VCB taps technology to bolster tourism

A Web site that promotes the Grand Valley as a travel destination has been revamped to offer more resources to visitors considering trips to the area.

In addition, an electronic book has been published to further promote what’s marketed as the Colorado Wine Country with its wineries and vineyards.

The Grand Junction Visitor & Convention Bureau announced the developments as part of its ongoing efforts to increase travel and hospitality business in the Grand Valley.

The Internet has become by far the most popular means by which people obtain information about local attractions and events.

According to a VCB report for August, the Web site located at attracted 28,698 unique visits during the month, an increase of 12.6 percent over the same month last year.

According to reports for January through August, the site attracted 188,861 unique visits, a gain of 6.2 percent over the same span last year.

By comparison, the VCB reported mailing 4,540 brochures and responding to 516 inquiries on a toll-free telephone line through the first eight months of 2012.

A total of 13,076 visits to the Grand Junction Visitor Center were reported.

The revamped Web site features more than 100 articles offering information about the Grand Valley and more than 300 photos illustrating the area.

The Web site also includes an integrated related-listing search feature that automatically lists and maps such nearby businesses as restaurants that might be of interest — to a visitor searching for a hotel, for example. That same feature has been incorporated into a calendar that can sort events by type, date and locations. Special deals and lodging packages are prominently linked from the home page. Group and meeting planners can submit requests for proposals through the Web site.

Mistalynn Meyeraan, marketing and public relations coordinator for the VCB, said the content tagging system automatically provides information based on the interests of those using the site.

“For example, a visitor who lands on the Wine Country page will automatically be shown related articles, photos and maps as well as listings for wine-related events, Wine Country businesses, etc. to facilitate as smooth a process as possible for their vacation planning,” Meyeraan said.

In addition to revamping the Web site, the VCB has published an electronic book titled “23 Ideas to Bring Wine Country Into Your Life.”

The book is available to download via iTunes for iBook, iPad and iPhone.

Downloads for other mobile devices soon will be available.

The ebook offers information about everything from art to outdoor activities and seasonal recipes to wine tasting tips.

“Colorado Wine Country knows it has a lot to offer travelers. But what really sets it apart is its special way of life,” said Chris Clemens, president of CCT Advertising, the company that produced the ebook for the VCB. “Colorado Wine Country isn’t just about wine. Its a unique blend of lifestyle, activities, food and people found nowhere else in the state. If you want other people to experience a little bit of that magic, a traditional brochure just doesn’t do it justice.”