Friday, May 25 , 2018, 4:00 am | Fair 54º


Visit Santa Barbara Launches Refreshed Website

Visit Santa Barbara has announced the launch of its newly redesigned website, The site showcases the Santa Barbara South Coast’s many irresistible offerings for visitors, from upcoming festivals to new attractions, while serving as an indispensable tool for trip planning.

“Filled with stunning photography and remarkably easy to use, this cutting-edge website offers engaging, aspirational content geared to inspire visitors to stay overnight in The American Riviera,” said Visit Santa Barbara president and CEO Kathy Janega-Dykes. “At the same time, it informs our many repeat visitors about the newest things to see and do.”

The website recreates the sophisticated, approachable and authentic feel of the South Coast, an area in Southern California that brings together four unique coastal cities (Goleta, Santa Barbara, Montecito and Summerland) in one inimitable vacation destination.

Created by Substance, a marketing agency based in Portland, Ore., the site was designed with a user-friendly experience in mind. Key new features of the site include a refreshed look, enhanced search and navigation, state-of-the-art responsive design and interactive maps.

Completely new itineraries on high-interest topics — such as car-free trips, quintessential Santa Barbara attractions, waterfront adventures and the Urban Wine Trail — serve to spark the imaginations of would-be and repeat visitors alike, while a new section, titled “Next Month in Santa Barbara,” provides concrete ideas for upcoming travel.

The new feature sb.Snapshots shares the distinctive look of the Santa Barbara lifestyle in a curated and evolving collection of fan-submitted and professional photos.

A robust online booking program (powered by JackRabbit) allows users to book their stays directly from the site, while Trip Advisor reviews within business listings provide ratings and insights from fellow travelers. Prompts throughout the site make it easy for visitors to share what excites them on Facebook and Twitter.

In addition to consumer content, revamped website sections for meeting planners, travel trade, media and the Santa Barbara Film Commission provide points of contact for industry professionals. A Google plug-in helps visitors translate the site into 14 different languages, from Chinese to Spanish.

According to ad agency MMGY’s 2015 study, “Global Portrait of American Travelers,” which surveyed potential visitors to Santa Barbara, 24 percent of travelers first decide on a destination before planning their vacations.

(The undecided travelers in the survey were considering Santa Barbara as one potential destination among many.) The new website speaks directly to undecided travelers by showing them why they should choose Santa Barbara as their primary destination or as part of a trip to California.
A Visit Santa Barbara visitor profile study also showed that 4.2 million of the visitors who came to Santa Barbara in 2013 (more than 68 percent of all area visitors) are day trippers, clearly identifying an opportunity to convert those visitors to overnight guests.

Exposing web users to the sheer volume and diversity of the South Coast’s high-quality activities, lodging and restaurants, the site’s message is clear: visitors will need more than a day to experience even a small fraction of all the incredible things Santa Barbara has to offer.

Kathy Schultz represents Visit Santa Barbara.

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