After nine months of research and development, Visit Champaign County proudly launched their new website at VisitChampaignCounty.org. Louder Design, a Texas-based firm known for award-winning Destination Marketing Organization (DMO) websites, created the site to attract attention of visitors regionally, nationally and internationally.
“It was vital to upgrade the functionality of our website,” explains Terri Reifsteck, Vice President of Marketing for Visit Champaign County. “There is a lot of noise in the travel sector when it comes to planning. We need a site that is a one-stop shop, visually representing our area and giving visitors an accurate understanding of all our community has to offer.”
A top priority for the new site is to ensure it utilizes responsive design so it can be accessed and fully utilized across a range of devices as analytics continue to show that 1/3 of visitor traffic comes from a mobile device. Additionally, as potential visitors research destinations, the importance of authentic photos continues to grow, especially with sites like Instagram and Pinterest providing inspiration for travelers. The new site shifts to using high impact graphics throughout all pages, listings and events.
All tourism-related businesses (shops, restaurants, hotels, museums, galleries, etc.) are encouraged to submit a high-resolution photo for inclusion to help highlight their business.
Among the many features to the site, visitors now have the capability of creating a profile and favoriting places or events they’d like to visit, as well as building trips and itineraries. Visitors can also discover businesses located within 1-5 miles from each other to quickly find restaurants, shops or hotels near points of interest.
The website typically experiences 15,000 unique visitors a month with the Calendar of Events consistently being the most visited page on the website. The new calendar allows visitors to select a specific date range, or narrow by week, month or category. Event organizers in Champaign County are encouraged to submit their event for review directly from the website.
The site, while recently launched, has already taken home the 2015 Davey Silver Award for Best Tourism Website. Reifsteck anticipates higher usage and more pages viewed as the site guides visitors to discover more attractions, restaurants, shops and various other things to do.
For more information about the site and its expanded functionality, please contact Terri Reifsteck at 217-351-4133