Victor Harbor is one of the most popular coastal playgrounds in South Australia and has been a favourite holiday destination with families since the late 1800s. As a destination, it is the most visited in South Australia outside of the Adelaide CBD and the second fastest growing Local Government Area in South Australia.
As a continued effort by the City of Victor Harbor to increase both tourist and resident numbers and investment in the region, the council has recently undertaken a “place brand” development project, aiming to update and modernise the region’s image both nationally and internationally.
As the first stage in a wider brand rollout, a new tourism website was desperately needed to replace the region’s archaic and chronically underperforming existing web presence.
The existing website was neither effectively content managed, nor did it reflect the range of experiences the region has to offer.
We were approached to design and develop an entirely new website with the primary aim of reflecting the new place brand’s values and communicating effectively the wide range of businesses, activities and events that make Victor Harbor such an exciting destination.
The place brand’s fun, vibrant concept was developed to tell the story of Victor Harbor’s friendly community, fun atmosphere and rich landscapes. We needed to reflect this in the region’s tourism website, and adopted the brand’s strong style guidelines, while using modern web design principles to create a highly impactive, image driven layout.
The bright, bold colours of the brand are carried throughout, and a set of custom iconography was developed to complement the look and feel of the site.
A business directory that allows the City of Victor Harbor to sell “sponsorship” packages of varying levels allows for a revenue stream, and highlights local businesses and attractions, while a fully featured events section clearly communicates to visitors the breadth of experiences on offer, and even includes the ability for both users and non-technical council staff the ability to directly add upcoming events to the website without accessing the CMS. These are then moderated by staff and published as required, considerably reducing the workload of the website’s content editors.
Integral to the success of the project was the prominent integration of an accommodation booking system. As this was an existing revenue stream for the council, it needed to be front and centre throughout the site, and allow users to easily book accommodation, both in the region locally and throughout South Australia.
We developed a custom API integration that syncs with the provider’s data feeds and automatically creates pages locally, meaning that each of the accommodation operators has an actual live page on the Victor Harbor website, adding highly valuable content to improve the site’s search engine performance, meaning a search for many local accommodation options also returns the Victor Harbor website, further adding to conversion and revenue from bookings.