With travel and tourism being one of the most popular products on the Internet, a website is critical to the success of any tourism operation. Just having a website is not enough, however. Just sticking up a brochure website and marketing over the Internet are very different things.Your tourism website must be designed to meet your online marketing objectives and with your target market in mind. Your website needs to attract visitors, spur them to visit your safari lodge, hotel, apartments, buy your tour excursion or product and encourage them to spread the word.
When planning your tourism website it is important to:
Gone are the days when a simple brochure website was sufficient. Successful tourism websites are design with the following three key elements in mind:
The operator of a tourism or hospitality business knows their business, target market and products the best and so the operator must define these and clearly communicate them to your Web developer. This will enable your Web developer to build a website that will be beneficial to your tourism business and satisfy your customers.
It is surprising to us how many business’ approach us to build them a website when they have no clear objective in mind. “I just need a website” is a common refrain. Step back and think about what you want the website to achieve for your business. Talk to your front of house staff and your back of house staff, ask your customer service people, your sales staff, your admin staff, they all interact differently with your customers and may have useful insights.
Some common objectives are:
For each of the tourism operation’s target markets the following should be considered:
Consider how the website can be designed and what items or functionality can be included to satisfy each target market’s needs, wants and expectations.
It is always a good idea to segment your target market so you can correctly identify and cater for each segments differing needs, wants and expectations. Different segments could be travel agents, family groups, eco-tourists, adventure travelers or budget travelers.
The website should be designed and developed to reflect the products and services on offer. These products and services must be clearly identified and defined and considered in the design process.
Some examples of design complementing the products or services are: