We market England as a destination to domestic and established overseas markets and we have B2B support to champion the visitor experience to increase the value of tourism
We have various fundng streams and are accountable to both DCMS and The Department of Business Skills and Innovation
With the new Government and their localised agenda our external stakeholder landscape changed considerably from 9 Regional Development Agencies to over 200 local destination organisations with varying remits and budgets
We have gone through many changes which meant we inherited lots of costly technical infrastructure not fitting our organisational ambitions.
We had 3 websites all with their own infrastructure which led to inefficiencies internally both from a budget and human resource perspective.
Our contracts for our consumer website were ending and we developed a digital strategy to better define our role, activity and technical requirements for how we progressed our digital presence.
A single consolidated digital engagement platform designed to simultaneously reduce ongoing costs and, acting as a central digital hub, increase the effectiveness of Visit England’s communications and engagement activity.
Flexibility long term As a Govt agency we’re not always in charge of our destiny We have built a system that can scale and be flexible to our needs when we need
Multiple users access to CMS
- With a distributed publishing strategy we could have as many authors in the CMS as possible without incurring extra licence costs
Built the CMS for our requirements, only using modules created that serve our purpose
We are in control as to how we develop our CMS against our needs no enforced updates and superfluous modules
Good support network If there is issues within the code the developers are able to research and work with communities of developers rather than waiting for professional services to administer tickets More developers available, it used to take a long time to source additional support as there wasn’t there very few
- Our previous systems came with a hefty operational cost which means less budget could be spent on other resource
The story of VisitEngland & open source
Digital Marketing Manager
Our journey with open source
Short introduction to VisitEngland
National Tourist Board
Established 5 years ago
Changing external stakeholder environment
Our inherited legacy infrastructure
But with contracts ending…
DEFINING OUR DIGITAL ROLE
Digital transformation strategy
What is our opportunity?
“We aim to be a modern, dynamic tourist board
responding to the environment in which we operate.
Digital progress presents us with a significant and
pressing opportunity to develop the way that VisitEngland
supports the growth of English tourism.”
Our priorities for digital transformation
Taking an integrated approach to communications and services
Delivering ‘more for less’ by optimising our infrastructure
Targeting our marketing efforts to avoid duplication of effort
Taking a co-ordinated content-led approach to digital
Investing in facilitating and enabling the sector to optimise for
Key drivers for us to consider open source
With limited budget we wanted to invest in people instead of
proprietary licenses and software
Ability to allow multiple content authors
Potential for multiple domains to service campaigns or potential for
local destination sites on different domains
The progressive and successful growth and implementation of .gov.uk
Didn’t want to be locked in to costly long-term solution
How did we make the decision?
Through our strategy we defined what we wanted to achieve
– Audience research
– Stakeholder research and consultation
Examined existing infrastructure, processes and costs
Analysed internal user requirements
Sought advice from our IT department
Created a development roadmap and phased delivery plan
Director and Board sign off
What were the pros of open source for us?
Flexibility long term
Multiple users access to CMS
Built the CMS for our requirements
Good support network for bugs and fixes
Lower operational and integration costs
What is our experience so far?
Easier and more user friendly CMS allowing increased team
Better website health in search leading to increased domain
Starting to change internal culture and nurturing a more co-
ordinated content-led approach
Not an easy decision, do as much research, consultation and
get as much advice from as many sources as possible
Define your resources and requirements both short and long
term as much as possible
Open source isn’t just for small sites