Imagine making a travel website in just a day. No interactions with developers, no miscommunication with designers and no need for code.
And the results?
A spectacular website capable of captivating travellers and fulfilling their tour and activity desires.
But right now, the quest for a travel website has probably led you waist deep into research, confusing conversations with web developers and designers and incomplete DIY websites made with website builders. Let’s not forget the exorbitant costs these experts quote!
Thing is, it’s really quite easy to skip the confusing work and pop out a fully functional travel website for business. In this article, you are going to learn exactly how travel and tour websites are efficiently made in a matter of hours and just a fraction of standard market costs.
The Secret Sauce Is A Website Builder, But Not Just Any Kind!
We already dished the dirt on the top website builders for travel businesses (read our website builders review here if you haven’t already). We concluded that when it comes to the travel industry, the clear pick is a travel website builder. The Vacation Labs tour operator software comes with all the essentials to build an attractive travel website. With impressive tech and superb UI, the Vacation Labs website builder is the best for tour and activity operators. And, here’s what sets it apart from the others:
It Comes With A Travel Content Management System (CMS)
Vacation Labs has a content management system which meets the travel industry’s requirements. It helps you control pre-made content sections for easy addition and editing of text, videos and images. Any other CMS would provide generic sections which need customization possibly through the use of code or layers of unwanted placeholders with no relevance to the page.
It Is A SaaS Product
SaaS (Software as a Service) products are great because they can be used on any device through the internet. There is no need for downloading the software or specific programs at high cost. Simply sign in and start building online. It’s that easy! Other benefits include specialised plans based on business needs and timely system enhancements available to all users.
It Is A Travel Website Builder
There are tons of website builders but, with most of them, time and expertise of a developer to create specialized webpages is essential. And, so is the service of a designer to pick out colour combinations and section placements. With Vacation Labs, you have pre-set sections designed with travellers in mind. The system allows SEO enrichment and prioritizes top sections of the site for catchy information and calls-to-action (CTA). This reduces time spent in decision-making and research.
Equipped with a complete set of tools to produce a fully transactional website, Vacation Labs certainly deserves your attention if you are looking at a value for money travel website. Let’s take a sneak peek of what the travel website builder can do to for travel commerce.
To get started on the look and feel of the website, here’s the specialised website backend that controls everything seen on the site.
Let’s Begin With The Basics
With this system, you have the opportunity to change pretty much anything on the final website. The General settings come with devoted options to upload your custom website logo, favicon, website name and domain. You get to link your social media accounts to your website here too. All you need is the link to your main profile pages. No need for additional widgets or code.
There’s a smart setting here too that can activate different currencies and languages for visitors on the website. It’s great for travel agencies targeting international customers. These options allow foreign clients and those with poor English get comfortable with your online travel store. Instead of closing the site when it loads in English or with native prices they can change the details to uncover your tours and activities. Auto-translation settings are also available for added convenience.
Once the new additions are saved on the website, there’s a quick preview option to see the website on the backend itself. A preview site can also be generated in a separate tab for a full test run.
A variety of components go into making a successful website theme. To help create different travel website themes, you have the option to pick and choose different elements with unique designs. Everything from the website header down to the buttons on the page has assorted options.
Mixing and matching these elements can provide your website a unique look with the ease of this website builder. To choose a style it takes only a click.
You can make use of added control and customization options to choose your brand colour and typeface to apply in relevant places.
Let’s look at the build-a-theme elements to gauge its uniqueness.
Each of these elements come with distinctive features. For example, the Header provides style options that enable a floating navigation bar to remain visible to the visitor at any section when they scroll through a webpage. This is a handy feature for travel agencies looking to for higher brand visibility on their site. It also improves navigation for site users.
The tour cards section on the homepage comes with a carousel feature. The styling of tour cards, in turn, can be modified in distinctive ways to compliment or contrast the look and feel of the homepage. A popular choice is the card option that unveils tour overviews in brief. This content may also boost your travel website SEO.
Within the collection section, there are similar options to match your tour section on the homepage. You may also add a background image or colour to any section to make it stand out on the home page.
Besides these elements, personalized background images or colour codes can be introduced to any page within the theme section.
This is where the real control comes in. With the Vacation Labs website builder, you have the option to craft a travel website homepage.
Deciding the navigation flow is fully in the hands of the system’s users. What comes first and which navigation options should be skipped can be simply done by dragging and dropping the desired tours and tour collections in line. Take a look here:
A search tours option is available on the navigation, for the ultimate browsing experience. If you want better visibility and placement of the search bar, just switch its position to the homepage banner with the click of a button.
Amplifying the impact of your website’s first look as it loads is most critical and Vacation Labs website builder helps you customize your homepage banner with a breeze. Choose between the option of an image or video banner carousel. For a video banner, a simple YouTube video link is sufficient for moving pixels on the website. Enhance visitor engagement by adding homepage banners with your USP (unique selling proposition) and encourage action with a clickable button placed upfront and clear.
More than one banner slide can be created through the backend offering ample opportunity to add more than one CTA to target different travellers.
The general flow of content on this pre-developed website meets the travel industry standards and excel beyond. The first tagline on the banner serves as primary heading (H1) text that impacts your search engine ranking. Following the captivating banner is a content section to describe the core features and offers of your travel website. Make the best use of this section to include relevant keywords that the target audience may use in a search bar.
After the ‘Popular Tours’ carousel on the homepage is another section for text content to describe the variety of products you offer. The collection section on the homepage also has dedicated placeholder for further text content to be added. These too can be utilised to reap SEO benefits.
When it comes to sales, trust trumps everything else. Beautiful pictures of the of mountains and rustic cities are not enough. Engaging content that teleports people to their dream destinations is not enough. Customers need assurance that they can rely on a service before making a purchase online. You will find it easy with confidence boosters and trust builders throughout the website.
Want to enhance your website with valuable reviews, ratings and certificates of excellence from TripAdvisor? Make use of strategic placeholders on the homepage and product pages for TripAdvisor badges and widgets to be displayed. It also links with a profile on the review platform and reflects the registered business name and reviews so far.
You can make your homepage network better with social media with a dedicated section for Facebook. It can be activated to highlight recent activities, forthcoming events or your best liked products right on your homepage. The widget displays the content live for visitors to easily scroll through it to know more.
For better impact, you may want to use the testimonials section, add reviews and feedback, and spread the word about guest experiences with you. These can be added from the TripAdvisor reviews received or comments/compliments given by actual customers in person. Their real names and pictures can be added to humanise and authenticate their reviews.
Authentic tour operators need to prove they are accountable. This is possible through affiliations with relevant government bodies and independent organisations that are transparent to the public. They may have rules and guidelines to ensure discipline among members. Some of the associations in India include- IATO, ATOAI and the Ministry Of Tourism- Government of India. Affiliations like these ensure accountable and reliability of a business.
To promote your products and increase sales, you can also create discount coupons and put them on the homepage or product pages. The Vacation Labs booking engine integrated with the website builder helps automate the coupon discount wherever applicable.
When it comes to the tour pages there’s no need to bother about design and content placement. A preset format is already in place and ready for use. The only outside element needed is content- text and photographs. From the website builder admin panel, you can upload the desired content in designated fields to show up in the pre-defined sections like Overview, Inclusions & Exclusions, Highlights, Itinerary and Pick-up Point.
With catchy headlines/ tour names draw visitors into the tours, capture them with a fascinating tour overview. Riddle the overview with most searched and relevant keywords for the target audience to find the website online.
The inclusions, exclusions and highlights offer brief bites of information so visitors are quickly aware of the service on offer.
The itinerary section allows elaborate tour and activity details and the pick-up point can be used to mark the start location for guests. The latter is marked on Google Maps to assist travellers better.
More intricate features included on the tour pages are the floating ‘Book Now’ or ‘Enquire Now’ button and the confidence boosters that hover along with it.
To the right of the page, your TripAdvisor affiliation will show along with the latest reviews from customers. Affiliations will reappear following this section. ‘Other Popular Tours’ on the site will also be listed on this side for easy navigation to similar tours. The clickable tours there act as backlinks this tour page. They charge up the website’s SEO and help sell tours effectively. In case a visitor is on vacation and is looking for short tours to participate in during his free time, the opportunity to sell more than one tour arises through the ‘Other Popular Tours’ section. So, it supports cross-selling and upselling strategies this way.
These pages are used to classify/ group your tours. By creating tour groups it becomes easy to cater to a variety of clientele. For example, the tours are segregated on the base of classes- Luxury tours, Standard tours and Economy tours. Or probably pricing like- Tours below 2 lakhs, Tours below 1 lakh and Tours below 50,000.
Other classifications can be done on the bases of geography of the tours (Euro tours, African diaries, Asian adventures, etc.). It’s possible to also go with classifications based on the type of tours provided like treks, hikes, walking tours, water sports, etc. Or simply adventure, leisure and educational activities. Age groups is another great classification category available. Classifying tours helps attract a specific set of audiences searching online for budget tours, tours in Africa or water sports for kids.
Each category page introduces tours and activities with a banner image and headline (see image above). This is followed by a brief introductory text section. This isn’t your only chance at building your SEO. After the tours listed on the category page, you have the chance to add as many sections of content as you like. One can talk about safety during the tours here, getting the real feel of the location or having a variety to choose from. The type of content and SEO strategy is very flexible.
The best travel websites are integrated with a booking engine to make them transactional. Vacation Labs powered websites come with a built-in booking engine. There is no code related hassle when activating it. It registers tour bookings and enquiries as well.
To accept payments directly through multiple payment gateway options. The system allows safe connections with payment processors like PayPal, Citrus, PayU, Stripe and others.
Integrations with distributors are also possible through Vacation Labs. It allows one to reach further and improve the booking rate. A tour inventory sync between the distributor and the website ensures over-booking never occur.
For better communication with website visitors, integration with just about any chat bot widget is possible. It enables direct communication with website visitors. It’s a great way to sell more and eliminate misunderstandings. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram share buttons can also be added to the website. These can appear as floating buttons or static ones on the footer of your website.
Present day circumstances demand a quick and cost-effective online presence. There is no better way to achieve this than through an expert website builder. The Vacation Labs website builder is available at pocket-friendly prices according to your requirements. It eliminates the hardcore website development steps and expensive resources like designers and developers. It clears the clutter and covers all the essentials of a travel website from upfront CTA, discovery opportunities (SEO, navigation and prime real estate), cross-selling, marketing and loyalty programs. So, you can skip the research step and cut down the decision time. With a pre-built site created by Vacation Labs, your go-to-market time will be 7 days or less.
All you need to focus on is your site content. Your website’s responsiveness on all mobile, tablet and desktop devices are taken care of. Plus, this website builder is constantly evolving to meet the changing demands of the travelling population. For a first-hand experience of the Vacation Labs tour and travel website builder, sign-up for a free trial. Or, get in touch with the team of travel experts to uncover more benefits of the Vacation Labs website builder.