The Ring Tailed Lemurs at Fota Wildlife Park in Cork were busy this morning launching their new look website www.fotawildlife.ie
The new look site has been designed around the main objectives of the park i.e conservation, education and fun. The result being that the site now offers the visitor interaction with the park before, during and after their visit.
This is done through new features to help tourists such as the ‘How to Find Us’ tool which gives detailed directions from all main access points into Ireland and they have also introduced a ‘Things to do in Cork’ section which looks at Family Trips, City Breaks and Weekend Adventures in the area. The site also helps the visitor to discover a bit more about parks conservation work, not just here in Ireland but throughout the world with its many partners and the site also gives a comprehensive look at the animals including their Fota Connection which concentrates on how the animals are linked specifically to Fota Wildlife Park.
Speaking about the new site Head of Marketing for Fota Wildlife Park Stephen Ryan believes that interaction is key to communicating with the public “we have built this site to make it easy for our visitors to find out about us through meaningful content, to discover what we have to offer through fantastic imagery and more importantly to find out what other people say about us through our unique interactive tool FOTABOOK”.
FOTABOOK is one aspect of the new-look Fota Wildlife Park website, and has taken the art of creating conversations online to the next level. Establishing a sense of community for users was an early objective for the Park's old site, built in 2009, and customised guestbooks, a Members Login area and our Ask Larry section helped to achieve that.
Times have changed though, and the Park now presents FOTABOOK - the organic evolution of those community ambitions. The technology was developed in-house by StudioForty9 to facilitate Fota in organising and monitoring their social network feeds in one place, expanding our knowledge of the online 'buzz' about the Park and encouraging conversation on the website without forcing a new medium on our visitors.
Developer of the site Gerard Keohane from StudioForty9 believes that “Fotabook will quickly become a collection of the best tweets, photographs and videos posted on the web by visitors to the Park”. He further added “few people arrive at Fota Wildlife Park without a camera or smartphone, and everybody loves to have their say online, the new website will gather this visitor-generated content, share it with the rest of the world and give their visitors a central home online".
The site also allows people to buy tickets online for the park for the first time and sponsor any of the animals or plants. This is also the first phase of the new site with a mobile edition and translated sites for the Chinese, French, German & Spanish markets
Fota Wildlife Park were the winners of the Grand Prix award at the Eircom Spiders in 2010. The park has over 21,000 fans on Facebook and almost 4,000 fans on Twitter. The new site has been a significant investment on the parks behalf following a huge growth in web traffic in the last three years going from 60,000 hits a year in 2009 to 220,000 in 2011
• The park is hosting a social themed FOTABOOK weekend based around their very own social networking tool that captures the magic of a visit to Fota Wildlife Park through a collection of stories, images and video’s.
• The event will have lots of prizes from some businesses that have embraced the social media culture including Tour America, The Rising Tide Restaurant, Greenes Restaurant, The Pavillion, Coolgrey Design and Brithing Mamas. The only catch is you will need a smartphone