Rough Guides Launches Website Redesign

New Site Features 10,000 Destinations, Easy Navigation, Enhanced Community

New York – Coinciding with its content distribution on Yahoo! Travel travel.yahoo.com , Rough Guides is launching a newly redesigned website that features more content, easy navigation, and an enhanced community. From the Al-Wad Road to Zaragoza and everything in between, users are one to two clicks away from access to more than 10,000 destinations, including points of interest, historic landmarks, museums, and "off the beaten path" escapes. The Rough Guide to Travel website features a weekly travel editorial that profiles several exciting new destinations. Users may also participate in a lively online travel community to get timely updates on destinations, meet other travelers, and share their own experiences.

Developed by Rough Guides and Headland Digital Media, both Pearson plc companies, the website allows users to access the most comprehensive destination content on the Internet for free. While other travel guide providers offer marketing-sized chunks of their content on the Internet – either directly from their websites or from their distribution partners’ sites – the Rough Guides offers users the ability to browse through the entire contents of its award-winning books online for hip, insider advice. The Rough Guides’ site also offers visitors unprecedented convenience in making reservations and purchasing tickets through Internet Travel Network (ITN). Independent-minded travelers have an interactive, one-stop travel shop of their very own.

"Our decision to post the entire contents of our travel books online was looked at with skepticism at first," says Jean Marie Kelly, Rough Guides’ associate publisher and director of online publishing. "However, since the site first launched in September 1998, brand awareness, traffic to the site, and sales at retail have steadily increased."

Mark Nieker, president of Headland Digital Media, adds: "As people are increasingly traveling to far-off destinations and using the Internet as a key planning tool, we have more than doubled the in-depth coverage on The Rough Guide to Travel website, reaching beyond the U.S. and Europe and into Southeast Asia, Africa, and South America."

The Rough Guide to Travel site was developed from a traveler's perspective. Once a destination has been selected, a user can easily navigate surrounding neighborhoods, sights, and points of interest within the location. By pulling down the Contents menu bar, users enjoy one-click access to:

Basics – This information provides users with a wealth of knowledge to answer the kinds of questions that arise prior to traveling. Before-you-go Basics gives travelers an overview of the destination of choice, covering such topics as history, when to go, language, time zones, entry requirements, currency, and much more. Rough Guide Basics also provides information especially for women, gay and lesbian, and disabled travelers.

Best Of – In a Rough Guide to Travel website exclusive, Rough Guide authors have carefully selected their favorite sights and can’t-miss experiences for popular destinations.

Eating, Accommodation, Entertainment – These sections list recommended local dining, lodging, and entertainment for all destinations – and budgets.

Other areas of The Rough Guide to Travel site include:

Spotlight – Spotlight is a weekly travel feature that profiles several exciting world destinations and provides direct links to Rough Guides’ extensive content database for more information.

Cool Places – Each week, Rough Guide editors select five related worldwide destinations, such as the top five beaches, top five ski resorts, and top five party towns, for the Cool Places section.

Travel Talk – Visitors are invited to join an online travel community to get updates on destinations, meet other travelers, and share experiences on themed message boards.

Sponsored contests and promotions – Visitors can participate in exciting travel promotions and giveaways.

The Catalog – The Catalog section provides information on the Rough Guide to Travel books and music CDs as well as links to online retailers.

Reservations – The site also offers visitors unprecedented convenience in making reservations and purchasing tickets through ITN.

Distribution

Headland Digital Media has developed an innovative, database-driven distribution system that delivers requested content from a central location. This system allows Rough Guides' editorial team to dynamically update their destination guide information across all distribution partner websites, using content management tools that Headland has developed especially for this purpose. The database distribution system also allows Rough Guides' partners to receive customized data. Combined, the proprietary distribution system and content management tools allow Rough Guides and its partners to focus on their core competencies. Current distribution partners include Yahoo!, Internet Travel Network, and STA Travel.

The Rough Guide to Travel website is located at www.roughguides.com/travel

For further information

Rough Guides

 

Jean Marie Kelly

 

Associate Publisher and Director of Online Publishing

 

212-366-2820


Jkelly@penguinputnam.com

Headland Digital Media

 

Patrice Paul

 

PR Manager

 

415-597-9064


Patrice.paul@headland-media.com