THE English Riviera Tourism Company is leading the way for tourism industry marketing.
The ERTC was just one of four destination marketing organisations from across the country invited to deliver a key note speech at the Tourism Management Institute National Conference in Coventry recently, which around 100 destinations attended.
With a presentation titled ‘Upping the Digital Pace on the English Riviera’, chief executive Carolyn Custerson demonstrated ERTC’s increasing use of a growing number of digital and social media marketing channels to entice people to visit the resort, including new website widgets promoting ‘What’s On’ to a wider audience, increased integration of Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and smartphone mobile technology including an Android and iPhone free-to-download English Riviera app.
“Marketing a destination now is very different to what it was 20 years ago,” said Carolyn.
“Marketing channels have multiplied and the use of mobile technology is increasing at a rapid rate.
“It is very exciting and these different channels give us all the opportunity to reach new markets and attract more visitors to the English Riviera all year round.
“I am thrilled with the return on investment of our multi channel e-initiatives so far.
“May was a particularly exciting month when we saw a 95 per cent increase in traffic on May 2011 and a massive increase in referrals from both Facebook and mobile devices, from people obviously interested in visiting us.
“This was clearly stimulated by our highly effective communication of many of the great events that took place here on the English Riviera.”
She said the investments have been undertaken to support the tourism industry as part of the Turning the Tide for Tourism in Torbay strategy, adopted by Torbay Council.
Tourism businesses are being encouraged to link to the official English Riviera web site.
Three free new ERTC website widgets — What’s On, Things to Do and Where to Stay — will be available shortly for all businesses to use to help promote things to see and do on the English Riviera.