Updated March 2023 – Are you struggling to increase bookings through your website and experiencing high bounce rates?

Simply having a website won’t cut it in the highly competitive tourism industry. Rather, you need a website that is purposefully optimized for conversions – one that removes common barriers to booking and makes it easy for guests to make a reservation. In this article, we’ll show you how to make a travel website that is not only visually appealing but also optimized for bookings.

With these 10 tips, you can enhance your website’s design and functionality to increase your profits and expand your presence in the local tourism market. Here’s where to get started when it comes to optimizing your conversion rate.

1. Add clear, concise buttons

When it comes to knowing how to make a travel website for your tour and activity company, the “Book Now!” button is arguably the most important element. 

This clear and prominent 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. Streamline website navigation

When designing your website, you should consider how users will navigate it. The easier it is to move around your website, the more likely visitors will stay and interact with it. That’s why it’s critical to ensure that all other pages on your website are easily accessible from the homepage. This can be achieved by organizing the pages into logical categories, such as “Tours”, “Destinations”, “About Us”, and “Contact Us”.

Additionally, with the rise of mobile device usage, it’s important to know how to build a travel website that is mobile-responsive. This means that your website should automatically adjust to the size of the user’s screen, providing a seamless experience for all customers, regardless of what device they are using. 

Fortunately, Rezdy offers a 1-click website feature that is optimized for mobile devices, ensuring that your website is easily accessible and user-friendly for all visitors. 

3. Add high-quality photos

travel website design should consist of photos

If you want to understand how to optimize tour booking conversions on your website, including a photo gallery is a great place to start.

Along with adding one or two photos for each page, it’s important to also have a dedicated section on your website where customers can browse through a variety of images showcasing your tours and activities.

High-quality images of scenic locations and fun experiences can give potential customers a glimpse into what they can expect during their own tour. These images should be high-resolution and provide an accurate representation of your tours. You could take these pictures yourself using a smartphone with a good camera, or consider investing in a professional photo shoot to get the best results. 

4. Create quality videos for your pages

In today’s competitive market, it’s important to use all the tools available to increase types of booking and stand out from the crowd. One such tool is video content. Travelers want to see what they’re getting into before they book, and a well-crafted video showcasing the sights and sensations of your tours and activities can be a game-changer for your conversion rates.

By creating unique and engaging content featuring satisfied customers, you can provide potential clients with a taste of what they can expect when they book with you. With a little effort and the help of DIY tools or a professional videographer, you can create high-quality branded videos that can be shared across multiple advertising channels for maximum impact.

5. Make it easy to contact you

When it comes to increasing bookings with online bookings, making it easy for customers to contact you is crucial. Here are some tips on how to make a tourism website that fosters communication with your clients:

  • 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. Make your packages and services 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.

7. Show a bit of personality

To build a strong relationship with potential customers, it’s essential to establish trust and credibility. One way to do this is by creating an “About Us” page on your travel website that showcases your team and qualifications. This can help to humanize your brand and create a more personal connection with your customers. 

Adding photos of your facilities and transportation vehicles, if applicable, can also help to build trust and give customers a better understanding of what to expect from your tours or activities. Testimonials from satisfied customers are another effective way to increase credibility and build trust with new customers.

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!

9. Employ social proof on landing pages

Tourism marketing idea

Creating a strong social media strategy is crucial when learning how to create a travel website and increasing bookings for your tours and activities. Social media platforms such as Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Pinterest and TripAdvisor allow you to showcase your tours and activities to a wider audience, engage with potential customers, and gather valuable feedback. 

To make the most of your social media presence, it’s important to create unique and engaging content that aligns with your brand and resonates with your target audience. Utilize social media to post photos, videos, and stories that capture the essence of your tours and activities, and provide a glimpse into the experience you offer. By sharing these posts across various social media channels, you can increase your visibility and attract more potential customers.

10. Link your website and 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 homes.

An online booking system is an essential tool to survive in 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 websites as their primary tool for 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, it’s essential that you have a platform that is able to support the increase in incoming bookings. An online booking system such as Rezdy equips your business with top-of-the-range features for seamless operation. Features such as real-time availability, automatic guest communication, and the ability to accept secure online payments are just a handful of the advanced features you’ll be able to utilize.

Furthermore, Rezdy also offers a distribution platform – Rezdy Channel Manager that will allow you to easily connect with over 25,000 resellers in the tourism industry. From major OTAs to your local travel agent; connectivity with these resellers is just a click of a button away. Rezdy Channel Manager is available for every tour operator to use, regardless of their software. However, as a Rezdy booking software customer, Rezdy Channel Manager is a complimentary add-on.

Ready to join the thousands of Rezdy operators that increased their bookings by 27% in 2022? Start your FREE 21-day trial or book a demo with us.

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