Like it or not, we operate our tourism businesses in the digital age. Your website serves as a virtual storefront, giving visitors a glimpse of the travel experience they are considering booking. Crafting a captivating website is crucial to attracting and engaging potential travellers.

You only get one shot at a first impression, so here are the ‘absolutes’ you must have:

  1. An easy to remember domain name that includes your business’s name. It makes it easier for travellers and search algorithms to find.
  2. Put your brand at the top of the page. Keep this information at the top of the page so there is immediate visual recognition because they are likely coming from a Search page or an OTA page full of listings. Don’t clutter it with a tagline unless it clearly conveys your unique proposition.
  3. High-quality images/videos and captivating emotive stories of the destination, your property or activity and associated experiences will inspire the urge to travel and to book you, not the guy down the road.
  4. A well-organized menu structure and intuitive layout will make it easy to navigate so that users can easily find the information they’re seeking.
  5. Streamline the booking process with a user-friendly online reservation system. Visitors should be able to effortlessly browse available tours or accommodations, check availability, select dates, and make secure reservations.
  6. Use reviews and testimonials to build trust and credibility. Positive feedback from satisfied travelers can sway potential customers and reassure them that they’re making the right choice.
  7. Provide comprehensive details about each activity or accommodation ‘product’ you offer. Include information about activities, duration, inclusions, and any unique experiences. Clear itineraries help visitors understand what to expect and make informed decisions.
  8. Make it easy for visitors to get in touch with you. Display your contact details prominently, including a contact form, email address, phone number, and links to your social media profiles.
  9. Show an interactive map (Google for SEO) to help travelers visualise your location, broader destination and nearby attractions. This feature can assist them in planning their itinerary and understanding the layout of the area.
  10. Position yourself as a ‘destination authority’ by regularly blogging with local travel and destination insights, tips, events, and news. This keeps your website fresh, engaging and SEO’d, and establishes you as a ‘trusted expert’ in your sector.
  11. In a world where people browse on various devices, a mobile-responsive website is a must. Ensure that your site looks and functions seamlessly on smartphones, tablets, and desktops.
  12. Integrate social media using buttons that allow visitors to easily share your content and connect with you on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. This can expand your reach and encourage user-generated content.
  13. Highlight any ongoing promotions, discounts, or special offers prominently on your website. These incentives can entice visitors to take action and make a booking.
  14. Include a Privacy Policy that includes your commitment to security to safeguarding visitors’ personal information because you will collect sensitive data during the booking process.

A well-designed website will be your most powerful tool to attract, engage, and convert travelers into booked customers. If you address each of the above attributes, the centerpiece of your business’s online profile will showcase what you offer and paint a vivid picture of the unique experiences that await customers that choose to book.