Date: 17 February 2011
Students from the School of Tourism have launched a new visitor-review website, 'The Real Dorset', in association with Visit Britain and Digital Visitor.
The website is a practical way for students to be involved with a live e-marketing exercise. It is part of the burgeoning trend towards Web 2.0, where users can share text, photo and video reviews of tourism in Bournemouth, Poole and Dorset.
For students, Social Media and Social Networking are a part of their everyday lives, but few have an understanding of the huge power it can wield for businesses engaging in a modern and effective marketing campaign.
The consultancy project that students are working on combines both online and offline (or traditional) marketing methods and includes the study and practice of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) techniques.
As the website is a live project, the students are also required to use tools such as 'Google Analytics' to evaluate the performance of the various methods used and then go on to make recommendations for the continued growth of the site.
Learning outcomes are centred around the intricacies of e-marketing, but underlying this is the deeper understanding of a local destination's tourism and, the driving forces which may shape the local economy.
The Real Dorset is supervised by Dr Philip Alford, Director of the Digital Hub, which provides an applied research umbrella housing expertise related to the Creative & Digital Economy. A prime objective of the Digital Hub is to offer a range of services to the business community whilst enhancing the student experience at the same time. The Real Dorset website project is a concrete example of this in action.
View The Real Dorset website for more information and to submit your own visitor reviews of Dorset.