Harrogate council to spend £165,000 on tourism website


Jan 7, 2021
The current Visit Harrogate website.

Harrogate Borough Council has said it will spend £165,000 revamping its tourism website Visit Harrogate  — after previously refusing to reveal the sum.

The council awarded the contract two months ago to a company from Ipswich in a private meeting without undertaking a competitive tender process.

It told the Stray Ferret at the time that coronavirus had created an “economic crisis” that forced it to bypass competitive tendering.

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A report prepared for the meeting said it would take six months for a “full procurement process” and the site needed to be ready for the 2021 tourist season.

The council acquired the Visit Harrogate site last year.

The authority believes the site has suffered from “historic underinvestment” and “visually no longer meets the user requirements or expectations”.

Jacob Bailey Group won the four-year contract to create what the council called a new destination management system.

Yesterday the council revealed the £165,000 sum in response to a question on Twitter.

A council spokesperson told the Stray Ferret:

“This new destination management system will allow our destination management organisation to effectively attract new leisure and business visitors to the district through the work of Visit Harrogate and a new conference bureau. This is vital in order to support the recovery of the Harrogate district’s visitor economy.

“This destination management system is a comprehensive set of tourism management tools and functionality, including databases of marketing information for accommodation, businesses and visitor attractions; reporting and evaluation; event and booking services; news and blogging functions; visitor planning tools; integration with review sites such as Trip Advisor as well as integration with Visit Britain’s flagship tourism exchange.”

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