New website to open Borough up to the world
A new website, opening up Boston borough as a visitor destination to a global audience, has received votes of approval.
The website - www.visitbostonuk.com - has been given the thumbs-up by the area's business community and the Leader of Boston Borough Council, Cllr Michael Cooper.
He praised those behind the initiative, for driving it forward and for its rapid construction and presentation.
He singled out Cabinet colleague, Cllr Claire Rylott, portfolio holder for tourism, for championing the idea of the new website. She worked closely with the council's IT staff to develop it.
And he congratulated Cllr Judith Skinner, chairman of the Prosperous Boston Task and Finish Group, and her colleagues for supporting the initiative as part of their wider brief to make Boston better for residents and visitors.
Cllr Cooper said: "This has been a classic case of best practice, with elected members and staff working closely together to achieve something really worthwhile to the benefit of all in a really short time period."
Cllr Rylott said: "It is gratifying to see Visit Boston www.visitbostonuk.com go live. I have long felt that Boston and the wider borough were unrepresented as a visitor destination. To an extent we have been Lincolnshire's best-kept secret. Now the word will go out at all levels, local, regional, national and international, that the borough has a lot to offer.
"The website will support visitors looking for bargains at our markets and the wide range of chain and independent shops, history and heritage in abundance, dramatic architecture, a full programme of events, peace and tranquillity with riverside amenities, wide open spaces and neighbouring award-winning marshland reserves or our leisure, fitness and recreational offer.
"Its easy-to-use listings for places to stay, things to do and attractions, will develop over time to become the one-stop site to inform and attract visitors and encourage them to stay longer in Lincolnshire's undiscovered quarter."
Research had concluded that lots of events were happening in and around the town but organisers were all struggling to share and promote them. Built into the new website is an Events Section for all to be able to use to promote their next event.
Cllr Rylott said: "Tourism is vital for our town and for our economy. We have many exciting events on the horizon - among them hosting the Midlands in Bloom awards in September at Boston Stump, celebrating the Royal Air Force Centenary next year and working now towards Mayflower 2020, the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower sailing across the Atlantic, and Boston's significant role in the Pilgrim story and legacy. This website will help us to promote our historic market town, share it and use it. Marketing is paramount to success.''
At a consultation evening hosted by the Boston Borough Council Prosperous Boston Task and Finish Group, representatives from hotels, bed and breakfast establishments, caravan and camping parks, attraction providers and shops attended a presentation of the new website. Many said they were impressed with the site, with the businesses giving valuable input and suggestion. Now the website, which is still under development, will forge ahead with improvements, informed by comments and suggestions received on the night.
Prosperous Boston Chairman, Cllr Judith Skinner, welcomed comments from the invited audience. "The group has spent many months examining all aspects of what would make Boston and the borough more attractive and prosperous and is producing an in-depth report at its conclusion with recommendations.
"There has been real depth and breadth to the work of the group, investigating all aspects and welcoming all views in order to understand what will make the town better for all. It is clear a service such as this website has a key role to play. "
Jamie Moses, the council's IT projects and development officer, who has been working on the new site for about three months, stressed that the council would host the site and update useful maps and additional information, but it would be "community owned". It will signpost visitors to accommodation with a listing taking visitors to the providers' own websites, so the information would always be up to date and accurate. Attraction providers and event organisers can add their own details.
There will be further development of the site to support and improve links to social media with a formal launch soon.