Tour & activity operators of the world, rejoice! If you want to improve your sales online without having to email your ‘takes 7 days to respond’ web designer, this is the post for you.

In fact, I’m going to say something that could get me in big trouble with my team: you are more important to the success of your website than your web designer! It may seem strange that I say it given the nature of my business but it’s totally true.

Even though tour operator web design – and everything that goes into that process – is still very important, what’s even MORE important is the content of a website. So starting today, here are 5 simple improvements many (if not most) tour operators can make to their website starting today:

Add More Photos! Add Better Photos!

Given that people are paying you to go see and experience things, why don’t you – you know – show them those things?

I’ve never understood why so many tour operator websites are just walls of text. You may be a good writer, but one photo speaks for itself!

In fact, photos of your guests having fun on your trips are an excellent way to show them not just the experience, but also – and this goes right to to the core of human psychology – helps imagine themselves in that same photo and how their friends would react on Facebook when they see it.

Seriously. It’s not just about surf lessons, it’s about showing people photos of them doing a surf lesson!

Check out how Escapegoat, a Rezdy customer from South Australia, does it on their Mt Lofty day trips page. We worked with them to make sure that the photos truly showed the value of their trip. Check this out:


Don’t you see how much value just the above photo would bring to their marketing?
Rather than just saying ‘feed the kangaroos!’ people can see EXACTLY how it works! Instantly people’s hearts are filled with the excitement as they see themselves doing exactly the same thing.

Remove Photos From Rainy Days

One thing I’ve never quite understood is why people upload photos to their gallery of people having not-quite-right experiences. You can’t control the weather, but you can control whether you put the images on your website!

The effect is surprising. Just try it on your own site – switch between photos from a sunny day and a rainy day and you’ll notice how big a difference it makes.

Create a Totally Engaging About Page

Think about it – why does someone visit an About Page? They’re looking for confirmation that they’re making the right decision.

That’s why here are three keys to a great About Page: being personal, adding great photos and demonstrating your expertise.
Be yourself and tell your story. As Simon Sinek, expert in human motivation describes:

“People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it.”

This is why on my own website I describe the exact reasons for starting my own business. People aren’t looking at your about page to learn about your company and they’re not looking to learn about you, either. They’re looking for comfort and they’re looking to like your own personality.
Add photos so people can get a genuine feel for yourself and your team. Even better – make sure they’re fun photos.
Lastly, demonstrate what makes you worthy. Talk about how many years you’ve been doing this and your qualifications. It’s perfectly fine to list this out in dot points.

Check out this post from Hubspot which goes into much more detail.

Add Testimonials

Few things are more convincing than seeing that other people have had a great time. If you have a great TripAdvisor rating, you need to show this off, proudly!  If not? Rezdy has 3 quick ways to improve your Tripadvisor rating.

If your business isn’t on TripAdvisor at all, make sure your testimonials include photos where possible. Many people are now quite suspicious of testimonials so demonstrating their legitimacy helps.

If you can, whip out a camera during your trip and get the testimonials on video. Don’t just ask them for a testimonial as they’ll have no idea what to say. Just ask them a couple of questions such as ‘what do you think of the trip so far?’ and go from there.

Remove Distractions

You’ve worked super hard to get visitors to your website. Do you really want them to click across to Twitter or Facebook in that crucial moment? There’s a big chance that once they’ve over at those sites, that they’re gone forever.

Having links to your social profiles is fine but embedding your Facebook or Twitter stream is generally not as helpful as you might think. Think about it – filling your website with headlines, logos, buttons, widgets and social streams runs counter to your goal, which is to sell more tours!

It’s tempting to add these things to your site because of an argument that they could help your business. Yet, every time you add something, you remove focus. Attention should always be directed only to the most important elements and everything else should either be de-prioritized or removed.

Wrapping Up

All of these tips are designed to help people see clearly that your business is the obvious choice. This is the basic principle of effective web design – not to be beautiful, but to organize content in such a way that solves the goal of a business which is in your case, to get more bookings.

tour operator website checklist

This blog was written by Matthew Newton, Founder of Tourism Tiger.