The improvements are the next step in the evolution of the site as it works to communicate directly with people considering a visit to New Zealand and convert them to travel.
"newzealand.com is at the centre of Tourism New Zealand's strategy to engage with travellers actively researching, planning and booking their New Zealand holiday,' says Catherine Bates, Tourism New Zealand General Manager Brand and International PR.
"While the role of the site remains the same - to connect consumers with travel sellers - it will now deliver this via improved functionality, usability and clearer design.
The user-centred changes are based on an independent usability review, industry feedback and robust user research, including a mixture of online and face-to-face research across multiple markets engaging with almost 1,000 participants.
"This research has helped us understand what improvements need to be made to support the genuine needs of users and will continue to be a key aspect of the on-going evolution of the site," says Catherine.
Key changes to the site include an updated navigation structure to help users find popular content and business listings. Content has also been renamed and re-grouped to enable users to make a clearer distinction between official and contributed content, know where they are located in the site and where to go next to find the information they are looking for.
"Visited by 11 million people in the year ending June 2012, the website is an influential information source. The improvements build on the redeveloped site released in 2011 which gave operators and travel sellers greater ability to use the site to promote their business.
"The latest improvements have been designed to better connect potential travellers with travel sellers to continue to build preference for New Zealand as a holiday destination."
Small but significant changes to the site have been implemented over the past few months and have helped improved the efficiency of newzealand.com. Click through rates to travel sellers have climbed across Tourism New Zealand's priority markets and consumers are more engaged with time on the site increasing by 26 per cent.
Tourism New Zealand worked with Digital Arts Network (DAN) on the improvements. Commenting on the website Che Tamahori, Managing Director DAN, said; "Tourism New Zealand has driven a rigorous programme of testing and audience research to deliver site improvements. These changes make the site faster and easier to get around - delivering both impact and ease of use for users."
The site is constantly evolving and enhancements to the site to support marketing campaigns and to deliver improved usability and functionality will occur on a regular basis.
Issued by Leah Phelps, Senior Communications Advisor, Tourism New Zealand
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