Sapient announced that its marketing services group, Sapient Interactive, has been appointed by VisitBritain, the UK’s national tourism agency, as its online Agency of Record to redesign, develop, host and manage its suite of websites – multilingual variants of two core consumer sites visitbritain.com and enjoyengland.com, the website of national tourism organisation, VisitEngland.
The three year appointment follows a six-way pitch. Sapient Interactive will enhance the online user experience and support VisitBritain’s strategy to entice visitors to come to Britain.
The site aims to reach 30 million unique visitors by 2011, doubling 2007 levels, partly to meet visitor demand ahead of the 2012 London Olympics.
VisitBritain developed and managed over 60 websites in-house that have been successful. It selected Sapient Interactive for its creative and strategic approach to the brief. Sapient Interactive’s online strategy is for the VisitBritain websites to provide an enhanced user experience at each stage of the customer lifecycle.
More specifically, it aims to inspire visitors to choose Britain as a destination, help them plan their holidays and share experiences of their trip to entice others to visit Britain.
Sapient Interactive will also provide technology and support services, including the implementation of a content management system for all VisitBritain sites. Its deep knowledge of the tourism industry, working with clients such as Star Alliance, Hilton International and Celebrity Cruises, will help to localise content for VisitBritain’s local sites to ensure foreign visitors are well prepared before they reach Britain’s shores.
Ian Takats, general manager of technology for VisitBritain, said: “In the current global economic downturn and with new destinations emerging to compete with Britain, it is more critical than ever to put the web at the heart of everything we do. We need the best digital partner and chose Sapient Interactive for its strong track record in the travel and tourism market. We were really impressed with Sapient Interactive’s creativity and strategic thinking, and coupled with their technical expertise and delivery capability, they make an excellent partner.”
Nigel Vaz, vice president and head of Sapient Interactive Europe, said: “We relish the opportunity to work with VisitBritain to deliver a world-class online user experience to promote Britain and help drive the visitor economy. It is an important time for Britain with the Olympics rapidly approaching, and our partnership with VisitBritain and VisitEngland means we can bring to bear all our digital services and expertise to ensure Britain has the best online offering in today’s competitive tourism market. We look forward to a long and successful relationship together.”
VisitBritain anticipates the phased roll-out of the redeveloped visitbritain.com sites to commence in April 2010, with the enjoyengland.com, campaign and other sites following shortly thereafter.