What is VisitWales.com?
VisitWales.com is Wales’ main international gateway website for tourism.
It’s a hub of inspiration and information for those looking to find out more about Wales as a place to visit on a short break or holiday, or for business. It’s also our gateway for further information about Business Events and Travel Trade opportunities.
Visit the Welsh Government website for information about the devolved Government for Wales.
Who is VisitWales.com for?
Is it a new website?
VisitWales.com has been a long-established portal for promoting Wales as a place to visit.
The website has recently been updated as part of a project called the Wales Digital Gateway, the current phase of an ongoing programme of continual improvement to strengthen the digital marketing infrastructure and content approach for the future.
This latest version of VisitWales.com is on a new technical platform, shared with Wales.com. The website is also more magazine-like than previous versions of the site. It continues to also include specific information about individual businesses – and this part of the website will be further improved before the summer.
We carried out a great deal of user-testing as part of the development process to ensure that the website provides a positive experience for our target audiences, and is easy to use and navigate.
The website is currently in beta, and you can expect to see continual improvements to the site over the coming months.
Why has VisitWales.com been updated?
VisitWales.com was last properly re-developed in 2013. Since then unique user numbers have grown from around 2m a year, to over 5m in 2018. However in recent years the website has also started to plateau in terms of its performance and our social media and content partnership campaigns have gone from strength to strength.
There is still an opportunity to grow VisitWales.com and it’s of course vital that Wales has a strong tourism website. But the website itself is now only part of the story, and we see VisitWales.com today as much as a hub of content that will also be shared across our other international websites, on social media and through partners as a destination in itself.
This latest iteration of VisitWales.com takes the website onto a new technical platform and features more editorial, rich media content (film, photos, infographics etc) to inspire new visitors to come to Wales.
The work of redeveloping VisitWales.com is part of a broader project called The Wales Digital Gateway – which seeks to improve all the flagship international websites on technical, user-experience, design and content levels.
From a tourism perspective, this means that we will be able to move new international audiences that are looking for general information about Wales on Wales.com much more quickly to engaging tourism information on VisitWales.com – and ultimately to a specific bookable product listing.
What are the main changes to the website?
A website is never finished and so the work of developing and improving VisitWales.com is ongoing.
This latest BETA VisitWales.com website will offer our users a faster, cleaner and more immersive experience than in the past – and you can expect to see more and more design and technical improvements happening over the coming months too, including better linkages between related items of content and enhanced mapping.
From a content perspective, VisitWales.com will feel much more like a weekend magazine than the previous website. Many of the 600 or so articles featured are updated from the previous version of the website and over the next twelve you can expect to see new, multi-media stories being published all the time, with greater emphasis being placed on allowing the businesses, organisations and people of Wales – as well as our visitors – to tell the story of Wales in their own words.
As well as beautiful itineraries, we know that visitors to the website expect to be able to click from an inspiring article to specific product information online - about individual accommodation, attractions, activities and events. It is not possible for Visit Wales, as Government-funded website, to offer a booking service directly on our own platforms. However, we are going to be doing a lot throughout 2019 to make it much easier for visitors to find inspiring information – through a new product database approach - about specific businesses on the site.
Which languages have been included?
VisitWales.com is an international English language website aimed at a wide-range of English speaking audiences globally.
Versions of VisitWales.com are also available in Welsh and German. North American visitors can also expect a slightly different version of the site. Each website has been specifically produced to meet the needs of these different audiences.
You can also find basic introductory information about Wales as a place to visit on Wales.com in English, Welsh, German, French and Spanish. Again, there is a North American version too. There are also stand-alone Japanese and Chinese Wales websites to explore. Further language versions of Wales.com will be developed in the future.
Over the coming year we are going to move to producing more content that is specific to the interests of those using the English, Welsh and German websites – tailoring the message to meet the different needs of our variety of visitors.
Who runs the website?
Why does it mention individual businesses in articles? How can my business feature?
VisitWales.com is designed to act as a showcase for Wales as a place to visit for a wide range of different visitors in order to grow our economy and communities.
As such it’s important to show potential visitors the wide range of experiences Wales has to offer.
The emphasis of the articles we publish is not on promoting any individual business but on saying something about Wales and its destinations. There is no financial benefit to any businesses featured.
Clearly, the number of people, businesses and organisations featured in articles on VisitWales.com will grow over the coming years.
If you feel that you have an in-depth story to share too - get in touch. Please bear in mind that our role is to build the general image of Wales, not to just promote a single business. We are also looking to achieve geographical spread and balance. We will select stories that are in-line with our ongoing editorial strategy and priorities and have a process for collecting and prioritising content ideas.
Every tourism business and event in Wales can also secure their own listing on the website.
You also have listings for all kinds of individual businesses. How do I ensure my business is featured?
We know that potential visitors that are inspired to come to Wales want to be able to click through to specific information about an experience or product in Wales. This information enhances their experience of the website, and makes them more likely to come to Wales.
Detailed listings also help boost VisitWales.com’s visibility on search engines.
Whilst we’re unable to provide direct booking, it is possible for every accommodation*, attraction and activity* business in Wales to secure a listing on VisitWales.com that enables visitors to click through to book or find out more.
*These businesses need to meet specific criteria (see the Working with us page)
The product listings section of Visit Wales is one aspect of the website that will be further improved over the coming months – a new service is in development, providing you with much more control over your own business’ information, enriching the quality of information and content featured, and making individual entries easier to find.
Find out more about how to update your listing.
How do I find my business on the website?
I’ve seen an article I like and want to write one for you. What do I need to do?
Great. Please contact us with a brief outline of who you are and what you want to write about and we will take it into consideration, providing advice on next steps in producing content for us.
Please register on Sell2Wales.com if you run a content production business and have an interest in working with Welsh Government.