Tourism plays a huge part in the East Midlands economy, and even Mister Luddite knows tourists use the Internet to research and book their holiday arrangements.
Everybody loves tourists (or more accurately the pounds in their pockets), and that’s why each of the 5 counties in the East Midlands have official tourism websites.
So you would have thought our counties would try and take pride in what makes our counties special, show off a bit, take the chance to strut our stuff.
But you would be wrong. Dreadfully wrong. One particular county’s tourism website is pants. That’s Olde English vernacular for “they put us to shame.”
I’ll be the one to mention the Emperor’s New Clothes. These sites are just not good enough. They lack enthusiasm or passion or spirit.
The real question is: would you want to visit our region based on their websites? At the end of this posting I’ve listed some good examples that you might want to take a look at.
I’m so cross about this I am recommending that you write to your MP to get these sites up to the standard that our region deserves. (I’d write, but I’m disenfranchised, and that’s another story…)
The Worst: Nottinghamshire
Unspeakably awful colours and design. Cluttered, cramped, and confusing. Deadly boring, frustrating to use. I went to the Arts calendar, only to discover Nothing is On. Nor are there any Sports events. It is quite simply a mess, and this is without a doubt one of the worst websites I’ve looked at in a very long time. And I’ve not even mentioned the slanty N. Click on the image to visit the site:
I was pleasantly surprised with Lincolnshire’s site. The imagery was appealing, and it talked about Castles, and Film Locations, free horse riding lessons and other fun stuff. Lincolnshire actually looks interesting
And All the Rest: Northamptonshire
Nice touch to be able to send local e-postcards. But somehow the site made even the Silverstone and all the wonderful Stately Homes look boring. Some change has taken place with domain names that makes people like my mother worried. It’s just not right.
This website doesn’t know what it wants to be when it grows up. It all a bit overwhelming with so very many inappropriate menu choices: Investment opportunities, conference facilities, the tourism industry, and something mysteriously called LPL. And it flashes, yuck.
Last but not least: Derbyshire
Derbyshire do a very good job – interesting content, online booking. But the site doesn’t really convey the essence and beauty of Derbyshire – again, a missed opportunity.
I have to admit I’m biased, and I know California would be a predictable website to recommend as best practice, but the site is great.