New £5,000 Visit Ely website aims to bring 'wow factor'
East Cambridgeshire District Council is hoping to boost tourism - and raise some extra cash- by spending up to £5,000 to bring the "wow factor" to its 'Visit Ely' website.
Tracey Harding, the council’s tourism and town centres manager, believes the website looks “very dated” and “lacking in modern design”.
Visit Ely attracts around 220,000 web hits per year and her aim is to get this to 300,000 within a year and 500,000 within two years.
First port of call will be to recruit someone to oversee design of the current website which Ms Harding says is “a constraining factor in the marketing and promotion of the district.”
She says the upgrade will provide a “clear, simple to navigate, well-designed website” that provides “sufficient ‘wow factor’.”
Her report says a newly reinvigorated website will “raise the profile of Ely and the district,” which, in turn, would “contribute to an increase in economic growth and visitor numbers.”
Her report to the council’s transformation committee says the new website will go through a number of planning phases before being launched in May.
“Feedback supports our case that the existing website is weak and does not serve Ely as a destination,” she says.
Her plan is sell more banner advertising space and make the website “a truly commercial venture”.
A risk assessment presented to councillors identifies what might happen should advertising levels fail to meet expectations.
One key element being considered is for the new website to create what Ms Harding describes as an “on line shop front” selling gifts, tickets or other services with credit card payments.