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  • David Inches

Taking Control of your Tourism Website

Updated: Dec 28, 2021

Creating unforgettable experience is only the start of developing your tourism business. For it to be a success you also need to be able to attract people to your destination such as my town Cairns, above the many hundreds of others available to them.


One of the best ways to do this is to build a beautiful functional and compelling website. Previously this would have meant hiring a professional designer. But today there are several platforms available which make creating a professional website easy, even if you don’t have any coding or design skills.


So here, we are going to look at how to create an effective website with an attractive accessible design which includes all the features you need to make your travel business a success.


Creating unforgettable experience is only the start of developing your tourism business. For it to be a success you also need to be able to attract people to your destination above the many hundreds of others available to them.


One of the best ways to do this is to build a beautiful functional and compelling website. Previously this would have meant hiring a professional designer. But today there are several platforms available which make creating a professional-looking website easy, even if you don’t have any coding or design skills.


So here, we are going to look at how to create an effective website with an attractive accessible design which includes all the features you need to make your travel business a success.


Build it on a CMS


The first thing you need to establish is the type of platform your website will be built on. Content management systems help you manage, format and publish content quickly without the need for developers. Fortunately, there are several powerful CMS’s available which make it easy to set up your new website.


WordPress is one of the well known platforms but my recommendation is Wix. The website you are visiting today has been built on the Wix platform and I manage everything from my own edits, to SEO and eMarketing Campaigns. The online help is immediate and the training resources are first class. You can also enter ‘widgets’ from your accommodation or booking engine to display live inventory.


Use templates


If you don’t have any design skills and can’t afford to pay a professional designer, make life easy for yourself and edit from a pre-designed template as the basis for your new website. There are several online marketplaces where you can find professionally designed WordPress templates including Themeforest and Template Monster. Wix has templates built within.


Mobile-friendly design


With more than half of all web traffic coming from a mobile device, it is important to make sure that any template and final website is mobile-friendly. Look for Wordpress templates marked as responsive. This means the content on the page scales up and down to meet various screen sizes. Responsive design is the easiest way to manage mobile devices without having to build a separate mobile website. All Wix templates and sites have a mobile view so you can edit both your desktop and mobile site view.


Beautiful imagery


Now we have the basic architecture out of the way, we need to start thinking about content. One of the most important things to get right on a tourism website is imagery. An image is worth a thousand words so you need to make sure the images on your site show off your property in the best possible light.


If you have the budget it’s a good idea to invest a few dollars in having professional images taken. If not, find a friend with an interest in photography to create them for you. But before you publish them on your site, make sure they are optimised properly (the right size) or they will take a long time to load.


Evocative copy


Images are important but you can’t forget the words that accompany them. When creating copy for a tourism website it’s a good idea to write evocative copy which takes the browser into a dream-like world of luxury and relaxation. So write about what makes your destination and experience special and highlight how it makes people feel.


Google Maps integration


Potential visitors like to research the destinations they intend to visit. So make sure you integrate Google Maps into your website. If you’re using WordPress, there are several plugins available which make this task easy. You should highlight your property along with other interesting destinations close by. Wix has a drag and drop mapping feature.


Customer reviews


Customer reviews are an effective way of building trust with potential customers. So make sure you display positive customer reviews on your website. These are most effective when accompanied by an image. But whatever you do, make sure they are real reviews. Large fines can be imposed for companies which are found to publish fake reviews. The best way to obtain good reviews is to ask customers about their stay while they’re still with you.


Multilingual interface


If you think your destination will be popular with travellers from overseas, it’s a good idea to make sure your content is translated into several languages. There are many services online which make it easy to find translators at low cost. Don’t be tempted to use machine translation because it’s still not accurate enough for most professional website content.


Instant reservations


All too often small travel websites rely on email to make reservations. There are security implications to this approach and it is time-consuming for users. If you aim to attract millennials to your destination they will also expect you to have a more resilient reservation technology.


Social media integration


Nothing will get the word out about your location better than showing it off on social media. So make sure you integrate your Instagram and Facebook feeds on your website. Once again there are several WordPress plugins which make this easy to accomplish. Some WordPress themes also come with social media integration built-in. Wix offers a free App.


If you are planning a new website for your tourism business or want to see how your current site stacks up, use the checklist below to make sure you have included everything needed for an effective business-building website:


  • Can content be updated easily? (use a CMS)

  • Does my website look professional? (use templates if you can’t afford a professional designer).

  • Is my site easily accessible from mobile devices?

  • Have I used professional images to showcase my property? (Employ a professional photographer to create beautiful images).

  • Is my copy evocative? (If you aren’t comfortable writing creative copy, employ a professional copywriter to write it for you).

  • Have I integrated Google Maps to highlight the location and other nearby attractions?

  • Have I showcased positive customer reviews?

  • Is my content accessible to users in other languages?

  • Are users able to make instant reservations?

  • Have I integrated my social media feeds?


Creating a new website for your tourism business takes time and effort, but by integrating the features mentioned above you will create a great looking and effective site without breaking the bank.


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