Visit Kent


Digital's role in tourism marketing was changing. For Visit Kent, that meant taking a completely new approach to how it used digital to showcase the region's vast appeal.

It was 2012 and the ambitious destination management organisation was ready to transition away from the traditional and restrictive ‘Visit’ site model in favour of an inspiring new visitor experience. As its newly appointed digital partner, we led a bold and distinctive strategy to help showcase all that the region has to offer.



We moved from a logistical booking tool to an inspirational experience.

Like most destination sites, Visit Kent’s website was using technology tailor-made for driving users to make bookings. But with user behaviour becoming more sophisticated and specialist booking engines establishing themselves as the first choice for great deals, the organisation recognised the importance of repositioning its digital proposition.

It needed a new website that would stop listing travel products and start telling a compelling story. One that would take users on a journey of discovery. Make planning a visit the natural next step. And, ultimately, help Visit Kent do what it does best - promoting its region to the rest of the world.


To inspire Visit Kent’s audience, we first needed to understand them.

We began with extensive user research, which helped us segment Visit Kent's audience based on their potential value and end goals. We used these insights to create bespoke user journeys that help each visitor get quicker and easier access to relevant content. Our focus was to ensure each visitor gets more from their time on the site and, crucially, during their visit to Kent.

Nicola Docking

“The ‘Make Kent Your Garden’ customisation widget gives users full control over the journeys they experience on the site. Users are presented with the content most relevant to their interests and requirements.”

Nicola Docking Head of Strategy
Nicola Docking

The design of the site was led by Kent's brand values of ‘beauty’ and ‘inspiration’.

Visit Kent commissioned stunning photography from around the region especially for the project. From famous landmarks to hidden gems, the images captured the values of the region and inspired our approach to the design. As a result, the new website has a truly distinctive look and feel, offering big impact on every page and adding to the appeal for potential visitors.

The photography was complemented by a stronger, more compelling voice to tell the story of Kent. Lonely Planet journalist Belinda Dixon was recruited to create inspiring, engaging copy that entices people to experience Kent first-hand.

Hayden Evans

“By channelling the brand values of Kent in the designs, the website supports the team’s wider marketing activity and messages, clearly defining the inspirational qualities of the region.”

Hayden Evans Creative Director
visit-kent_landing-screenshot copy.jpg

We introduced new technology that gave Visit Kent greater control.

Freed up by its new strategy, Visit Kent was ready to remove its old and restrictive technology in favour of the more flexible Pimcore platform. The new CMS offered a number of benefits to its team, including the ability to efficiently create, publish and manage a broader range of content - including events, venues and business information.

However, this project was about more than a single website. The same CMS, themes, usability and design were adopted by each of the local authority district sites and other microsites held within the Visit Kent portfolio - including Visit Swale and Visit Thanet - to provide each team with the tools to promote their part of the region.


Our next challenge was to support Visit Kent's digital engagement.

We helped Visit Kent add a more personal touch to its digital marketing by providing concepts, training and support for a new social media campaign. Tour Guide in Your Pocket empowered members of Visit Kent's team to provide personal recommendations to users via its official social media accounts.

To further support engagement, we revamped the organisation's email marketing activity to better target potential and previous visitors as well as local residents. By segmenting the audience, we helped Visit Kent create tailored messages to increase awareness of attractions and offers. The campaign led to improvements across all KPIs, including a 41% reduction in the average number of unsubscribers.


The strategy has generated improvements across important KPIs.

The strategy has led to significant rises in referred traffic from to businesses within the region and provided the foundation for the organisation's future digital marketing activity - including social media, email marketing and online video.

39% traffic increase

The strategy has generated a 39% increase in website visitors.

More time on the site

The average visit to the site has increased by 11 seconds.

Better email open rates

Open rates for Visit Kent emails have risen by 11.5%.

"We set ourselves and Rippleffect some very tough KPIs at the start of this project. We were investing heavily in the new website and ongoing digital strategy, so we didn’t want this to be a case of simply making the website more visually attractive. It was imperative the site worked for our businesses and drove visitors directly to them through inspiring and, where relevant, personalised information."
Lynnette Crisp, Head of Marketing Visit Kent
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