Cambrient proudly puts South Africa on the online map

The new official tourism website for South Africa - www.southafrica.net - has been built and deployed on the Cambrient Contentsuite (CCS) by the Cambrient team. The website will be launched on the 8 May at the start of Indaba 2009, South Africa's annual premier tourism marketing event which, will be held at the International Convention Centre and the Durban Exhibition Centre together with a showcase of Southern African tourism products and services for the international travel trade.
Cambrient proudly puts South Africa on the online map - NATIVE VMLThe new site takes southafrica.net to a new level with a completely redesigned user interface, innovative Flash-based “My Trip Planner” tool and completely restructured navigation and content all based on the robust Cambrient Contentsuite (CCS) technology platform.

Cambrient worked jointly with Ogilvy Interactive, who designed the new user interface, over the past six months to re-architect and build South Africa's most important online travel destination.

Kevin Lourens, Cambrient CEO, says, “Cambrient has a long relationship with South African Tourism, who operate southafrica.net, and we were delighted to finally be given a chance to prove that our team and technology could deliver the kind of site this country needs and deserves.”

“Tourism is an extremely competitive space online,” says William Price, head of eMarketing at South African Tourism (SAT). “We felt that with the upcoming 2010 World Cup, as well as increased global competition for tourism in tougher economic times, South Africa needed a world class travel site that could compete with the best the world has to offer.”

With this in mind, SAT worked with the Cambrient and Ogilvy teams last year to rethink and refine the online strategy for the country. From there a syndicate of providers including Cambrient, Ogilvy, Quirk, Clicks2Customers, Acceleration Email Marketing and Acceleration Media were brought together to create a comprehensive online engagement to put South Africa proudly on the online map.

Key to this was the engineering of a robust, reliable site that could get visitors the information they need about the country as quickly as possible, and drive them toward conversion.

“Cambrient's slogan is ‘Digital Success Stories' and for us this means that everything must be tracked, and clear goals set for visitors,” explains Lourens. “SAT needs to know what people are looking at, and if that leads to them contacting an agent or establishment. Ultimately, if they ended up visiting the country.”

To achieve this a combination of tracking technologies has been deployed and developed for the site. Google Analytics and SiteCatalyst, along with Cambrient's own tracking engine built into CCS which can track down to individual user behaviour against every piece of content.

“We needed to provide something fun and engaging for users as they arrive on the homepage,” said Price. “For this we came up with the concept of a ‘My Trip Planner' tool which allows users to visually explore the full breadth of what South Africa has to offer. It has to be more than just words and pictures.”

“We think it's a pretty neat piece of coding,” said Lourens. “There are few companies in South Africa that can develop this kind of complex Flash Actionscript application.”

Cambrient also worked closely with SAT's team of over 30 content writers on the momentous task of creating the unique database of over 1500 articles that is the heart of what southafrica.net has to offer. Using CCS's new “contextual content engine” this content is automatically recommended and related, giving the user endless suggestions as they surf through the site.

Asked what was next both Lourens and Price explained that there are “big plans” afoot post the travel Indaba conference.

“South Africa is well on its way to taking its rightful place online,” said Price.

To access the South African Tourism website visit www.southafrica.net FROM MAY 8TH 2009.


Cambrient, a digital marketing services and technology company, has helped leading brands use the web as a marketing and business tool and has produced meaningful digital success stories for more than 10 years. With a full service offering of strategic thinking, creative design and a proprietary technology platform, Cambrient is a complete outsourced digital solution for any larger corporate or dedicated web business wanting to build a strong brand and improve relationships with customers, employees and partners.

For more information visit www.cambrient.com.

13 May 2009 12:23

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Anonymous
UX is substandard-
Whats the point of the weird flash map, it takes for ever to load and it makes no sense to me. Why have it it ads no value what to ever to the site
Posted on 14 May 2009 06:34
Jarred Cinman (Cambrient)
Thanks for the feedback-
Thanks for the feedback. In fact site analysis is showing that a lot of people are using this tool, so I'm sorry you haven't found it helpful. If you're linking in from SA, I should also add that this site is primarily aimed at an international audience with fewer bandwidth constraints and tests in the US and other key tourism markets show that it performs well.
Posted on 14 May 2009 22:29
Anonymous
automark.co.za-
I am suprised that this worked. Given than automark.co.za that was developed by Cambrient doesn't work on safari.
Posted on 14 May 2009 12:32
Jarred Cinman (Cambrient)
Safari-
As web developers, we now have to support IE 6,7,8, Firefox, Opera, Google Chrome and Safari. For this reason, there are times when the browsers with the smallest market share cannot be our primary focus. My understanding is that Automark is now Safari compatible, and we are working hard to make sure that it works in all other browsers (IE 8 support has just come online).

I apologise for your frustrations and I hope we can provide full support for all browsers soon.
Posted on 14 May 2009 22:32
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