The Internet has become the definitive way for tourism providers to interact and transact with the consumer market. The discerning traveler can now search, build an intenaray, and book accommodation and activities for their holiday online.
The challenge is how to be competitive using the online medium. You need to be able to reach you potential customers and get exposure in relevant search results, and your website must present a compelling proposition which is more appealing than your competitors.
You build exposure by presenting your product to as many online consumers as possible. This can be achieved by firstly submitting to the major search engines, listing with online tourism directories used by your consumers, and through online advertising. The better you can define the characteristics of the consumers you would like to attract the more efficient you will be at gaining relevant exposure to your market online. This consumer definition and proposition should form the basis of your website design.
Tourists will consider several factors before making a decision to purchase online. They will look for products that match their price points and budget within their ideal itinerary. Once potentials are identified they can then compare the features of one product to another, looking for a key advantage that will lead them to a greater visitor experience and better value for money.
Like any product online, you must build trust and clearly communicate your visitor experience. The visual design and ease of use of your website will effect its overall appeal and a consumers decision to book with you or a competitor. If your website looks amateurish and outdated this will be the image of your business and potential experience you present to your customers.