When you run a business, it’s crucial to offer the best quality of service/product you’re selling. But, it is only half the battle. Without an online presence, your product/service becomes unreached and eventually forgotten. Every company must have a web presence to get potential customers as long as your business is alive.
First impressions are formed quickly which also applies to travel websites now more than ever. Time spent by new users on the website is limited which means you have less time to get their attention and keep them in your website.
For travel website features, images and a standard booking system won’t suffice. Over the years the web has changed drastically and something engaging and exciting is required to strike a chord with customers.
Essential Travel Website Features
Let’s take a look at some of the winning combinations of features that a travel websites must have.
1. Augmented Reality (AR)
In recent times, augmented reality has become quite popular in the travel industry.
AR provides a virtual tour with a 3D view of reviews for nearby location, Wi-Fi hotspots, real-time weather forecast and more.
The reason for the popularity is because it allows hotels and other businesses in this field to enhance the physical environments like local sights and hotel rooms so that customers will be encouraged to visit the place. Furthermore, another main reason for this adoption is that customers are in the habit of using their smartphones when they travel, so a step towards augmented reality apps is not a big one.
Take a look at this video to find out how augmented reality can show extra information like destination information, eating joints and more.
2. Virtual Reality (VR)
Virtual reality has become another attraction point in the tourism industry. It gives guided tours of any place in the world. This will especially help travelers explore small and less-known places. By giving a 360-degree view of the different locations, travel companies and agents can let customers explore the ground before booking and increase the level of trust simultaneously.
Take a look at this video to find out how Thomas Cook used virtual reality as a part of their marketing campaign. Viewers had to find clues to win a $3,000 holiday to Los Angeles.
Blockchain in tourism is an advantageous combination as this technology can provide more security and transparency. For example, travel agents have to pass customer details to flight companies and hotels. The information passed between companies is tracked. Blockchain can make this secure by eliminating data tampering and fraud.
This video will explain in detail on how blockchain can benefit the tourism industry.
4. Big Data
Big data helps to make predictions about purchase behavior based on past patterns, trends, and associations. It is the lifeblood for companies like Amazon, Facebook, Uber, and Netflix because they can figure out what you want before you know it yourself. Travel agencies and cruise companies can improve customer experience by handling big data. Through big data analytics, travel industries can customize the user experience, formulate pricing strategies, get insights into people’s needs, improve loyalty programs and develop new marketing strategies.
Take a look at this platform called Travel compute which explains how it integrates data from various public and private sources.
ColorWhistle’s Resource Library for Travel Operators, Travel Agents, and Travel Businesses
5. Progressive Web Apps (PWAs)
Progressive web apps are nothing but modern web pages that also act as mobile apps. This is quite new in the travel market, but it is catching up quickly. These apps have the usefulness of a native app but, when accessed through a browser, it does not require any downloading of apps which is a huge plus on conversion and usage ratio. If a user books a hotel through PWA, the user can access the information via the browser without internet connectivity too. Additionally, the PWA web page can be saved on the user’s home screen and used as a mobile app. If you like to learn more about PWAs, click here.
Here are some of the travel companies using PWAs.
6. Search Filters
Search filtering is useful as there are different parameters involved in travelling. Below is an example of a search filter which ‘humanizes’ the online booking experience by matching with the users’ expectations and requirements.
We live in a visual world and images are the most powerful way to inspire and transmit messages. They make a strong statement and will have a bigger impact on your website. Also, people interact more in social networking sites that has plenty of images. So it’s safe to say that users will stay longer and interact more in a website that has lovely images.
Testimonials, customer reviews, and recommendations are increasing by the day as users want to know others experience before making a decision. And lots of people buy items online as the products had a five star rating and great reviews in the comment section. Be it a travel or ecommerce reviews increase conversion rate. And as an added bonus, reviews help to improve your sites SEO ranking.
9. Predictive Search
Predictive search is nothing but a drop-down list that pops up immediately while typing, so that you don’t have to hit ‘search’ to find out common queries. This is an excellent way to avoid displaying a large list of results, finding results quickly and to display questions the user hasn’t thought of. It saves on typing if the user is using a device which does not have a physical keyboard like a tablet.
If the pricing is not clear and has hidden charges and taxes, there is a high chance of the user spending their money elsewhere. So, if you want to increase your profits, it is essential to know the importance of clear pricing. A pricing table must be simple and clear so that users’ can choose the appropriate package. It shouldn’t offer too much or too little, just the right amount of information for them to distinguish between the packages.
11. Easy Booking System
To provide real-time updates, make sure your website is linked to a property management system (PMS). It will make things easier as they have to provide information like destination, check-in and check-out dates, contact details, and other travel related data. And make sure you offer multiple payment methods like credit card, debit card, PayPal, or even through net banking to make the process easy.
Start Strengthening Your Website With These Amazing Travel Website Features
In this digital world, even the travel industry has taken a new dimension. These days, travelers use online travel portal to meet all their travel needs.
Make sure your travel website design has a treasure-trove of information from where to go, how to get to the chosen destination, places to stay, and things to be avoided, so that you can give the customer a memorable trip of their lifetime.
Disclaimer: The videos and images in this blog are the property of the respective website owners. They are not owned by ColorWhistle.
Please share couple of websites references you have developed till now, I have plan to develop some websites / portal
I need a digital marketing expert for my travel website, because it’s great to read your articles on travel niche!!
Hi! Glad that you liked it. We write blogs very frequently. Do check back for more useful information!