June 15, 2012
Travelers arranging their summer vacations have a new set of digital tools to make planning an Oregon getaway easier, according to a recent press release from the Oregon Tourism Commission (dba Travel Oregon).
Visitors can now access Travel Oregon’s new social-enabled website, online help, and trip planner, and/or enter to win an Oregon adventure.
“Knowing that online travel planning can be overwhelming, we combined the latest technology with an old-school human touch to meet our consumers’ evolving needs,” said Mo Sherifdeen, Travel Oregon Director of Integrated Marketing and Publishing. “By combining our digital offerings –tourism listings from partners, inspirational stories and videos, suggested itineraries–and adding ratings and blog posts from locals, we made it so travelers can count on personalized, inspirational and informative content to help them during every stage of the trip planning process.”
With a goal to be the trusted and authentic resource for exploring Oregon, Travel Oregon developed a digital platform that offers trip inspiration as well as on-the-go information for those already traveling in the state. Features include:
•Curated, collaborative, and integrated content: Research shows that website users are looking for inspirational material like videos, story-based narratives and itineraries, as well as trip-planning tools like hotel and restaurant listings.
The new TravelOregon.com groups this information, developed in partnership with community experts throughout the state, into user-friendly views based on travelers’ interests, whether that’s an activity like golf or bird watching, or a town such as Bend.
•Tailored advice: In response to consumer demand for genuine personal advice, Travel Oregon incorporated Trip Advisor reviews, added the ability for visitors to rate Oregon places, and developed the “Ask Oregon” ambassador program. Volunteer ambassadors are passionate Oregonians who have deep knowledge about relevant destinations and/or niche activities like cycling, family travel, and wine. To receive personalized, unbiased recommendations, visitors can easily contact the Ask Oregon ambassadors by tagging questions with #AskOR on Twitter, inquiring on the Travel Oregon Facebook page (Facebook.com/TravelOregon), or posting a question on TravelOregon.com.
•Social media: Travel Oregon continues to integrate its content with popular social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. Visitors can inspire friends, plan trips together, and engage with others for travel recommendations. Until June 17, thrill-seeking travelers can log on to Facebook.com/TravelOregon to create their own “Oregon Bucket List,” enter to win an Adventurecation in Oregon, and see which of their friends’ adventurous affinities best matches theirs.
•Responsive design: The new TravelOregon.com displays on any device, so it’s easy to read and navigate on the road or at home. Whether it’s displayed on a computer, smartphone, or tablet screen, the layout evolves to give readers an easy and efficient way to find the content they care about. Location-based information allows visitors to find nearby attractions while on their trip.
•Robust search: Smart search functionality returns options that build on users’ interests, helping travelers round out itineraries with ideas they may not have considered in addition to their specific query results. A search on an experience– for example, cycling, fly fishing, or wine tasting–results in a combination of stories, blog posts, events, suggested itineraries, outfitters, retail establishments, deals, and answers to questions asked by others, all in one place. Additionally, the search bar auto-suggests other terms as the user types, making it easier to explore the vast wealth of material on the site.
“We’re using technology and the digital medium to bring the Oregon story to life,” noted Sherifdeen.