A guest blog by Designmodo

Travel and tour websites are booming once again after years of the travel disruptions as a result of the pandemic. According to studies, nearly 150 million travel bookings are completed online annually, and 2021 was no exception. Furthermore, experts predict a 15% growth in worldwide online travel sales and hotel bookings this year. It’s starting to seem that the industry is finally heading towards normality.

With all the exciting news, unfortunately, not all travel and tour websites feel are experiencing the same success. Recent surveys showed that many booking websites still experience a considerable decline in return site visits and retention rates. So, what’s the matter? The truth is, despite the positive climate, there are still multiple factors that may be dragging these websites down. As a result, this decreases users’ engagement and may even scare away loyal clients.

If you are one of those who have a perfect booking platform, but you still cannot regain your position in the market, then you should check out our list of 5 top reasons why visitors leave travel and tour websites forever. It will help narrow down your potential problems and eliminate all possible issues. Giving your company a solid chance to move forward and reclaim its spot.

Top 5 reasons why visitors leave some travel and tour websites forever

Multiple reasons may force visitors to leave the booking website forever, from design choices that can be offensive to a specific group, an inactive support team, or simply bad timing. Some of these causes are objective, while others are personal. It is hard to eliminate them without in-depth knowledge of your audience and their behavior patterns.

However, you can still do something to fix this. First and foremost, let’s address the top 5 biggest reasons why visitors leave travel and tour websites forever.

Server downtime

It may come as a surprise, but your perfectly-designed website powered by the most reliable server in the world experiences downtime every year. According to statistics, web platforms are out of the game up to 120 hours yearly. This outage duration can be much more significant if platforms use questionable services.
Although a temporary outage doesn’t seem like a big deal, it causes multiple problems. For instance, it could result in:

  • Loss of precious personal data
  • Low productivity
  • Eroded confidence
  • SLA penalties
  • Unhappy customers who will leave and never come back, and may even share negative reviews.

To make matters worse, there’s not much you can do when it comes to server downtime. Server providers, no matter how sophisticated, cannot guarantee 100% uptime. This is because hardware and software are imperfect, and external factors such as human error, power outages, and even cyber-attacks happen all the time.

All that’s left to do is deal with its consequences by addressing the issue as fast as possible and, most importantly, creating a life-saving status page. This keeps visitors in the loop, eliminates confusion, and regains trust. By displaying the current status of the page and services, you’re providing them with a reasoning.

tour website

Status page in Designmodo

Cluttered homepage

Did you know that your homepage influences over 90% of clients’ purchasing decisions? Indeed, good website design, well-placed incentives, and impressive visuals can do wonders in luring newcomers in and pushing consumers down the sales funnel.

As many marketers agree, the ideal homepage should look clean, properly organized, and well-structured not to distract attention from the prime goal. It also needs to be informative, provide value, leave a long-lasting positive impression, and offer all crucial functionality such effectie online booking systems.

Therefore, a cluttered homepage with poor navigation and terrible user experience is an absolute no-no. It will create obstacles within the visitors’ path to finalizing the reservation. Which may eliminate the desire to buy from you, discourage users from coming back, and will leave a lasting negative impression.

Poor performance

Poor performance is one of the biggest reasons why visitors leave booking websites forever. The truth is that people cannot tolerate malfunction and poor performance in 2022. According to Kissmetrics, over 40% of visitors will leave the website if the loading takes more than 3 seconds. More so, they can quickly shift to competitors without regret or giving you a second chance. Therefore, a website’s performance plays a crucial role in retention and keeping visitors in the loop.

To ensure your platform works in a way that satisfies current customer’s expectations and requirements, it is highly recommended to eliminate these issues:

  • Slow load time
  • Lousy content filtering
  • Malfunctions or instability of essential components
  • Overwhelming animations and dynamic effects
  • Inconsistency in user experience
  • Poorly-written scripts
  • Poorly optimized images and videos
  • Unsupported formats of audio and video files
  • Unresponsive layout
  • Mobile-unfriendly behavior
  • Inaccessibility
  • Small cache capabilities
  • Network congestion
  • Bandwidth throttling
  • Multiple redirects

No evident call-to-action button

Did you know that over 96% of site visitors are not ready to buy from your platform? Nevertheless, despite this reluctance, all successful companies can bring around the lion’s share of this audience and compel them to finalize their reservations. What is their secret? The secret lies in a well-thought-out sales funnel where the call-to-action button fulfills such critical tasks as:

  • Telling users what they need to do next by keeping them in the loop
  • Showing users where they go from the landing page or product page which helps to eliminate confusion
  • It triggers the proper emotional response in customers and motivates them to complete their actions by using short compelling words or phrases
  • It meets consumers’ needs because many people expect and depend on CTAs to finalize their bookings.

Therefore, a poorly-designed call-to-action button may ruin your chances of winning that booking. It removes the effectiveness of the funnel and discourages visitors from using the platform again.

Poor mobile user experience

Smart phones have been with us for decades; however, only recently has mobile optimization become more crucial for all websites. According to Statista, mobile devices generated 54.4% of global website traffic in 2021. And in the experiences industry, this percentage is much more significant.

Recent studies showed that 70% of customers search through booking websites on a smartphone, with more than half of this audience moving on to competitors after encountering a frustrating and unsatisfied mobile browsing experience. This means that the mobile version of your website is of top priority. It has to be flawless and provide the best user experience; otherwise, visitors leave and never come back.

Therefore, ensure the mobile version of your booking platform has these qualities:

  • Responsive layout
  • Slide-out menu with well-delineated critical sections and a link to immediate booking
  • Proper typeface size
  • Well-contrasted color palette
  • A clear call-to-action button that has 48 pixels of touch target, including padding
  • Simple forms that adapt to multiple mobile screens
  • Full accessibility
  • Well-optimized images that do not take up the entire screen and “eat” the whole bandwidth
  • Properly structured data
  • Design created for thumbs and eyes

Pay attention to your bounce rate

bounce rates in travel and tourism websites

Bounce rate is a marketing term used in analyzing a website’s traffic. It indicates how many visitors have left a page without performing a specific action, such as buying something or clicking on a link. These rates are measured by comparing the number of website visitors to actions during a specified period.

Bounce rate is an important element of your travel and tour website because it demonstrates how well users are engaged with your site. According to an article published by Your Story, users will engage with your website if the bounce rate it’s between 26-40%. If it lies between 40-60%, then oftentimes there is a decline in user engagement. This is when it’s time to take a closer look at your website for its performance and marketing strategy to locate possible issues. Finally, if the bounce rate ranges between 60-100%, there is a high chance that there are underlying issues within your travel and tour website. From issues with your content, functionality, or marketing campaigns. If this is the case, it’s recommended to do a complete do-over and change the overall website strategy.

So, where can you find it? The bounce rate is usually found in Google Analytics in reports that include a data table. Start by opening the ‘Behavior tab’, then go to ‘Site Content’ and then click on ‘All Pages’. Alternatively, ‘Acquisition’ and ‘Conversion’ tabs also include information about bounce rates.

Conclusion

Keeping your visitors on your booking website is a true challenge. Factors such as oversaturated market, tough competition, and ever-changing preferences of the target audience – may decrease traffic and engagement with the brand. Forcing visitors never to return to your travel and tour website.

However, there is a solution to minimize these drastic impacts. Ensure your web platform operates flawlessly, satisfies current standards, and most importantly, meets visitors’ needs, requirements, and expectations. For this, it’s best to check your website doesn’t inherit any of the 5 website issues listed above and fix any website marketing fails your travel and tour website may have.

By incorporating your travel and tour website with an advanced booking system such as Rezdy, you’re enhancing your website’s booking processes. With features such as real-time availability viewer, automated communication, and integrations to various payment gateways, your website will surely outperform your competitors.

Curious to see how Rezdy can enhance your travel and tour website? Start a FREE 21-day trial or book a demo today.

If you enjoyed this article then make sure to follow the Rezdy blog. There are a lot of marketing tools and tour operator tips designed with businesses like yours in mind.

Written By – Andrian Valeanu

Andrian Valeanu is a web designer and indie maker. His interests include information technologies, web design, and email marketing.

Founder & Editor-in-chief, Design Modo

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