netdecisions wins highly prized VisitBritain contract

CLIENT : VisitBritain / WEB DESIGN : Jonathan Porter / AGENCY : AgilisysThe British Tourist Authority has handed what's expected to be one of the most lucrative contract in new media this year to netdecisions to redevelop its network of Web sites. The deal, worth around £500,000, coincides with this week's rebranding of the BTA after its merger with the English Travel Council. The new group takes the name VisitBritain, in line with the BTA's existing Web presence. Netdecisions was chosen from a field of 320 agencies who responded to the BTA's original notification of its intentions to overhaul its Web sites (NMA 26 September 2002). It was one of 12 firms the government agency invited to tender and along with JKD, Wheel and BTA's incumbent agency Euro RSCG Circle, was shortlisted for the final selection process. Phillip Smith, BTA VisitBritain project manager, said all four agencies were more than able to do the job but the work had been handed to netdecisions because it offered "the most interesting proposal" in terms of added extras. "this is a very big project for the BTA," said Smith. "It's also one of the biggest contracts out there in the agency market at the moment. We've invested heavily in new backend systems, including Tridion and Autoonomy, and we needed an agency that could help us best integrate them with our Web applications." Smith added that online travel brochures, holiday and itinerary planners, together with increased personalisation, were all elements that would be added to the new BTA Web sites. BTA currently operates around 40 sites promoting Britain abroad. Netdecisions will be responsible for overhauling these by the end of the year and will also create new ones serving China, Poland, Russia and South Korea