Remade Visitors Bureau website earns first place award for Port Arthur

Published 12:10 am Saturday, October 5, 2019

Port Arthur Convention & Visitors Bureau won first place for its newly designed mobile web page at the Texas Association of Convention & Visitors Bureau Idea Fair.

Port Arthur CVB also earned second place for its web page,, designed to inform visitors, potential visitors and locals about the city’s and area’s attractions, restaurants and lodging.

Categories are based on city size and budget.

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Callie Summerlin, sales and marketing director, said the bureau partnered with Rhyme & Reason Design to create the website for Visit Port Arthur.

“Hurricane Harvey washed away our offices, and a major hack all but destroyed our old website,” Summerlin said. “We were in a perfect position to not only refresh, but remake the image, voice and messaging behind PACVB.”

Images of Port Arthur’s colorful birds, tempting flavors, waterside views at Pleasure Island and Sea Rim State Park and popular culture at Museum of the Gulf Coast fill the site and provide information for those who come to Port Arthur for work and pleasure.

Local blogs highlight seasonal and fun aspects of the area.

“Our objective was to design a new website that would be attractive and engaging while highlighting Port Arthur’s unique assets and cultural backdrop,” Summerlin said. “The project was unique in that we were designing the website in the midst of a total re-branding of the CVB. In this way, the website will serve as a visual guide for ongoing and future branding efforts.”

Going mobile

As travelers are on-the-go, the mobile site win is especially appreciated, Summerlin said.

“In short, we put mobile first,” Summerlin said. “We see a majority of visitor traffic via our mobile site, so in order to successfully engage with those visitors, we worked with R&R Design to create a mobile site that would display optimally across devices, such as iPad and smart phones. This responsive design went one step past basic mobile design, and has proven even more successful than we’d hoped for.

“Our objective was to create a fast-loading, visual, yet simple mobile site that would deliver correct, up to date information. We scaled down our desktop platform to offer only what we felt was necessary and would meet immediate needs, instead of promoting social media or second-thought information.”

Summerlin accepted the award at the conference.

Peers representing cities around the state voted on winners in various categories to promote excellence in destination marketing. Goals of the Idea Fair awards are to generate awareness of the quality work done by TACVB members as they promote their destinations to leisure and business travelers.

“We had a record 116 entries this year,” said Kim Phillips, TACVB Chief Operating Officer.  “The winners faced stiff competition and these awards are well-deserved.”

Tammy Kotzur is Executive Director of the Port Arthur CVB. For more information, visit the award-winning to see what everyone is talking about.

Special to The News