Shoalhaven Tourism Website sees enormous growth after launching with ATDW content!

Introducing Shoalhaven, the most visited Local Government Area in NSW, with 170Km of beautiful coastline, 100 beaches and 49 towns and villages.  In 2012 the Shoalhaven City Council took the initiative to become an ATDW distributor and now they have over 2000 ATDW products registered on the ATDW-Online platform from the Shoalhaven, Jervis Bay region.

Covering such a large region, Shoalhaven City believed that by becoming an ATDW distributor, it not only gave their operators in the region additional exposure on multiple digital platforms, but also offered the council the opportunity to import standardised information to their website with daily updates and analytics.   “We couldn’t have done it any other way!  This way it allows us to spend more time on other things, like developing complementary content, campaigns, and advocating to operators.”

 

 Easy to sign up and integrate the ATDW content with our website!

According to Chris at Feel Creative who was responsible for the integration of the Shoalhaven website with the ATDW content, the ATDW content was an invaluable asset for the website to help promote location-specific attractions and allow the site to grow its content base.

“We found the API was really flexible and comprehensive, allowing for a well-formulated and seamless integration of Shoalhaven Tourism’s curated content with ATWD user-generated data. By doing this it saves Shoalhaven Council from having to source or maintain a vast number of content items.

All up the outcome gives users a total pool of information which is much broader than would be possible to maintain without the ATWD platform. And best of all, by pulling content in via a daily sync, this content is totally up-to-date and can be easily tagged, filtered and searched in real time through a seamless user experience and branded interface.”

 

The ATDW Content we are displaying on our Website…

We’re displaying around 1700 products, which we have classified into Eat, Stay, Play and we’ve also populated an ‘Inclusive’ product class.

Food + Drink (6 categories), Tour (15 categories), Accommodation (11 categories), Transport ( 2 categories), General Services (14 categories), Journey (Day Trip & itineraries), Info Services & Destination Information, Attraction (14 categories).

Our shoalhaven.com taxonomy is designed so that we can use these categories, or create our own as in the 100 Beach Challenge, to curate user friendly lists and maps for landing pages.

On top of ATDW, we’ve also added map points (for things like boat ramps) and an itinerary builder. The itinerary builder is the main user function of shoalhaven.com, and it allows people to design their own trip and share with friends and family, who can then customise it. The homepage features an ‘experienator’ which allows the product to be sorted by experience, timeframe and region, to spit out a number of product options that can then be built into a mappable trip.  Click HERE for a brief screen video clip with a run-through of our new website and demonstrating our itinerary builder!

 

What value is there in displaying listings for your region on your site? 

It’s crucial for councils and destination representatives to promote their products and experiences online, and using the ATDW content on our website makes it easy.

It also allows our local products to be promoted by other tourism sites such as visitnsw.com and visitcanberra.com and to be included in large scale campaigns like the South Coast RVEF campaign Unspoilt.

In fact, our operators tell us time and time again that Industry leads and referrals from ATDW product on shoalhaven.com or visitnsw.com are their main sources of traffic!

 

We have received some feedback for our website pages displaying the ATDW listings

Our website has received great feedback from operators and locals, who find it easy to use and easy to navigate horizontally through the site as well as vertically with content and product links throughout all vlogs and landing pages.

The experience builder has garnered great feedback from industry including reps from Destination NSW, congratulating us on promoting itineraries and experiences.   47k itineraries have been built using our builder since the shoalhaven.com website was launched. Of that 2000 have been shared and customised since the spring 2018.

Over the period Oct 2018 (when site was launched) to Feb 2019, our year on year growth on shoalhaven.com totalled an increase of: Users 95%, sessions 106%, Pageviews 87%.

 

Would you recommend others become ATDW distributors?

Absolutely! Empowering operators to manage their own listings and keep their industry presence top notch is really important for the destination and the individual businesses. There are times when you need to a little help with the tech side of things, but overall it cuts your workload by half and more than doubles the promotional power.

 

Any tips or advice which you may have for other Councils on ATDW and how to best use it to your advantage?

  • Use having an ATDW listing as part of your marketing checklist, and only promote operators who have taken this small step to be involved and engaged with industry.
  • ATDW listings for events are great, but they can be a difficult category to get event organisers to engage with, (the food and wine category can be the same). We have added a native ‘add your own listing’ to our website to encourage event organisers and operators to create their own listings.
  • ATDW listings are not just for traditional tourism product such as attractions and accommodation; boutiques, cafes and events are all important part of the tourism experience!
  • Be prepared to spend a little time getting upskilled so you or your staff can identify and troubleshoot listings that don’t come through, from time to time we find mapping errors or even mailing addresses in another region can cause product to drop off. A good web developer can really help your website to connect well with ATDW.
  • Upskill your visitor services staff to help operators create and maintain their own listings and include reminders in comms with your local industry.
  • Make sure you take the time to add your natural attractions like beaches, lookouts etc, and things that are not owned by businesses and keep them up to date.

 

Be like Shoalhaven and jpion our network of ATDW distributors, where you don’t only contribute content, but integrate it with your own website and distribute content also…  Here’s how it works…