Making Your Tourism Business Website Effective!


Not every tourism business has the same budget to spend on their website by working with web consultants or designers but if you are starting a tourism business website or already have one, then there are some basic things that you should do if you want to take selling online seriously.

An interesting stat is that 70% of all visitors to your website will never come back.   The typical visitor only spends 10-20 seconds before moving on.  So you need to grab their attention fast!

Web Design and Navigation

Colour and design throughout your tourism website should be consistent from page to page – don’t use offensive colours. The use of neon colours, for example, might grab someone’s attention but not in a positive way.

The layout and navigation should also be clear and simple to navigate.  No-one likes having to click through pages and pages before they get to the relevant information they need.  Ask yourself – what does your customer really want to know? If you’re a tourism business, then your customer will want to know – When, where, how, price, opening hours, etc.  Make it easy for them to find this on the first page.  Making the booking process an easy process is vital, let the customer clearly know how they can contact you, or as we would advocate use a booking system.

We came across this interesting info-graphic by a company called Kissmetrics which outlines the main reasons why someone would leave your website! Infographic

Less is more

When it comes to content, less is sometimes more.  As I said, visitors to your website have a short attention span, so make your content short, snappy and to the point. No-one is going to read it if it’s over 3-4 sentences long.

website design

Images & Video

Use images and video to break up the text, making it interesting and more visual. One thing to point out though: don’t automatically play videos or audio as soon as someone lands on a page – some people find this offensive and it can give them another reason to leave your website.

White space is your friend

Leave enough room so the reader can see the info that is there.  Don’t try and cram in as much information as possible as the message can get lost. This is especially the case for your Call to Actions, like your ‘Book Now’ button, as users need to be able to clearly see it.

Above the fold

When it comes to web pages where you have to scroll down, “above the fold” is what the website visitor sees when they first land on the page without having to scroll.

Here’s an image of a heat map showing where a website visitors eyes focus on when they land on a page – mostly above the fold!

Tourism website - website design

Why is this important? It’s important for grabbing your customers attention and making sure your most important information is given the most prominent real estate on your website.  There is no point in spending loads of time designing and creating content for your site if you position it at the bottom of the page, which visitors might not even get to.

Make it Easy

Don’t give your website visitors an excuse to leave your site.  Provide them with the information they need – when is your next tour or activity, price, opening times? Give them everything they want and make it as easy as possible to book and pay.  Using a booking software system like Acteavo does massively help with this of course!

Social Proof

When people are looking to book or buy something they want to hear what other people think to get validation.  For this reason reviews from customers can be very powerful and have a massive impact on your business.  One of our customers gets almost 80% of the their business through Tripadvisor.  So if you are reviewed tell your customers about it, show it on your website, this will automatically validate what you offer and heighten expectations.  If you’re a smaller business starting off and reviews or not that plentiful yet, ask a customer for a quote or review and put this testimonial on your website until you can get more reviews built up from elsewhere.

Here’s an example of one of our customers, The Kilkenny Way, showing very clearly on their website their rating on Tripadvisor.  This automatically gives validation to your website visitor.

Tourism Business - Social Proof

Content, Content, Content

Content is so important for a number of reasons, it helps with your search engine ranking through SEO, and by providing useful and relevant content, website visitors will be more inclined to visit your site, stay longer on your site and ultimately buy from you.  You should view your website as an evolving, ever changing thing that you should regularly update and post new content to.  This can be done through adding photos of events, video and blogging.  This is all free, apart from your time of course, and is therefore a great way to promote your business, stand out from competitors and attract potential customers to your site.

Danielle Mallen
Danielle Mallen
COO at Acteavo
Danielle is the COO of Acteavo and its customer experience champion. You can follow Danielle on Twitter and Linkedin.