• Cyril McAree

Fáilte Ireland Launches New DiscoverIreland.ie Website

Coming on the back of Fáilte Ireland’s major domestic marketing campaign ‘Ireland, make a break for it’, the DiscoverIreland.ie website has been rebuilt and relaunched to deliver on the needs of the Irish home-holidaying public.

As Fáilte Ireland’s Head of Digital Marketing Claire Cadogan explains, the new DiscoverIreland.ie website has many new features to make planning a staycation an intuitive, informative and fun experience:“The previous site was in existence for almost ten years. So much has changed in that time – even in the last few months - that it was time for a digital transformation…

“The site is part of a significant marketing investment by Fáilte Ireland to drive the recovery of the tourism industry. From a website perspective itself, the design and build is based on industry best practice; we’ve learnt from other global travel giants. We also conducted our own research to help us to better understand how domestic visitors plan and make their holiday decisions.”

The ‘go-to’ source for visitor information

Fáilte Ireland considered how instinctive and intuitive browsing behavior has become over recent years and the design of the site was adapted accordingly:

“The vision is for Discoverireland.ie to become the trusted ‘go-to’ source of the best things to see and do in Ireland for the domestic visitor. From a functionality point of view, it was key for us that we kept the site simple, beautiful and useful. Search functionality is key on the homepage and throughout the site, so people can access content really quickly, whether planning ahead or already at the destination and spontaneously looking for things to do.”

Consumer insights

“Over 70% of people book holidays online and over 60% of people use mobile devices to do this. This is why we’ve designed a truly superior experience on mobile devices.

“We also found that when people start to plan a holiday, they start by looking at destinations - closely followed by ‘interests’. With that in mind, we have dedicated destination pages for all counties and all key visitor areas. Within those pages we have quick and easy access to highlights, things to do, what’s on and information on food and drink.”

As with all websites, work is continuous and there will be future releases constantly improving the structure and content already in place. This will be driven by customer usage to adapt to how people are using it; what they click on, and what they search. These subsequent releases will include ‘what’s near me?’ and ‘inspire me’ filters so that people can quickly get information on what’s nearby, tailored to their specific needs. Another important part of that plan will be the involvement of tourism businesses themselves and it’s important that they share information, imagery and video and keep this information up to date.

“Our new Registered Accommodation listing is much clearer and easier to filter on the site. We are now asking businesses to help us to help them; to promote themselves in the best possible light by reviewing their listings on the site and sharing the best high-resolution images that they have, which will impact on thousands of weekly visitors on our site.

Local content with a focus on authentic experiences

“From a content perspective, we’re very excited about the potential of the site. We continue to build out exciting local content and we’ll be sharing authentic hints and tips on getting the most out of holidays in Ireland. For instance, telling people what’s not to miss in a certain destination, the best scenic route to a particular attraction or the best places for fresh coffee and scones when you’re doing a looped walk or a drive.”

In consumer research carried out in advance of the revamped website launch, “Destinations and interests jumped out rather quickly, driving the layout of the site. The other thing we discovered is that domestic visitors don’t see themselves as ‘tourists’. Irish visitors are particularly interested in more authentic, off-the-beaten-track and seasonal experiences. This is something we’ve worked hard to provide for people. For many, short breaks are replacing family holidays abroad so many of our articles deliver uniquely in this space.”

The role of the website as the principal source of visitor information is something that Claire’s Digital Marketing team doesn’t underestimate:

“People are wary of how commercial other sites can be – with paid-for rankings and listings. Our content is based on true insights into the industry; a trustworthy, non-commercial source of information on things to do and it’s critical to capture people’s attention and capitalise on demand.”

Tips for your business listing

For businesses wanting to get listed or update their listings, they can visit the ‘get listed’ section on the FailteIreland.ie homepage. The Fáilte Ireland Digital Marketing team will then process the uploaded information and update the site accordingly.

Any tips for listings?

According to Claire, images are critical.

Claire explains: “High resolution images and conveying what’s distinctive and unique to your business versus others is really important You should also bear in mind what previous guests have loved because that tells you what your unique selling points are.

“From a copy perspective, less is more. Again, be true to what’s unique about your business. This will serve you well when people are looking at lots of options. By being clear and concise, you can often stand out from the pack.”

Check out the new DiscoverIreland.ie website now and see FailteIreland.ie

for more information on how to get listed.

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