Every Tour Operator website is made up of three essential parts: the tours themselves, and the destinations and accommodation along the way.
At their core, what Tour Operators sell are experiences. The emphasis therefore, when presenting the content to prospective travelers, should be experiences and the destinations that offer them. Experiences, in the case of a website, can also be referred to as travel styles, which is a categorisation tool we use when building websites. It’s also one of the core elements of the LSX Tour Operators plugin, which offers several modules that are geared towards the typical tour operator website. Post types like Destinations, Accommodations, Tours, Vehicles, Team Members, Reviews, and more all cater to the needs of the prospective traveler, helping you to sell your experiences.
On sites like African Safari Consultants and Southern Destinations, we built a set of Travel Styles that each of their tours fit into. This gives their users the chance to decide by what kind of travel experience they want to have, such as “African Honeymoon Travel” or “Family Safaris”. This is more informative to the traveler, rather than relying on the traveler to know that they would like a tour that travels through Botswana, Zambia and up into Tanzania, for example.
People don’t just travel for the sake of travelling. Some studies have gone so far as to break down what travelers from each continent go abroad to achieve. According to Tripadvisor, this is why people travel:
- North Americans: to strengthen relationships with close ones
- South Americans: to meet new people
- Europeans: to brag (!)
- Australasians: to seek out memorable moments
- Asians: to find the most exhilarating and adventurous experiences
- Middle Easterners: to experience local life
See some more interesting travel stats in this infographic by Trip Advisor.
As a result, Tour Operator websites need to cater to people looking for more than just a certain destination or locality. They want to know what kind of experience they’ll have, and also have a trustworthy human face to let them know they’re in safe hands – especially important in the Safari travel industry and other “adventure travel” industries.
Every tour operator should have a website that excites their users, and what better way to do that than to give them a virtual representation of the trip they could potentially find themselves on. Sites built with out Wetu importer do just that, offering the functionality of virtual itineraries. Here’s just one example of a virtual itinerary for one of the tours offered by African Safari Consultants:
The virtual itinerary inspires potential clients with content-rich, interactive itineraries, available in 11 languages. Easy to use with no weird techno babble, it allows users to easily browse through every aspect of the tour they’re interested in, whether they want to know more about each day in the tour, a specific destination, accommodation or the activities that are available on each day / in each location.
The functionality to have the routes they offer mapped out in a way that makes it visually simple to understand where they will be going (destinations) and where they will be stopping and sleeping (accommodation) as well as the kinds of activities they’ll be partaking in makes a website far more enticing than telling a story (or selling an experience) with just images and words. Websites built with our Wetu importer do just this, and more.
All these features can be a little overwhelming, so if you’re struggling to take it all in, why not contact us to find out how we can help you succeed as a tour operator online.