Official tourism website wins Hantsweb Award

Winchester City Council’s official tourism website has beaten over 150 other nominees to scoop 'best tourism and leisure' website at this year’s Hantsweb Awards.

The Hantsweb awards are open to any website based in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, and celebrate excellence in website design, accessibility and service.

For the 'best tourism and leisure' category, the judges were looking for websites that attract tourism and promote leisure and cultural activities in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight. They chose the Visit Winchester site based on its ability to demonstrate best practice, accessibility, ease of use, relevance, and great design.

Kathleen McCulloch, E-Access Development Officer, and Rachel Gander, Tourism Marketing and Development Officer, at Winchester City Council picked up the award at a special ceremony at Intech Family Science Centre and Planetarium last Tuesday.

Visit Winchester receives an average of over 30,000 hits a month and is often the first port of call for people planning a trip to Winchester.


Ellen Simpson, Tourism Marketing and Development Manager at Winchester City Council, and project leader for the site re-launch, said: “We are delighted to have received this considerable accolade at the point where the Visit Winchester re-brand is ready to launch to a wider market base. We’ve been overwhelmed by positive feedback about the new website’s functionality and ease-of-use. Like all destinations, we want to encourage more people to visit, stay longer, and return more often – a sleek web presence is the key to this and it’s great to hear we have got it right."

Over the last 12 months, Winchester City Council’s tourism team has rolled out the re-brand of Visit Winchester to 12 new publications along with various film, e-marketing and social media initiatives. Nationally, marketing efforts to attract more visitors are being complemented by a successful new press and social media PR campaign driven by the Discover Winchester consortium’s agency, Flagship PR. The Council also continues to work closely with Tourism South East and Visit Britain to broaden Winchester’s reach into near Europe and, in the longer term, global emerging markets.


Cllr George Beckett, Leader of Winchester City Council, and Portfolio Holder for Economy and Tourism, said: This award is an endorsement of the Council’s serious efforts  to raise the profile of Winchester as a visitor destination, as part of our commitment to help local businesses through a difficult time.  Championing the District as a world class visitor destination will be a key part of the economic mix over the coming years.  A modern website driven by customer needs and expectations is essential in helping people make the decision to visit.”


The Winchester District was well represented at the awards, with The Worthys Community, St Bede’s Church of England Primary School, and local sweet shop the Sweet Treat Company also picking up awards for their websites.