Tourism Whitsundays is excited to launch the new destination website, designed to ensure a seamless and smooth online experience whilst providing a visual journey through The Whitsundays region and the incredible experiences on offer.
The website redevelopment was made possible thanks to partial funding from the Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal and the Gambling Community Benefit Fund grants. These grants allowed Tourism Whitsundays to undertake a complete website redesign to reflect the direction of the business and the needs of the destination.
Whitsunday Regional Council Mayor Andrew Willcox said having a high-profile presence in the digital space was crucial for our peak tourism body to promote the Whitsunday region effectively.
“Industry research has shown that those with a bright and easy to navigate website capture a larger slice of the market in the highly competitive domestic tourism sector. This new responsive website will deliver an outstanding user experience and boasts simple ‘call to actions’ which means enquiries turn into more bookings for our tourism stakeholders,” he said.
In September 2020, a request for tender was sent to various website developers across the country. From the various tenders received VMLY&R were appointed successful recipients. They have worked with clients such as Commonwealth Bank, Bond University, Australian Open, Charter Hall, Pfizer Connect and McDonald’s Restaurant. VMLY&R provided a concept design which evoked a clear understanding of The Whitsundays brand.
Tourism Whitsundays Chief Executive Officer, Tash Wheeler said the new website works in line with the Heart of the Great Barrier Reef branding and will engage consumers on a new level.
“The launch of our new website is a very exciting time, for many consumers and visitors to The Whitsundays this is their first interaction with the destination, and we want our website to be inviting, informative and friendly. Through marketing campaigns over the past 12 months we have driven over 1M unique visitors to the website which is a huge achievement. With the launch of the new website, we see this continuing to increase,” Ms Wheeler said.
A mobile first design approach was taken with the concept designs of the website. Currently over 70% of visitors to the website are using mobile devices so providing a simple design which enhances user experience while appealing to a broader audience was chosen.
The new website has several innovative and creative features that will engage consumers. The Tourism Whitsundays team favourite is the homepage clock feature which displays the real time in The Whitsundays no matter where the website is being viewed from across the globe. This feature showcases what holidaymakers can be doing in The Whitsundays at that particular time of day. With the clock being interactive, visitors will be able to explore everything the region has to offer at various times of the day. This will help to take a journey from dreaming, to planning and booking through the website.
Bowen Tourism and Business Chairperson, Jenn Honnery said the new redeveloped website is a useful tool for holidaymakers wishing to explore a region that has it all.
“The new website shines a light on the diverse regions across The Whitsundays and the different experiences that locals and visitors can enjoy in the Heart of the Great Barrier Reef. This is an invaluable digital asset for The Whitsundays region and will see visitors disperse across Airlie Beach, Bowen, Collinsville, Proserpine and our infamous island wonders,” Ms Honnery said.
Tourism Whitsundays are encouraging members now more than ever to ensure their ATDW and Bookeasy listings are loaded with their businesses’ most up to date assets such as key business features and incredible imagery, so they can maximise this new and improved information epicentre for potential visitors.
The destination website, is officially live, if you haven’t checked it out yet make sure you do and be sure to enjoy The Whitsundays clock feature.