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New website brings huge increase in visitor numbers  

Published: 29.4.2020

The City of Vaasa, Visit Vaasa, Vaasa Region and the UNESCO Natural Heritage Site Kvarken Archipelago launched a new joint online service in autumn 2019. The project was made according to an agreed annual timetable and budget. Now all services and events in the region can be easily found at one address 

The aim of the unique regional online service was to strengthen the attractiveness of the Vaasa region and to better and more comprehensively serve the residents, companies and tourists of our main target groups, both in Finland and internationally. Now all services and events in the region can be easily found at one address

New website brings huge increase in visitor numbers

The aim of the joint website was to increase the number of visitors. According to Project Manager Tiina Salonen, this goal was clearly achieved, and the project succeeded beyond expectations in other ways too.

The number of visitors to the website increased by 44% in the seven-month comparison period. In the tourism sections, an increase of 118% in the number of visitors was achieved.

The new website is the result of a unique national form of collaboration. The project was implemented in cooperation across municipal and organisational borders. – This is a joint online service of 8 municipalities and 4 organisations. In addition, the event calendar presents the events of 15 municipalities in cooperation with The Regional Council of Ostrobothnia (Pohjanmaan Liitto), Salonen says.

A joint website brings savings and the opportunity to share the benefits of development

Combining the different websites resulted in more effective operations as well as cost and work savings.
– The benefits and cost of further development are now shared by everyone. Since four separate sites had to be redesigned, it would have cost significantly more to have done this separately, explains Head of Communications Leena Forsén.

Significant savings were also achieved in monthly expenses. When comparing the monthly costs paid by the four operators under the previous arrangement, the savings now come to EUR 12,300 per year.

Everything is based on better service and user involvement

With a joint online service, residents, businesses and tourists can be better and more comprehensively served, while all services and events in the region can be easily found. In the past, finding information required knowing the organisations’ domains and municipal borders, as well as browsing separate sites.

– The move to a joint website has brought a significant increase in the number of visitors to Visit Vaasa. For example, we can better serve visitors when the culture programme, events and nature trails of the entire region are now found in one place, beams Visit Vaasa’s Managing Director Max Jansson.

– The most important services related to company activities and job vacancies in the region can now be easily browsed, comments VASEK’s Managing Director Stefan Råback.

Important website features from the very beginning were its mobile-friendly design and accessibility.

– The whole project was put together in a user-friendly way. Users were involved in all the stages of development: during the conception, prototyping, beta version testing and launch. Based on the feedback we received from users, it was possible to make significant changes during the implementation stages, says Salonen.