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San Francisco Travel Scores Webby Award Nominations

Sanfrancisco.travel up for Internet’s highest honor

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April 14, 2015 - The San Francisco Travel Association has been nominated for the prestigious Webby Award and the Webby People’s Voice Award for its recently-redesigned site, www.sanfrancisco.travel.

“These nominations are an exciting acknowledgement of the beauty and functionality of our site,” said San Francisco Travel President and CEO Joe D’Alessandro.  “The Webby Awards carry the same prestige as the Oscars, the Grammys, the Emmys and the Tonys.  Similar to those awards, it’s an honor just to be nominated – but what we really want is to win a Webby!”

The Webby Awards, which began in San Francisco in 1996, received 13,000 entries for 2015 from all 50 U.S. states and more than 60 countries.  Only five nominees are selected for each category.  San Francisco Travel is nominated in the Associations category. 

Two honors - the Webby Award and The Webby People’s Voice Award - are presented in each category.  Members of the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences (IADAS) select the nominees for both awards in each category, and determine the winners of The Webby Awards. 

In the spirit of the open Web, The Webby People’s Voice is awarded by the voting public, garnering millions of votes from all over the world.   

Voting for the People's Voice Award is open at http://pv.webbyawards.com/2015/web/general-website/associations until 11:59 p.m. PST on April 23.

San Francisco Travel re-launched their website in October, 2014, after a complete redesign.  It provides a wealth of information and inspiration for visitors, meeting planners, travel professionals, media and San Francisco Travel partners, all in a format that is intuitive, objective and deeply curated. 

“The bold new design grabs the visitor the moment they arrive on the site with large, dramatic photos and streamlined navigation that allows them to easily explore, plan and search for their exact needs and interests,” added D’Alessandro. “The new site provides tools to help visitors at every stage of their planning process, from dreaming to arriving.”  

“As the official marketing organization for the destination, we have a tremendous amount of information.  The new site makes it easy for us to share it,” D’Alessandro continued.  “We want the site to be as clear and objective as possible.  For example, for our partner businesses that have been reviewed on TripAdvisor, we include those reviews review on their partner pages.” 

The website uses a responsive design to adapt to any screen size, from laptop to tablet to smartphone.  No matter the size of the screen, the user has access to the complete website and its functions with scrolling and swiping functionality. 

San Francisco tapped some of the leading technology innovators to provide the best possible user experience and a wide variety of tools and functions.

The site was designed by the San Francisco team of Code and Theory which has created websites for NBCUniversal, Vanity Fair and Calvin Klein and developed the new site for Visit California, which is also nominated for a Webby Award.  

Two types of map technology are utilized to help with orientation and navigation.  Mapbox provides functionality on the “Explore” pages, allowing visitors to see places nearby their selected hotel, restaurant, shop or activity.  Google Maps are used in other parts of the site to provide directions, alternate routes and real time traffic.

Content is refreshed regularly and San Francisco Travel partners with local experts and influencers to develop compelling and informative stories and information for visitors.  Arts and culture content is curated and provided by SFArts.org and other contributors include GayCities, Pamela Busch and “the tablehopper,” in addition to content written by San Francisco Travel staff.  Special event listings are curated by SpinGo, a new events platform with an office based in San Francisco.  Weather reports and forecasts are by Yahoo.  

Through a partnership with Booking.com, the world leader in booking accommodations online, lodging reservations can be made from the home page and throughout the site and San Francisco hotel deals are easy to find.  Attractions and event tickets can be booked on the site through ARES.  Experiencing San Francisco’s famed restaurants is made simple with reservations provided by OpenTable.

San Francisco Travel is taking their information global by developing sites in nine different languages:  Portuguese, Chinese (traditional and simplified), German, Italian, Japanese, French, Korean and Spanish.   All will be completed this summer. 

The San Francisco Travel Association is a private, not-for-profit organization that markets the city as a leisure, convention and business travel destination.  With more than 1,500 partner businesses, San Francisco Travel is one of the largest membership-based tourism promotion agencies in the country. 

Tourism, San Francisco's largest industry, generated record-breaking numbers in 2014.  More than 18 million people visited the destination, spending in excess of $10.67 billion. More than 87,000 jobs are supported by tourism in San Francisco.