So why shouldn’t that initial process be responsive, helpful and beautiful? That’s exactly what we aim to achieve with all our travel web design.
With the launch of our latest travel site, another in a series of websites we have designed for the Leisure Pass Group, we wanted to take a look back at why our travel websites have been so successful for our clients. The Vienna Pass website echoes the design of the other sites (Rome & Vatican, London, Berlin, Dublin) whilst retaining a unique identity. These are not carbon copy sites.
In a recent BBC news article, it was stated that the tourist industry in the UK reached record levels in 2014. Our great nation received 38.4 million overseas visitors, who spent a whopping £21.73bn. Visitors from North America went up by 4% (3.69 million), whilst the number of European visitors rose by 7% to 25.83 million.
Travel website design doesn’t have to be basic and functional. As with all industries, sites need to be appealing and inspiring. The aesthetic of the site is often even more important for tourist sites than others. One such example isn’t your typical high-end 5* hotel, but a unique hostel in the heart of London’s SoHo district. The SoHostel provides guests with clean, comfy accommodation and the profits go towards helping the homeless. A very worthy client to work for! Functionally speaking, we put in a rapid availability and booking system, with straightforward navigation and linked up to a booking system (provided by a third party – Almeria). Above all, the site is bright, fresh, contemporary and user-friendly.
Travel isn’t always just for leisure; it can be inspiring and provide life-long memories. Canterbury Travel’s Visit Santa website is the gateway to arguably one of the most exciting trips a family (or just the young at heart) can take – seeing Father Christmas in Lapland. We wanted to make sure that the magic surrounding such a trip would be captured from the very first page. It needed to be an easily navigated site that would encourage people to book their trip. We worked with the company to provide web branding, design, online strategy and a content management system.
Compromise? No thanks.
People should be able to plan their holidays on the go. Some agencies might use a responsive website – which uses flexible images and grids that resize according to the device being used. This can mean that whilst in a 2G or 3G connection downloads can be slow and can affect the quality of the website view. We knew that the Leisure Pass Group websites, for example, would work better with an adaptive website; where only selected, truly relevant parts of the website are sent to the mobile device, meaning a better download speed.
Travel is all about the coming together of different languages, cultures and this needs to be reflected in the site. English is a popular and international language, but you shouldn’t rely on overseas customers’ understanding of it. The term ‘lost in translation’ is highly applicable in much of the tourist website design we see elsewhere! We utilise our relationships with our translation partners to ensure seamless conversions to multiple languages.
People know what they want to find out and they demand that the information is at their fingertips. It’s vital that holiday website design uses intuitive navigation, with clear page titles, tabs and header and side bars. In order to influence buying decisions, you need to put the facts in front of prospective travellers. Customers can browse attractions, options and prices. Everything they need to know to make a purchase.
In collaboration with Oakley Global Business Solutions, we developed an app for iPhone, iPad and Android App for the London Pass. It seemed a natural progression to go one step further than the website; the app contains a London Travel Guide. The app is free to download and provides further assistance for tourists planning a trip to London. Without being a hard-sell item, it offers users handy maps, information about attractions, ideas for days out and a guide to the main areas of London; as well as this, it does supply information on how the London Pass can save money on visiting the attractions. This is a great way of further promoting the product in a consumer-friendly way.
But the real test of success for tourism web design is in bookings. We were delighted to hear that the London Pass website enjoyed increased overall conversion rates and a dramatic rise in tablet conversions of over 50%. The SoHostel site enjoyed huge traffic due to our PR (with articles in the Daily Mail and the Metro) and the hotel was fully booked for the New Year period within four days of the site launch.
To see more Webheads websites visit our Portfolio page.