The Niagara Tourism and Convention Corporation launched an updated and newly designed website, www.Niagara-USA.com, Jan. 6 after a huge surge in online web traffic in 2010 and 2009. The website layout, navigation, colors and interactivity have all been overhauled to keep up with the growing demand for information on the Niagara USA destination.
"After a lot of research and customer feedback, we decided that the design and functionality of the website needed to be addressed. In 2010, there was a 90 percent increase in website visitation from 2009," said Communications Manager Jennifer Starkey, who heads Internet marketing at the NTCC. "We wanted to provide potential visitors with the ability to become more engaged with the Niagara USA destination in addition to offering more information on the region than ever before."
Visitors will now be able to immediately connect with various social media outlets, read updated content on the destination and be encouraged to book their trip directly on the Niagara-USA.com site. The re-design took nine months and is a part of a multi-phase process. Future updates will include video implementation and increased usability for mobile devices.
The NTCC initiated a complete Internet marketing program in 2009.
"In order to stay competitive in destination marketing, we knew that targeting the online arena would have enormous potential to bring people to Niagara Falls and Niagara County," said John Percy, NTCC president and CEO.
Since the program's inception, the website's Google rankings have increased dramatically, accounting for a majority of the traffic to Niagara-USA.com. The website is currently ranked first on Google (out of 25 million sites) for a variety of keywords, including "Niagara Falls."
In 2010, the Niagara-USA website received more than one million visits from users and the NTCC plans to increase that by 15 percent in 2011. The NTCC also manages an online reservation system that allows potential visitors to book hotels, attractions and packages directly on the Niagara USA website. The reservation system generated approximately $1.3 million for local businesses in 2010.