Working for Business in the Outdoor Capital of the UK

Your new Outdoor Capital of the UK, Lochaber Website

An update on the fantastic new Outdoor Capital Website from our Destination Manager, Chris O’Brien:

 

I am delighted to be writing with more information on your new Outdoor Capital of the UK website – outdoorcapital.co.uk – which has been designed to showcase our members and give visitors rich inspiration and information so that they enjoy their visit, stay longer, spend more, and come again!

Over the last 9 months, the new Outdoor Capital of the UK website has been under development. The new design and features are almost ready for release and the new site has been part-launched already, with a VisitScotland product search widget integration planned for the summer release.

Through consultation with our tourism marketing group and a strong partnership with VisitScotland we truly have a new product that we can all be proud of, and one that will firmly reinforce Outdoor Capital of the UK, Lochaber as one of the strongest tourism brands in Europe.

As we all know, there is far more to Outdoor Capital of the UK than adrenaline. The new website is designed to reflect exactly that! Our new design is tailored to make the most of our stunning scenery, incredible businesses, bustling high streets, crafts, incredible food, high quality accommodation and most of all our unique and world renowned people!

Please read on for further information on these developments, and do contact me at chris.obrien@lochaberchamber.co.uk to discuss further.

 

THE NEW DESIGN

The new design is clean and fresh with far greater levels of interaction, mobile responsiveness and user generated content.

The site will have inspiring video and photo content pulled from our social media assets (currently the Outdoor Capital Facebook page is experiencing 10,000 video views a day, and our Facebook posts are now reaching 800,000 people per month.

A new feature of the site is an interactive map. If a clickable location on the map is selected, a window will appear that automatically plays a video linked to that location, along with a list of member business that are in that area or provide services in that area, and options to view further videos linked to that category/location.

The Homepage menu bar will feature: Things to do, What’s On, Food and Drink, Stay and News.

When website users select an individual category of ‘Things to do’ – e.g. Cruising and Sailing – they are taken to a new page on that topic that includes: top Member stories featuring this category, a filtered interactive map showing members offering relevant opportunities. Following the launch of the VisitScotland product search widget integration, this new page will also feature a VisitScotland searchable section, allowing the user to search businesses that provide the relevant services in Lochaber, but not outside of Lochaber.

Similarly, when a website user selects the ‘Stay’, ‘What’s On’ and ‘Food and Drink’ sections from the homepage menu, they are taken to a page that features our top stories about member providers. Once launched, these pages will also feature a VisitScotland searchable section allowing users to search accommodation services in Lochaber, but not outside of Lochaber.

 

What does this mean in terms of Members and Non Members?

Members of the Lochaber Chamber of Commerce have been, and always will be, Outdoor Capital of the UK’s number one priority.

 

Businesses that are not in membership of the Chamber will not be promoted or featured in the stories or videos on the Outdoor Capital of the UK website.

Activity, Accommodation, Food & Drink and Events that are not in membership, but are listed on visitscotland.com will be searchable on the VisitScotland search windows once these are included on the website.

 

Why?

We want to give our website users opportunity to see all of our membership businesses throughout their time on our website, making sure that our members are the first thing that any user sees. Beyond that, we want to promote Lochaber as a whole and give users a search facility that enables them to also be able to book accommodation. Further information is included below on how you can take advantage of this feature. It is also to aid our members by limiting the number of listings that they need to keep updated.

This is an incredibly exciting time for Lochaber Chamber of Commerce. We truly have a site that will significantly increase the exposure of our membership. Our partnership with VisitScotland will enable us to draw upon their digital power and expertise to further that exposure to an even greater degree.

 

Listing your business on VisitScotland

Having a free listing on visitscotland.com will therefore enable you to capitalise on Outdoor Capital of the UK’s new website, as well as VisitScotland’s!

 

More about listings

VisitScotland is providing a platform for tourism businesses to take their message across the world – to promote their services, increase product awareness and drive referrals. visitscotland.com is a fantastic platform, reaching an audience of 20 million users annually.

visitscotland.com was relaunched in February 2016 with a new look and feel, greater use of inspiring imagery and video content to showcase the true Spirit of Scotland, and translation into five European languages. In the period April 2016 – March 2017, it delivered 1.4 million referrals to businesses via web listings, up 19% on the previous year.

 We would be delighted to assist all of our membership with claiming their free web listing on visitscotland.com. I’ve included some helpful points below.

 

Maximising your listing

A free web listing is available for all businesses across Scotland. Activating yours is easy. Simply fill in the online form.

The better the listing, the more likely it is to get noticed. The VisitScotland Extranet system allows you to easily and regularly update your listing and add inspiring content. Three key things to include:

  1. Relevant, engaging and high quality content – this includes a description that is optimised for searches, and up-to-date facility/category details.

 

  1. High quality and enticing images

 

  1. Online booking for accommodation businesses – with 64% of visitors (and rising) booking accommodation online, this is essential. Visitors also prefer to search for accommodation where availability information is accessible online. Providing this is a great way to gain more exposure.

 

A booking engine is a web-based system that allows businesses to accept bookings online either through their website or through a third party booking site. These systems offer administration and management facilities, where businesses can add room availability and prices.

VisitScotland is integrated with a number of web booking engines.  A full list is available from visitscotland.org.  If you would like your availability to be searchable on vistiscotland.com and the Outdoor Capital website, we would recommend that you work with one of these providers.

More information on integrating a web booking engine can be found on VisitScotland’s industry website: visitscotland.org.

 

Looking forward

It doesn’t stop there. VisitScotland continues to invest in developing visitscotland.com to match content with consumer expectations, deliver an enhanced customer experience, increase traffic, and increase referrals to businesses.

 

Additional opportunities

VisitScotland also provides numerous other opportunities, including Quality Assurance schemes, events and exhibitions, working with the Travel TradeBusiness Events, iCentre promotion, marketing and PR activity, and more. Find out more at visitscotland.org.

If you have any questions, your Industry Relationship Manager – Alan Mackenzie – can provide one-to-one advice tailored to your needs. Telephone: 01478 614902 or Email: Alan.Mackenzie2@visitscotland.com.

 

Thank You!

On behalf of Lochaber Chamber, I would like to thank all of our members for their continued support, and our tourism subgroups for all of their hard work helping us bring this project to an incredibly innovative point.

 

Contact

Please do contact me on chris.obrien@lochaberchamber.co.uk to discuss any of these exciting new website developments and plans!

 

Chris O’Brien

Destination Manager.

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