The Overland Park Convention & Visitors Bureau (OPCVB) is pleased to announce that its recently redesigned website, www.visitoverlandpark.com, has been named in “The Guide to Best Practices in Tourism and Destination Management” in the web marketing category, published by the Educational Institute of the American Hotel and Lodging Association (AHLA). The website was named for its balance of utility and aesthetics.
“We are excited to see our new interactive site named as a ‘Best Practice’ for destination management and marketing entities,” said Amy Garton, OPCVB interactive marketing manager. “We are honored to be among the top websites and listed with the caliber of the other destinations. We launched this site with the end-user in mind and are pleased that AHLA recognizes our site as such.”
The OPCVB launched its new website in March 2010, www.visitoverlandpark.com, which focuses on visitor interaction and emphasizes usability. This site promotes Overland Park as a destination to the leisure, business, convention, sports and group tour travelers. It also serves as a resource for local residents and media looking for information on what there is to see and do in the area. Plus, the entire site is mobile ready.
With over 700 pages (and growing), the website offers a lot of content that needs to be delivered in a clear and easy to use manner. The site includes listings for Overland Park and the Kansas City metro. Listing categories include lodging, dining shopping, attractions, outdoor activities, entertainment experiences and events. Other features include day trip destination editorials with themed regional itineraries; online hotel booking; printable coupons for hot deals to Overland Park hotels, meeting facilities, shops and restaurants; meetings and sports facilities directories; an online request for proposal process; an expanded media room with news releases, article postings, story ideas, fun facts and a photo library; and a social lounge with blogs, links to social media applications and a questions and answer forum. Interactive features were incorporated within the site, including:
- Build your own trip itinerary. This feature allows the user to select lodging, dining, shopping and entertainment experiences to add to a personalized itinerary that can then be printed or emailed and saved for future use.
- User reviews. This feature allows the user to rate and comment on Overland Park and Kansas City metro offerings.
- Overland Park Blog. Get to know the OPCVB staff and learn about what is happening in Overland Park, Kansas City and the tourism industry with comments linked directly to Facebook.
- Photo and video library. Users can upload their own Overland Park photos and videos to share through YouTube and Flickr.
- Question and answer forum. Users can ask OPCVB staff a question, which will be answered and posted to the site.
This site was developed by the OPCVB in conjunction with Tonic and Tekniq Design.
Dr. Rich Harrill, director of the International Tourism Research Institute at the University of South Carolina authored the study, which reviewed tourism and destination management entities in the categories of research, funding, professional development, information dissemination, advocacy, web marketing, sustainable tourism and best practice adaptors. He and his team focused on broad applicability, ability to indicate innovation, evidence of ongoing program, willingness to participate and evidence of an outcome or outcomes. Other destinations recognized in the web marketing category are:
- Greater Pittsburgh (Pa.) Convention and Visitors Bureaufor trip personalization and packaging.
- Nashville (Tenn.) Convention and Visitors Bureaufor design, graphics and flash effects, trip builder and celebrity endorsements.
- Travel Montanafor privacy and confidentiality and “niche” websites.
- Chattanooga Area (Tenn.) Convention & Visitors Bureaufor revenue generation.
- Durham (N.C.) Convention and Visitors Bureaufor website iterations.
- Travel Michiganfor website evaluation.
About Overland Park
Overland Park is a unique blend of metropolitan amenities and suburban hospitality packaged in a fresh, contemporary setting. Located less than 15 minutes from downtown Kansas City, Overland Park offers an abundance of attractions including the 237,000 square-foot state-of-the-art Overland Park Convention Center, 34 hotels with more than 5,200 rooms, more than 250 restaurants, great shopping, theatres and over 80 public parks. Overland Park. Above and beyond. By design.