Royal palaces update on-line offer

London’s Historic Royal Palaces charitable trust has appointed Precedent to redesign its website in an effort to attract more visitors to its five London attractions.

The HRP trust incorporates Hampton Court Palace, Kensington Palace, The Tower of London, The Banqueting House and Kew Palace. The new site is scheduled to go live before Christmas.

The website, www.hrp.org.uk, is core to the trust’s marketing strategy, says HRP marketing director Danny Homan. Traditionally, advertising and print media have formed the basis of its marketing strategy but that is changing, he says.

‘People are often surprised at how influential our website is in drawing visitors to the palaces,’ says Homan. ‘Tourists, in particular from the US, use the website and hits go through the roof overnight.’

Precedent has been briefed to introduce-ticketing capabilities to the site. Currently, 20 per cent of bookings are made on-line, but this is rising, says Homan. The site will also start selling merchandise and licensed products.

Precedent managing director Paul Hoskins says he is aiming to retain the individuality of each palace with the redesign. Each palace will have its own site, accessed via the HRP home page.

‘We are hoping to educate visitors to the site as well as attract more business,’ says Hoskins. ‘The website can be more effective than it is.’

Six consultancies were shortlisted to present creative ideas in an unpaid pitch after 25 were initially invited to tender: Precedent JKD, Adaptive Technologies, First Impression Design, Red Square Fusion and Big Picture.

The existing site, by Timothy Guy Design, is three years’ old. The five palaces together attract around 3.5m visitors a year.

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