During the summer months, the site welcomed over 300,000 unique visitors from across the globe, a huge increase compared with the old Islandbreaks and GoWight sites, with traffic continuing to break previous records – even out of season.
The official Isle of Wight visitor website is now more popular than many of its competitors, including Devon, Wiltshire and Hampshire, and during August last year even bypassed the top UK destinations Dorset and The Lake District.
Earlier this year, the VIOW website homepage also took first place at a national website and brochure awards conference, beating Cornwall and the English Riviera into second and third place respectively. The award sponsored by Carrier Direct Marketing, part of the Carrier Group, was awarded at this year’s British Destinations Annual Conference held in Southend on Thursday, 4th July.
In 2013, VIOW spent just over £1 million promoting the Island and web advert income was an important part of that fund enabling the DMO to pay for TV and cinema advertising as well as a range of marketing and exhibitions work carried out by VIOW last year. This marketing fund also paid for press office services generating over £1.8M of new press coverage in the UK and abroad, which all helped to drive traffic to the website.
David Thornton, CEO, Visit Isle of Wight, who has written to all website contributors thanking them for their support and detailing the raft of benefits available in 2014 said:
“Thanks to the helpful feedback from current industry advertisers, VIOW is pleased to make it possible for even more businesses to be seen by tens of thousands of unique visitors and potential customers.
“Every pound spent with us is reinvested in marketing the Isle of Wight and matched by the Isle of Wight Council and our Solent travel partners – helping us to attract even more visitor to the Island”.
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Some of the changes to the website which will be made over the course of this month include the removal of commission payments, an overhaul of the navigation system to allow quicker and easier searching and browsing of all web pages, properties and attractions with more choices and options site-wide: businesses need only pay for the tools and functions they need rather than having to buy packages as well asthe introduction of several new tools to enhance online profile.