Wanaka RTO: 88% uplift in lead generation after website refresh

Lake Wanaka Tourism’s website landing page. Image: www.lakewanaka.co.nz

Lake Wanaka Tourism says a website refresh late last year has led to an 87.85% increase in lead generation for the resort’s businesses.

The increase was driven by the ski season which saw Lake Wanaka Tourism become the number one referral agent for the town’s local fields – Cardrona and Treble Cone – said the regional tourism organisation’s general manager, James Helmore.

“We’re very happy about that. It’s one of the key things we’ve been trying to achieve – driving leads from the website through to the businesses here in Wanaka.”

The exact figure of referrals was commercially sensitive but the scale was in the “hundreds of thousands” in terms of lead generation since the refresh, said Helmore.

The new website, which was built from scratch by Christchurch-based TimeZoneOne and launched in December, was designed for mobile first.

“The previous website was a responsive design skewed towards desktop because that was the dominant source of traffic when it was built. Now, the dominant source of traffic for us is mobile,” said Helmore.

“We have gone with much stronger image-based content with shorter text snippets and we have also organised that content in a very clear hierarchy – we have very clean pathways from inspiring people to travel to informing them and then to helping them convert that interest into a booking.”

The website was recognised in the Designer Institute of New Zealand’s Best Design Awards by being shortlisted in the Large Scale Website category.

“That was fantastic as we were up against some big national and international brands so we were ecstatic just to be a finalist with them,” said Helmore.

Following the ski season, Lake Wanaka Tourism will launch biking and adventure promotions as part of its Love Wanaka summer campaign and then focus on epicurean promotions in autumn.

Lake Wanaka Tourism was the leading RTO in terms of year-to-year visitor spending growth in August showing a 22% increase to $525m, according to the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment’s monthly regional tourism estimates. It was also the leading RTO for month-to-month tourism spend for August showing a 23% increase to $62m compared to August last year.

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