Manchester International Festival's website www.manchesterinternationalfestival.com has won 'Tourism Website of the Year' in the 2007 Manchester Tourism Awards, which took place on Thursday night.

The site was designed by Manchester-based digital agency Code Computerlove. Judges said: 'with a real 'wow factor', the incredible design and easy navigation of the Manchester International Festival website generated enthusiasm firing the imagination.'

The inaugural Manchester International Festival (MIF) takes place from
28 June to 15 July. Festival Marketing Director, Helen Palmer, said: "As this is the Festival's first year it's vital that we make it the biggest success that we can - and we were keen to appoint a digital agency who could rise to the challenge which is why we appointed Code Computerlove as our digital agency.

"Creating a strong online presence has played a major role in the Manchester International Festival's success so far, as it is the bedrock of MIF's ongoing communication and sales programme. Not only is a consistent channel through which to communicate with all target audiences, but it also serves as a cost effective recruitment vehicle for potential customers and volunteers. Since the site launched it has welcomed in excess of 253,000 visitors to date and ticket sales are going extremely well."

"We're delighted with the site and that the work has been recognised with this much coveted award."

The site now features everything any of the target audiences could want to know about MIF including:

- What the Festival is all about

- Details of all three pre-festival commissions

- Recruitment and volunteer opportunities and the ability to apply online

- Strong calls to action to sign up to receive the regular e-newsletter, to volunteer and to enter on-site competitions and buy tickets with the direct link to the Festival's ticketing agency

- Gallery images

- Artists' bloggs

- Forum board

- Media information

Tony Foggett, Code's managing director added: "The website has played a major role in helping to establish MIF as a key date in the international cultural calendar and in reinforcing Manchester's position as a world-class city and an innovative cultural capital. As a Manchester agency with a strong commitment to investing in the City, we're delighted to be part of it.

"The site is a vibrant information source that is updated frequently with the latest news and events and one which is providing MIF with ongoing CRM opportunities. The focus throughout has been on producing a user-friendly, well-structured and consistent interface that meets accessibility requirements."

Award-winning Code, formed in 1999, is a full service digital marketing agency that employs 48 people. The agency's client list includes Waterstone's, Kimberly Clark Corporation, HMV, RHM Food Services, NUS Services, BUPA, and Akzo Nobel.

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For further information please contact: Kirsty Hunt, Code PR, Tel: 07816 876091 or email: kirsty.hunt@computerlove.co.uk

ABOUT THE MANCHESTER TOURISM AWARDS

The Manchester Tourism Awards recognise and reward organisations from within Greater Manchester's dynamic tourism industry for outstanding contributions to tourism.

The 2007 awards, organised by Marketing Manchester in conjunction with the Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA), featured 14 categories, which are open to a whole range of tourism providers, from small family run ventures, to large national businesses. Winners of a number of categories will automatically be entered into the England's Northwest Tourism Awards 2007. The winners of the regional awards will, in turn, be entered for the national Enjoy England Awards for Excellence, representing England's Northwest. For more information visit www.visitmanchester.com <http://www.visitmanchester.com/&gt; www.marketingmanchester.com <http://www.marketingmanchester.com/&gt;
www.manchesterconferences.com <http://www.manchesterconferences.com/&gt;

Published on: 12:00AM on 8th May 2007