The campaigns are all highly targeted and our members businesses benefit directly from these activities."
North Devon+ is keen to attract local tourism businesses onto www.northdevon.com with the provision of a free advertisement as one of their membership benefits. Making a direct appeal to local and regional businesses, Laura comments: "The more businesses on the website, the more appealing a destination North Devon and Exmoor is to website visitors, and the more visitors the area will attract and more visitors equals more jobs. Tourism currently accounts for 10% of jobs in Torridge and 17% in North Devon. At North Devon+ we are committed to creating more jobs for the area, and boosting tourism is one of the ways we are going to deliver."
Sandra Hobbs of Lorna Doone House has nothing but praise for the new website. "I was initially sceptical as to the need for a re-design of northdevon.com and found the prospect of taking online booking daunting. However, the new website delivers a much more consumer focused experience, projects a vastly improved image for North Devon and Exmoor, and I am already seeing an increase in enquiries and receiving online bookings."
For information about North Devon+ please contact the Marketing Manager Laura Holt by Tel 01237 426 426 or by mobile 07545 697004 or visit www.northdevonplus.co.uk