The Greater Springfield Convention and Visitors Bureau has retooled its website, with the goal of promoting local attractions and making the site more user-friendly.
The site, www.VisitGreaterSpringfield.com, was launched this month with updates that include more videos, more local events and activities, and the ability for visitors to chat live online with local visitors bureau representatives when they’re available.
The visitors bureau is promoting the site, which was designed to function the same for both desktop and mobile users, Schutte said. Now, about 60 percent of visitors use a laptop or desktop to get to the site.
“We are getting to the point shortly where desktop and tablet or phone use will all be about equal,” Schutte said.
Tourism plays a significant role in the region’s economy. A report earlier this year showed the economic impact of tourism rose from about $300 million in 2010 to nearly $400 million last year, according to Clark County officials.
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The CVB worked with Knowble Media, a Columbus-based company that retooled the site. Schutte said the site is redeveloped every few years to find ways to make it more user-friendly.
This year, that included more video of area events and the region throughout the site and a redesign to make it easier to find restaurants and events in the area. The previous version of the site was effective but a little cluttered, Schutte said.
“That really paid off in the final design,” he said of the changes.
To make changes, the CVB looked at both tourism websites for cities similar to Springfield, as well as larger cities like Seattle and San Francisco to see what changes make sense to make the area more appealing for potential visitors and improve the user interface. Reviewing the site every few years gives the CVB time to review what works and what doesn’t he said.
“It gives us a good window of metrics to see how people are using the site,” Schutte said.
Schutte said the site is meant to attract visitors from outside Clark County, but’s also a useful tool for local residents who are looking for local events or aren’t aware of some of the region’s attractions.