Big Plans For Scilly’s New Tourism Website

simply scilly website 2013It’s too early to measure whether the new official tourism website is increasing enquiries and bookings, but the Council tourism staff say it has the flexibility to keep up with the latest online innovations, unlike the site it replaced.

The Simply Scilly website was revamped in December and when fully developed, will be able to interact with social networks like Twitter and the photo sharing site, Flickr.

A set of videos commissioned following £12,000 grant investment are also embedded in the new site, which will accommodate YouTube video uploads.

But staff accept that there are still some teething problems though.

Fran Grottick has written to the TIC with examples of how the search facility appears to be faulty. When she searched for St Mary’s accommodation, for instance, Tresco’s New Inn was returned as a search result.

Sophie Hughes says the TIC team are keen to iron out any glitches in the site and want locals to check their entries and flag up what may need tweaking.

The Tourism and Business Partnership, the public and private sector body replacing Island Marketing and Island Tourism, was established around a year ago and has officially taken over the tourism marketing role. But revamping the official website has been managed by the Council’s TIC team.

Julian Pearce says this is due to an existing contract with South West Tourism, which doesn’t finish until later this year, and the fact that the partnership has a lot of other activities to organise.

He said the Council has provided a good platform that the partnership can build on in the future.

The website has been live for just under a month and Julian says it’s too early to say if it’s resulted in increased activity and viewings.

Christmas and January have traditionally been the time when people start to book holidays for the summer, but Julian says that pattern has been changing over the last few years, with more people booking later.

But the videos on the site have already reached over 10,000 viewings.

Julian says future plans will see the introduction of a private Tourism and Business Partnership members’ forum, where issues and grievances can be aired in a password protected area where the visitors can’t go.

Meanwhile the delayed Tourism and Business Partnership newsletter is expected to be distributed soon.

On December 3rd, chairman Chris Gregory told us he has signed off the final proof before it went to the printers.

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