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Federal Way revamps tourism website
VisitFW.org, the city’s tourism website, has a new look and user experience, one which the city hopes will help bring more people to Federal Way.
“It’s really nice, it’s really attractive, it’s got a fresh look,” said Patrick Doherty, Community Development director, at the April 15 Federal Way City Council meeting. “It’s very engaging, we’ve got lots of images, close-ups of people doing things, which is a very good way of bringing people in.”
Doherty said the reworked site has a breakdown of things to see and do in Federal Way, including itineraries that run from one to three days, and cover all seasons.
“(The site has) places to stay, where to eat, where to shop, fun activities,” he said. “Main highlights of the city, and local events. We have an events calendar on here that we’re going to start maintaining.”
Doherty said he’s trying to spread awareness among the business community about the reworked site, specifically those dealing with hospitality and tourism. As the city continues to develop the site, Doherty said those businesses would be able to request direct access to the site and post their own content/events, etc., as needed.
Councilmember Kelly Maloney asked if the city will have ultimate control of the content posted to the website, with Doherty replying in the affirmative. The city’s ability to adequately monitor that content may be contingent upon a proposal between Federal Way and Auburn, Doherty said.
“If we’re able to join with Auburn in creating a tourism promotion area, that would bring more funds and would help bring staff that could run this and update it daily, so that’d be really helpful,” he said.
Doherty noted that the tourism promotion area idea was set to be discussed at the April 16 Lodging Tax Advisory Committee meeting.
“Once we have that ability to bring on staff through that tourism promotion area funding, that person will be up to date on all of that stuff (search engine optimization and Google analytics), and we’re really hoping we can maximize the utility of this website,” Doherty added.
Councilmember Dini Duclos was happy to see the website’s new look.
“Deputy Mayor (Jeanne) Burbidge and I were talking about this not too long ago, saying we needed a friendlier website and an updated website, so I’m delighted to see it,” she said.
Duclos added she hopes there’s an appropriate vetting process that will take place with the businesses that seek to gain access to the site. Doherty said the nature of the site means there will be some exclusivity built in.
“We have 3,000 businesses in town, we can’t have 3,000 businesses on this website. So there’d be a focus on hospitality and supporting tourism. There has to be a certain amount of vetting because it needs to be a streamlined website that people can navigate easily, the pages load quickly, and (have it) focused on what people need.”