The website www.visitnorway.com is nothing less than impressive. In a structured and clear way, it provides visitors with a wealth of useful information about Norway, in twelve different languages. The solution is also designed for providers of tourism services, and has therefore been integrated with databases used by the industry.
“It is an advanced solution that is rich in content,” says the man behind the project, Hans Petter Aalmo at Innovation Norway. “Visitnorway.com’s main challenge has been the lack of participation on the part of the tourism industry. Previously, few destinations, experiences and content-providers in Norway were included. By initiating a comprehensive process, the framework for cooperation between Innovation Norway and players in the tourism industry was changed. The result is a new business model, new processes, routines and a new editorial model,” he explains with great satisfaction.
Hans Petter Aalmo goes on to say that his vision was to create the world’s freshest, most experience-rich and useful national travel portal, by the end of 2010. As at 2 April 2009, more than 90 per cent of the nation’s destinations have been included.
Visitnorway.com is funded by state grants and revenues from the tourism industry. Revenues from the tourism industry have risen as support for the website solution has grown.
A good solution
The chosen solution is simple to use. Site navigation is built up in a hierarchical manner, around locations, activities etc. In addition, the site includes navigation based on user interests. Users who are interested in fjords can follow this thread around Norway – without having to follow the usual menu structure.
The solution has been launched and localised to twelve priority markets and language versions. Local editors in each country work with their own strategies and partners.
Visitnorway.com is the main provider of page content, and all lines of communication emanate there, but it is easy for local markets to produce specific, theme-based campaigns. These are seamlessly integrated, with a basis in structured metadata and visual, functional elements.
A strong visual identity
The website’s style is based on the visual identity of Norway as a tourist destination.
“The expression balances popular, simple and clear elements with exclusiveness. Fjords, mountains, coastal landscapes and wilderness have been selected as main themes,” Hans Petter explains, “and the chief desired association we wish to create is that of a clean and beautiful nature.”
The web pages use appropriate font sizes, and good clarity and contrasts. The solution meets the most stringent requirements regarding accessibility for the visually-impaired and other disabled individuals. Advertising is limited to discrete sponsor info and a catalogue service, to ensure stable, non-intrusive pages.