Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce’s New Travel Web Site Caters to Busy People



Finding the perfect place to stay, relax, and enjoy exciting activities in America’s oldest seaport just got a lot faster and easier. The Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce unveiled www.CapeAnnVacations.com, their powerful new travel Web site built by veteran Web developers, Van Ness Group. The Chamber represents the four communities of Cape Ann – Gloucester, Rockport, Essex, and Manchester By-the-Sea – located just 30 miles north of Boston, Massachusetts.

‘With nearly 300 ocean and land attractions and activities, over a hundred accommodations and scores of festivals and events each year, we had to give visitors to Cape Ann a quick, easy and intuitive way of finding what suits their particular tastes,’ said Sara Young, Cape Ann Chamber’s Economic Development Manager, who led the project.

Using highly intuitive, color-coded icons, powerful keyword searching and plenty of tips and help, site visitors can easily find accommodations that match specific desires, such as beachfront, pool, waterfront, fireplace, handicap and Internet access. Budget minded travelers can sort by price, while sun worshippers can sort by distance from the beach.

One major challenge was to organize hundreds of activities and attractions – from beaches and lighthouses to whale watching and deep-sea fishing cruises to dining on lobsters and getting a massage. ‘That’s why we chose Van Ness Group,’ said Young. ‘They’re internationally recognized experts in user interface design, who happen to be local members of our Chamber.’

‘With our Up-Front navigation, site visitors are seldom more than one click away from finding what they’re looking for,’ said Peter Van Ness, CEO of Van Ness Group. ‘Rather than force people to think the way we do, we’ve designed the site to be intuitive for all sorts of curious minds.’

For one of America’s most beautiful destinations, speed, power and intuitive navigation are not enough. ‘This new Web site had to embody the spirit of our community and showcase Cape Ann’s spectacular natural beauty,’ said Michael Costello, Executive Director of the Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce. ‘I’m extremely pleased with the result because I feel it does just that, and is destined to become one of the Web’s premier travel sites. I encourage people to log on and see for themselves.’