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Constantly feeding and nurturing its website as if it was a living and dynamic entity has won Tourism Dunedin a major award at the 2012 eTourism conference in Auckland.
Tourism Dunedin won the inaugural eTourism award for best destination marketing/regional tourism organisation after judges found the organisation's web presence engaged visitors, through both unique content and the user experience.
Speaking on behalf of the judging panel, awards founder and judge James Hacon said Tourism Dunedin stood out from others in the competition with its consistent brand and voice across its web presence.
"Much more than a listing site providing basic travel information, the website provided insight into what the destination is like from both a visitors and local perspective.
"We were particularly impressed by the high-level of engagement across a number of key social media sites."
The content and information encouraged website visitors to slow down and get to know more about the people and places they could visit, and supported them in uncovering multiple layers of attractions and activities in which they could participate, he said. It gave visitors an authentic idea of the quality of the experience they would have.
Tourism Dunedin chief executive Hamish Saxton gave much of the credit for the award to the organisation's "digital guru", Josh Jenkins.
The award recognised Tourism Dunedin's concerted effort to understand the type of content that visitors wanted to see and the way it could be presented to them, Mr Saxton said.
"A website or online presence needs to be treated as a living and dynamic entity in that it needs to be constantly fed, nurtured and developed.
"Having an excellent online presence is certainly something that Tourism Dunedin aspires to, and it's a great acknowledgement of the planning and strategy of the organisation to date, and in particular the work of our digital guru, Josh Jenkins."