YOY Increase in Website Sessions (Jun-Dec 2023)


Engaged Sessions (Jun-Dec 2023)


Referrals to Local Partners (Jun-Dec 2023)

How Tempest Infused the Soul & Spirit of Detroit Into a Dynamic, AI-Enhanced Website

Learn how Tempest successfully channeled the essence of Motor City into a new website design for Visit Detroit — striking a balance of thoughtful design elements with industry-best technology to create a one-of-a-kind digital destination experience.

Detroit is an iconic American city in the midst of a full-throttle rebirth — brimming with rich history, unexpected attractions, new experiences that entice both leisure travelers and meeting professionals alike. Tasked with promoting the city and surrounding counties of Wayne, Oakland and Macomb, Visit Detroit serves as the authority on everything to see, do, taste, explore and be inspired by throughout the area.

The Challenge

Visit Detroit was pursuing a dramatic reimagining of their website that met the moment and accurately portrayed the county’s modern spirit and energy, while also making key improvements to user experience. The organization also sought to upgrade the website’s ability to promote and connect travelers to local businesses, as well as procure valuable leads from meeting, convention and event planners.

A Design Fit for Detroit

To kick off the project, Tempest conducted a three-day, immersive creative brief in Detroit, exploring essential attractions, dining at iconic eateries, and touring hidden gems with the guidance of the Visit Detroit team. Drawing inspiration from the visit, Tempest’s creative team engineered an experiential design that drew upon the city’s rich cultural heritage while also remaining contemporary.

Throughout the website, users will find line art, halftone imagery and typography that evokes classic Motown albums and Detroit-based musical institutions. The bold, colorful design also features customizable combinations of high resolution imagery, including circular icons that pair everyday items like a car wheel, a Detroit Pistons basketball, bottle cap, or vinyl record with CTAs to website content promoting Detroit’s automotive industry, sports scene, local breweries, or rich music legacy, respectively.


Upgraded Technology & Usability

Behind the scenes of the captivating design elements is a technologically advanced content management system (CMS), Craft, which provides the Visit Detroit team with unparalleled flexibility to create, curate and connect content across the new website, weaving engaging narratives of unique Detroit experiences and guiding website visitors along an immersive online journey. The website’s content was also thoughtfully restructured into an information architecture specially designed for peak organic search performance and optimal user discovery.

An interactive Trip Planning tool allows visitors to select a traveler persona that best fits their interests, returning curated content suggestions, along with the ability to add businesses and events to their own personal itinerary to experience Detroit. Industry-leading mapping functionality further elevates website content, aiding users with effortless navigation of Metro Detroit's neighborhoods, top attractions, meeting venues, restaurants and experiences.

A responsive site search, enhanced by artificial intelligence, returns pages, blogs, business listings and events in real-time as users type, quickly connecting visitors to the content and information they are seeking about the destination.

The website is also fully integrated with iDSS CRM, via an API that empowers Visit Detroit partners to manage their business information, events, deals and experiences on the new website, while also being able to receive valuable insights to account performance and analytics. Other iDSS benefits include the ability to receive meeting or group RFP leads from the website and promote to their partners, a streamlined partner application process, and more.


"Visit Detroit was grateful to partner with Tempest to create an immersive digital experience that reflects the vitality of our region. By focusing on how users can easily engage with content, the new website is designed to capture the imagination of our audience and move them to Detroit."

Stan Smith, Sr. Director of Marketing for Visit Detroit

The new VisitDetroit.com launched in June 2023, and in the six months that followed, the website experienced increases in sessions, organic visits, total users, and engaged sessions. Notably:

  • +30% YoY increase to total website visits
  • +18% YoY increase to organic website visits
  • +23% YoY increase to total website users
  • +61% YoY increase to engaged sessions
  • An engagement rate of 71%
  • 113,000+ referrals to local hospitality, travel and tourism partners

The new website also unlocked the ability for Visit Detroit to utilize Tempest's Destination Signals community activation program to strategically spotlight local businesses and events seamlessly throughout content.

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