Since 2004 the Chamber of Commerce of Verbano Cusio Ossola Province has managed the portal www.illagomaggiore.com, which had its origins in the Interreg project “Tourism without borders – localization portal”. The portal offers full, up-to-date information on the areas of Piedmont and Lombardy near and around Lake Maggiore, including Lake Orta, Novara, the Novara hills and the valleys to the north.
In 2009 the portal and its linked sites www.derlagomaggiore.de and www.lelacmajeur.com had over 550,000 unique visitors, and is the first hit on google.it and google.fr, and the third on google.de. In the framework of the Tourism and Media project the portal has been completely restyled, reorganising the contents and giving greater prominence to information on events, culture tours, sports facilities and organisation of meetings, focusing on the area as a prime destination for cultural tourism, active holidays and conferences. The project was carried out with the collaboration of the Chambers of Commerce of Novara and Varese, the Verbano Cusio Ossola Province, Verbania Town Council, the Distretto Turistico dei Laghi, the “Capt. Neil McEacharn” Botanic Gardens of Villa Taranto, the Hoteliers’ Association of Novara and VCO provinces, the Administration of the Borromean Islands srl, Fiori Tipici del Lago Maggiore scrl, Lago Maggiore Conference, Unione del Commercio, Turismo, Servizi e P.M.I. of VCO province, the Comunità Montane delle Valli dell’Ossola, Val Grande Alto Verbano and Valle Cannobina, and the Comunità Montana Due Laghi Cusio Mottarone and Val Strona, the Lago Maggiore Holidays Consortium, the Ossola Laghi e Monti Consortium, and the Association of Small Traditional Hotels and Mountain Hospitality.
A new departure is the inclusion in the portal of the Lombard shore, extending the area of reference to incorporate information on the Varese district and its visitor facilities. But the major innovation is the on-line booking service, available on the portal www.illagomaggiore.com and all linked sites (including www.derlagomaggiore.de and www.lelacmajeur.com) for the whole of the area. Currently accommodation in 44 hotels in the province of Verbania, 10 in Novara and 4 in Varese can be reserved on-line; the possibility of on-line booking has also been extended to campsites, and so far 4 have joined the initiative. This service is completely free of charge, both for visitors and for the hotels and campsites.
The new version of the portal www.illagomaggiore.com, in Italian and English, will be on line from 1st July 2010. It has been constructed by Altea spa, Baveno; Netycom srl, Verbania; Opera21, Milan.