So you’ve developed an online presence for your tour and activity operation – but having a website with a pretty logo on it won’t necessarily get you the bookings you need for your business. It’s all about increasing conversions and getting more bookings. In this blog we point you in the right direction with how important website design is.

If you’re offering travel experiences, website conversion optimization can remove the common barriers to booking so that guests will be more likely to make a reservation. The following tips can help you optimize your website so that you get the most bookings possible, allowing you to increase your profits and expand your presence in the local tourism market. Here’s where to get started.

1. Add clear, concise buttons.

The most important button to have on your tour and activity company website is the “Book Now!” button.

This clear call to action will allow visitors to quickly and easily make a reservation with you for whatever tour they want to participate in. If you use other buttons and interactive elements in your web design, make sure they do not distract or compete with the crucial “Book Now!” button.

2. Make navigating your website simple and easy.

It’s important to make all other facets of your website easy to get to from the home page for a smooth and effortless user experience. Keep in mind that some people will be viewing your website from their smart phone or tablets, where easy navigation is crucial. Having a mobile responsive website (where the website resizes optimally for the device) is essential these days. Naturally, Rezdy’s 1-click website feature offers a mobile-optimized website experience.

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3. Never underestimate the importance of high-resolution photos.

Add one or two photos to each page, but don’t forget to create a specific portion of your website that’s exclusively for a photo gallery.

Use high-resolution scenery images, which allow the potential customer to experience your tours through their own eyes before they even start to plan their vacation. These high-quality images will entice them to book with you when they know what to expect during their own experience. You could capture these on your phone, as most smartphones have high-quality cameras now, or you could also choose to invest in a professional photography shoot.

4. Create quality videos to display on your page.

Today’s travelers want to watch a video of the tour and activity experience before they fork over any cash for a reservation. This can be a powerful way to communicate the sights and sensations they can expect, and boost bookings via your experience marketing strategy.

Be sure to create unique content filled with satisfied customers so your future clients get an idea of what they can expect when they book with you for their vacation. Once again, there are plenty of DIY tools for filming and video editing, or you could engage a professional videographer and create a high-level branded video. This could provide further benefits if you choose to display it across multiple advertising channels.

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5. Make it easy for customers to contact your company representatives.

There are a few ways you can make it easy for customers to contact you:

  • Include basic contact information such as phone number, e-mail address and physical address.
  • Create a contact form on the website so that customers can instantly submit questions and comments to you via your website. While you probably won’t be able to answer immediately around the clock, it’s easy to set up an auto-responder reply that says you received their message and that they can expect a timely response soon.
  • If you have someone available on the phone, it’s worth adding a click-to-call reservations phone number to your website so people can immediately call if they have any questions during the booking process.

Each of these options can create a direct line of communication between you and your customers, which will be much appreciated by your clients.

6. Display your packages and services so they are easy to understand.

Make a list of the different tour packages and experiences that you offer. Describe them in a few sentences, using your best details and strong yet descriptive words.

Include visual elements such as a photograph or a video with each package. Make sure your customers know what to expect, how to dress and what they’ll need to bring with them for their tour.

The secret to creating attention-grabbing website home page text
Your website has a matter of seconds to grab the attention of potential customers before they might click away, so it’s really worth focusing on what your home page text will say. How would you describe the tour packages and experiences to someone if you were in an elevator with them for 30 seconds? What’s different about your company, and why should the customer book with you specifically? If you get stuck, answering the ‘who, what, when, where and why’ questions can be a great place to begin.

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7. Reveal a bit about yourself.

Set up an “About Us” page that shows photographs of you and your staff members, and explains a bit about your professional qualifications. You might even include a short story of how the business came to life.

In addition, add photographs of your facilities and transportation vehicles if applicable to help customers build up their trust in you. Add testimonials from previous customers who were thrilled with their experiences.

8. Include an availability calendar.

Future travelers will want to easily see if you have something available that works with their schedule. Make sure your calendar is up-to-date at all times, and of course compatible with mobile access!

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9. Develop a presence on all relevant social media networks.

This could include Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Pinterest and TripAdvisor. Social networking allows you to expand your reach to customers who may have never even realized you existed in the past. Your pages and hashtags can also provide social proof of just how fun your experiences are for guests. Work hard to nurture your presence on these sites and develop trust and rapport.

10. Invest in an online booking system.

People who are researching vacations in today’s world want to be able to book a spot and pay for their reservation from the comfort of their home.

An online booking system is an essential tool to surviving the tourism market of today, and allows you to be open for business 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, no matter what part of the globe your customer is from.

There are lots of options for you to choose from, but make sure the pricing structure doesn’t hamper your cash flow, and ensure that the platform is geared specifically for the needs of tours and activities (instead of accommodation, for example). Your vendor should be constantly tweaking their software in ways that will help you run your travel business – that way, it’s more than just a booking system.

Your website is your best booking channel!

Travelers today use the Internet for the majority of their reservations, whether for their flights, their hotels or their excursions. In fact, our latest findings from the Australian and New Zealand Industry Survey results revealed that 86.43% of respondents are using real-time bookings on website as their primary tool to taking bookings.

In researching what to do at their destination, they usually go to sites like TripAdvisor. This is why you will want to have a well-developed presence on the Internet in order to gain the most customers and earn repeat business from people who frequently travel to your little corner of the world.

So to sum up, what should a travel website include to encourage bookings?

Essential attributes for your booking websiteMistakes to avoid for your booking website
Clear navigation and calls to actionMessy and cluttered content, or confusing navigation
Informative and helpful information, such as what to wear and what makes your experience differentLarge or overwhelming blocks of text – or worse, no information at all!
A website that’s responsive to all mobile device screensNon-responsive web design that’s only usable on a computer
A smooth and modern booking processA booking process that’s clunky, old, ugly or makes customers want to give up partway through
High quality and appealing imagery and video contentUsing low quality, blurry or generic photos
Clear and mobile-accessible calendar availabilityOut-of-date calendars, or expecting customers to call to make a booking. This is time-consuming for both you and your guests!
A way to contact you for help and further informationMissing contact details, or outdated phone numbers and addresses

Next steps – and even more ways to boost those bookings

Once you’ve ticked these 10 steps off, here are five more ways you can see your tour bookings skyrocket. These techniques include offering your tours through key resellers, such as TripAdvisor, Booking.com and local travel agents. This can be a simple process through the Rezdy Marketplace, and our helpful guide on giving resellers what they want can help you fine-tune your product listings.

Would you like to learn more about the research referenced in this article?

Get your hands on the Global Industry Survey results: Download here

Or grab the latest United States and Canada Industry Survey results: Download here

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