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Tour operator website design: 6 elements that make or break your website

The Bókun Team • September 1, 2022

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Did you know it roughly takes 0.0 5 seconds for users to have an opinion about your website?

When a visitor reaches your website, you have an incredibly small window to make a good impression, grab their attention and most importantly sell. So having a website that is engaging, well structured and easy to use that works for you and not against you is quite crucial. But why?

Most sales in the travel and tourism industry happen online:

  • 83% of US adults want to book their trips online
  • 72% of mobile bookings happen within 48 hours of any last-minute Google searches that include the words ‘tonight’ and ‘today’
  • 82% of all travel bookings around the world took place without any human interaction in 2018

We’ve broken down our top tips for website optimisation.

Your audience

We recommend carrying thorough research on your ideal customers. Understanding who your audience is, what they like and their overall personas are key aspects to consider when building your website and your wider content strategy.

You want to cater to their needs, wants and interests. Having content that is appealing, relevant and relatable on your website will help you stand out from the competition.

Whether your tours are more suited for a family day out, retired couples or young adventurers, make sure that your tours and website highlight exactly that: family fun together or wild adventures and experiences your audience can easily book with you.

Your website isn’t just there for show, it is there to help you generate leads, increase sales and grow your business so ensure your website engages with your visitors in the correct way.

Design

Who doesn’t love a good looking website? How your website looks is vital. We all like finding what we’re looking for easily and have a smooth journey.

Remember: Keep your design simple and captivating. Less is better sometimes.

You must maintain your brand image. Your website should always reflect who you are as a business, and visually connect with the audience. The visual appeal of your website not only contributes to your brand awareness but also increases your credibility.

Sounds like hard work, but it can be very simple. Using our non-coding advanced website editor, you can drag and drop elements to create your individual pages tailored to your unique branding.

source: https://www.viator.com/

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Curated Navigation Menu

This is a crucial element that guides people through your website and helps them find things with ease. Therefore, it should be curated with care.

Ensure you have an easy to navigate menu that includes ‘Things to do’, maybe ‘Places to see’, so your visitors are only a few clicks away from booking a tour or an experience. And remember, you want everything to be mobile friendly too.

How to have the best navbar:

  • Have straightforward titles
  • Don’t overdo it : 5-7 menu items is an optimal range
  • Horizontal or vertical? Up to you
  • Be consistent with the navbar throughout your website
  • Clarity: all of your items should be easy to see (use a solid background if the menu is fixed and scrolls along)
  • Add shadow to create depth and make the navbar stand out more
  • Highlight the page someone’s currently on (underline, bold, coloured text or background)
  • Emphasise important links, like the ‘signup’ or ‘book’ buttons
  • Optional: Use icons

 Source: https://www.theo2.co.uk/up-at-the-o2/climb

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Purposeful Visuals

All the visuals you use throughout your website should be functional, have a purpose and tell their own story. Just by looking at the imagery, a reader should be able to tell what the page is about. Remember that it’s all about the first impression!

You have a platform to highlight what your tours are all about and promote your experiences. A well-chosen hero image can be the driving factor for in the decision process of your travellers.

79% of travellers say they take photos and videos posted online into consideration when booking an activity. Pandasafaris are a great example. If you wouldn’t read any of the homepage text and only look at the images, you’d still understand that their product is about tours, experiences, activities.

Tip: Videos are a great way of showcasing your offering too.

Tripadvisor Reviews

Social proof will help you drive bookings, make you more visible, expand the conversation about your business and increase sales figures. If you don’t have reviews on your website, now is time to consider their importance and why they should definitely be on your website.

Roughly 68% of travellers say that reviews help them learn about the tours they’re interested in, get a feel about the company and their customer service. 90% of shoppers read at least one review before deciding to make a purchase.

Your business can build significant trust and credibility from a steady stream of positive reviews. One of the more interesting findings of recent research is just how powerful reviews are at building your company’s online identity.

Responding to Tripadvisor reviews boosts revenue and increases the number of bookings generated through Online Travel Agents too. So, if you have a Tripadvisor page, you should definitely link your reviews to your website.

Our advanced website editor has a Tripadvisor reviews widget built-in, so you can easily show your best reviews on your website.

Link your social media accounts to get more feedback & comments and share inspiration for trips and photos. Using Instagram, you can upload your pictures directly to your account to give your potential new guests an idea of what awaits them if they book with you.

Mobile Friendly

70% of all customers do their travel research on a smartphone. Your website should be mobile and tablet optimised as well, so you should always consider your design needs depending on the display device.

Bókun PRO includes a fully responsive booking website, to feature your brand and products. You get a free Godaddy domain for your unique website URL.

Try the advanced website upgrade with Bókun Pro.

Start your journey with Bokun for a free 14-day trial to experience how simple it is to start and grow your tours & activities business.