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Zoos: Live webcams bring exciting new benefits to zoo and national park

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UK based online live video streaming specialist fiNETra is helping a variety of visitor attractions to increase interest in their venue and boost visitor numbers with the installation of high quality, live action webcams which are bringing live content to clients’ websites – and into thousands of homes.

With leisure sector clients ranging from theme parks and zoos, farm parks and steam railways, to hotels and areas of special interest, among others, installations have included two webcams at Paignton Zoo in Devon, England, where live action of Sumatran Tigers can be viewed. The tiger cam gives visitors to the venue’s website the chance to see live video streaming of the tiger enclosure, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Early last year, the birth of four rare Sumatran Tiger cubs was captured live on camera too.

The interest created by the webcams has been enormous and has resulted in increased traffic to the zoo’s website and more crucially, increased visitor numbers to the zoo itself, as marketing director Pippa Craddock revealed.

“The tiger webcam has proved an excellent way of getting potential visitors interested in what is happening at Paignton Zoo. They love the close proximity it gives them to the animals, with live, close-up footage that they would otherwise never have access to, while it also allows them to see ‘behind the scenes, ’ with this footage streamed to LCD plasma screens (provided by fiNETra) outside the enclosures too.

“The webcams have allowed guests to really get involved with the animals and the zoo itself and with a 65% propensity to visit following viewing of the live action cameras, the marketing value speaks for itself. The webcams are now a fundamental part of our marketing strategy and it has been good to work with a company that has ‘animal’ experience and appreciates the issues that placing cameras in sensitive enclosures can present. I would certainly recommend this solution to any animal attraction looking to provide potential visitors with the WOW factor!”

Also creating much added interest through the virtual visits provided by fiNETra webcams, is the New Forest in the UK. Here, two cameras have been installed for the National Park Authority (NPA) showing Balmer Lawn, near Brockenhurst, and Buckler’s Hard, part of the Beaulieu Estate. The former offers a unique view of the New Forest landscape from the heart of the National Park. The view includes classic Forest woodland and some of the open lawn areas. There is potential for viewers to see free roaming New Forest ponies, Shetland ponies and cattle, while deer can also sometimes be seen on the lawns at dawn or dusk.

The Buckler’s Hard webcam offers a unique view of the spectacular New Forest coastline from the historic village. This includes the Beaulieu River, wooded areas along the banks and the salt marshes, while viewers may also see boats sailing on the water and coastal birds.

And following the success of these initial installations, NPA is keen to consider additional webcams in the future, when funding allows.

 “The webcam has quickly become one of the most popular features on our website, ” commented Martin O’Neill, NPA’s Director of Information and Visitor Services. “It gives people a panoramic view from the heart of the New Forest National Park complete with its famous ponies – perhaps bringing back great memories or as a tantalising taste of a visit to come.  And like the New Forest itself, the webcam is something that people are drawn to again and again. A webcam is always one of the first clicks I make on a new website and it’s the same for many visitors to our site.”

With every installation, fiNETra provides the highest quality webcam systems and identifies the best locations for camera placement. An installation can be set up in just one day and the company carries out all necessary maintenance on the systems which stream live images to the client’s website.  fiNETra also operates its own website, a central library for live streaming (www.checkitlive.com)  where customers can market themselves and attract a bigger global audience. The recently launched Checkitlive.com receives 1, 000, 000 page impressions per month and this number is growing at a rate of 200%!

“We are carrying out numerous installations at all types of visitor attraction venues, ” said fiNETra founder and CEO Mark Welch, “and have helped to create a lot of additional interest in the places where our equipment is located. The webcams provide a real taste of what people can expect to find at a venue, in real time and with high quality imagery, and as a result help to drive additional visitor numbers, while they also provide views of areas where the public are not permitted to go, such as animal pens. It is a very cost effective way to promote a venue, to add another dimension to a client’s website and to give visitors a real insight in to what is on offer.”

For more information please contact:

fiNETra, Ltd., 9A South Street, Wellington, Somerset, TA21 8NR.
Tel. 01823 652888 Email: enquiries@finetra.co.uk

See also:
Zoos: Nashville Zoo’s 2009 Attendance Reaches All-Time High
Zoos: GEICO and AZA Bring Live Gecko Exhibit to the Phoenix Zoo Starting January 16 
Zoos: 2009 Attendance Surpasses 200, 000 for 6th Year at Dickerson Park Zoo

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