Wednesday, March 11, 2009 Grows Again.

Since launching our most recent incarnation of our tourism website a little over two years ago, we've been gathering input from our partners and visitors on how to make it an even better marketing tool. Last year saw over 421 000 unique visitors to our site representing over 16 million "hits" and 48 000 downloaded copies of our Experience Thunder Bay visitor magazine.

Well, today, two years of research and development has resulted in the birth of a brand new healthy bouncing baby website!

The new is part of the City of Thunder Bay's comprehensive online web redesign to provide a user friendly portal for citizens, visitors and the business community to find information about the city in a fast, efficient and comprehensive platform. VisitThunder is the new main call to action for visitors seeking information on the city and is driven by a comprehensive consumer researched multi media marketing campaign that includes experience based print media, select industry showcases, unique contest based campaigns, online marketing, video and an aggressive earned travel media program.

Oranges and yellows, representing fun and enjoyment, are prevalent in the look of the new site, accentuated with pictures submitted through the MyTBay campaign. The new look is modern, fresh and speaks to an enhanced Superior By Nature brand that positions Thunder Bay as one of Canada's great outdoor cities for leisure, conference, group travel and sport tourism travellers. Raising the profile of the city by weaving our world class outdoors with a rich urban cultural experiences including iconic attractions and events and a fantastic culinary reputation.

Most notable is that the site is cleaner and crisper, leading with a brand new tourism promotional video on the header. The navigation buttons have been simplified along the left hand side for ease of searching. Enhanced attractions, events calendar, industry news and sport tourism segments provide access to more information than ever before and translation tabs into French, Finnish, German, Italian and Spanish. the site also features expandable font sizes and is fully accessible to visitors with visual and hearing impairments. New content management processes will allow us to update, change and delete information much more efficiently than with the old site.

The site links more seamlessly into the City's other website segments, providing visitors easier access to learn about the city's living, business and municipal government environments. The site continues our leading edge web marketing presence, supported by our social media and blogs.

I'd like to encourage our tourism partners to help contribute to our site and give it an even greater online presence. You are welcome to utilize the tourism promotional video free of charge on your website or have it play on screens in your establishment. We are also encouraging our partners to contribute content and pictures promoting special rates, packages and events to us that we will upload on both the new and web portals. Its as simple as putting it in an email and sending it to myself or a member of the team. To add or change content specific to your business, please contact our web site content manager, Erin Brewer at

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