What is the intent with which a person searches for a Travel website? At what sight will the explorer stop to think -
This is the vacation destination I have been waiting for!
If a page can instill this feeling into the explorer, he is bound to enquire further. Isn’t this the same reaction you expect from each visitor on your Travel website?
Exotic beaches, thrilling adventure sports, lush green peaceful country-side landscapes, ski trips over snowcapped mountains are some the fantasies that lure your audience.
Wanderlust is the new-age term that has found sensation among young explorers. Arousal of a feeling wanderlust is the goal of every Travel website.
How does your Travel website generate ‘Wanderlust’?
Any effective website depends on multiple components; in case of a Travel website, amongst these elements, the design takes precedence. In case of a travel website, the Presentation and Appearance are the primary concerns, followed by the content and the utilities.
Travel is more an emotional getaway rather than a necessity. It is driven by cumulated emotions and social influences. As we see the trends evolving, images and videos drive emotional responses effectively than text. Hence, the visual component on your travel website plays a major role in influencing a visitor into action.
As there are multiple services involved in planning an entire vacation, the workflow is of utmost importance. If the user can glide through your Travel website with smooth navigation and seamless workflow, this contributes to the overall user experience.
So what type of a service provider are you? – Is it a travel blogging website; are you a travel and tours company; are you advertising the Tourism of your country/state/city; or are you an online travel booking host?
Barring the extent of information that is projected on your website, your overall objective remains the same in essence. Depending on the type of service you provide, here is an overview of the necessary ingredients of a travel website.
- Lucrative Visuals of the destinations
- Effective content marketing
- Information of locations and activities at the destination
- Travel booking options
- Stay/Hotel booking services
- Local tour guides
- Local Transport booking information
- Local eat-outs and dining options
- SEO and Analytics
- Personal stories, feedbacks, and reviews
- Ability to Navigate locations using Maps
Effective and Seamless design for entire booking process
Most Travel websites may not encompass all the services enlisted, but the end-to-end solutions must constitute most of them.
Taking into account the multitude of parties involved in the services provided by a Travel website and their interdependency, the process of creating a Travel website from scratch may be considered as pretty complex. Hence, multiple ‘Website Builder’ Services have cropped up, which act as a consolidated platform with access to all utilities required in building a Travel and Tourism website.
Though the primary question of whether to start from scratch or build upon an existing platform remains, let’s go through the most popular ‘Website Builder’ services available for constructing a Travel website.
5 most popular Travel Website Builders
Wix is a popular cloud-based development platform for creating websites. It is known for the wide variety of standard templates it offers which are ready to use. The Travel website templates contain specialized features for each domain of application. Wix supports drag-and-drop elements making website building easy and provides travel blogging for your website. The premium pack starts with as low as 29$ per month with 10GB storage space and an online store.
Weebly is at par with Wix at providing a range of fancy templates to complement the theme of your website. Weebly is simple to set up and it too provides an easy interface with drag-and-drop elements to help design your custom website. Weebly also constitutes a mobile app where you can view the website Traffic and Edit your website. At Weebly, the cost ranges from 5$ per month to 25$ per month with multiple utilities of online payment gateway, Google Ads Credits, Inventory Management and more.
WordPress is a widely popular blogging platform, but it too provides several templates – most of them for free, to start building your customized website. Since WordPress is used by multiple small-scale websites it has a huge community of developers supporting it. This facilitates an easy resolution to problems and supports coming up with customized solutions for your Travel website. When you are low on budget, WordPress is the right option to turn to for developing professional looking websites. WordPress provides you with unlimited control and flexibility while WordPress development companies are easy to come across at a low cost.
If you are looking out for designer websites which are more artistic and image-driven, Squarespace provides you with that elite look. Squarespace limits your customization to color, and image changes while the Squarespace development team controls major changes. It has no customized templates for the Travel Industry, but you can always use a standard one and customize it further. All of the Squarespace templates are mobile-optimized, so you do not have to spend time streamlining the code further to adapt to your designs. It has built-in apps and no separate app marketplace to browse and procure add-ins.
VEVs is an industry concentrated Website builder. It provides niche categories like Hotel websites, Holiday property, and Vacation Rentals. It is especially focused on providing small and medium-sized companies to quickly set up websites and start delivering. VEVs concentrates on providing an all-round business solution for you while retaining the aesthetic aspect of the website. The VEVs web templates might not be as rich as on WIX or Squarespace, but it serves the purpose of getting a quick setup done.
Based on the cost of customization, you can estimate the right Website Builder for you. For specialized changes in these templates, you will need to reach out to a Website development company which will help you in achieving the perfect look-and-feel that your Travel website needs.
Building a Travel and Tourism website
If you intend not to go with the customized templates, you can opt for Building a website from the ground up., If you are building a travel website from scratch there are stages of decision-making you must go through to start development.
1. Buy a Domain
Enterprises usually go with their company names to register a domain. In case you need your Domain name to be catchy and use a standard lingo, which aligns with your business, deciding on an entirely new domain should do the job for you. Domain names that work the best are ones, which are catchy, short, keywords-rich and embedded with the name of your company.
2. Decide on a platform
Either you choose an off-the-shelf solution provided above or decide on a framework on which you will be building your website. Companies usually opt for this when they have a niche requirement that they need to implement using a specific technology. The requirement might be an extended functionality, performance, flexibility or scalability. In either case, you need to decide on the technology that will be at the base of your website, like PHP, Java, JS, plain HTML/CSS, .Net or something more advanced; which caters to your specifications.
Companies aren’t usually inclined towards this option as they are unable to establish an all-round cost for web development and time involved. If you approach a website development company, they will be glad to come up with an estimated cost that you would incur to get your Travel website on the floor.
The other alternative would be to hire web development experts who could guide you and develop a Travel website pertaining to your requirements.
3. Integrate with third-party applications
The agencies that come into play while making a travel booking are Transport agencies which will book your Car, Train, Bus, Flight and other Transport for you. There are Hotel booking agencies which reserve a place for you to stay in. Further, they involve booking the tourist places to visit in case of early reservations, and much more.
Depending on the services that you will be offering on your Travel website, you would need to integrate an API for each service. There are alternative APIs pertaining to each service available. Do go through the blog to know Travel and Booking APIs for Online Travel and Tourism Service Providers.
4. SEO and Analytics
Once your Travel website is completely designed, the content on it must be catered to the search engine web crawlers. In the maze of Travel service providers, the uniqueness of your service should stand out. Hence, the content of your travel website should be Search Engine Optimized to be found. It should have relevant keywords on relevant pages, and a constant churning of data should make sure that the authority of your website gradually grows. This is to make sure that your website is the first thing that the visitor sees once he puts in his travel query.
5 Spread the word
Once the site is launched, your job is not done. You need to work towards marketing it further. This includes numerous channels paid and non-paid. They include Facebook, Google paid campaigns, having influencers write Travel blogs for you, and Press Releases. Social media events and Email marketing also help spread the word about this new website in town. The most frequently used technique by newly launched Travel companies are Discount Offers for online bookings to reel in new travelers. Keeping the priorities and preferences of the traveler in mind, you will be able to devise and adept marketing strategy for your Travel website.
Last but not least, as they say -
Adventure might hurt you, but monotony will kill you.
As the landscape for Wanderlust keeps expanding, so should your travel website keep evolving. Dynamically coming up with newer content to keep those travelers hooked is a mandate for all travel websites. The travel domain is gradually moving to mobile applications. Instagram, Facebook and Tumblr integrations that help the travelers instantly exhibit their explorations are expanding the travel market further. Reviews serve the main source of feedback on any destination. All this embedded in a compact mobile application is the future of the travel industry.
Pack your bags and be prepared for the long haul.