NORTH Devon tourism is to receive a major boost with the launch of a new state of the art destination website promoting North Devon and Exmoor.

The new www.northdevon.com website launched by the business and tourism partnership North Devon Plus showcases the area’s tourism businesses to a worldwide audience. It is also being backed by a marketing campaign worth more than £250,000.

The website has been designed from the consumers’ point of view and includes a range of services such as online bookings, maps, customer profiling, brochure ordering, e-newsletter publication and live listings for accommodation, attractions, eating out, shopping, events, activities and other tourism venues.

There are also plans to introduce a second phase next spring to include an e-shop and downloadable iphone applications.

Laura Holt, the marketing manager for North Devon Plus and project manager for the website said www.northdevon.com would prove a welcome boost for the local economy.

She said: “Tourism is a vital part of our local economy, generating £427m for North Devon last year. To fully support this sector North Devon Plus has made a significant investment in the new website. With 50 per cent of tourists in the UK now researching and booking their holidays online, it is important that North Devon and Exmoor keeps pace with other major tourism competitors, which have all invested in similar destination management websites, as well as running big campaigns on television and in the media to attract visitors.”

The new site was developed through visitor research and a series of workshops with local tourism businesses.

It is backed by a targeted marketing campaign which also includes, PR, press advertising and direct mail.

North Devon Plus is now keen to attract more tourism businesses on to the website with the provision of a free advertisement as one of their membership benefits.

Laura said: “The more businesses on the website, the more appealing a destination North Devon and Exmoor is to website visitors and the more visitors the area will attract - and more visitors equals more jobs.”

For information about North Devon Plus contact Laura on (01237) 426426 or 07545 697004 or visit www.northdevonplus.co.uk