Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Critical Online Travel Tools to convert Lookers to Bookers

Make your website an effective tool with rich content like photos, slide shows to allow clients to visualize themselves on your tour. Add confidence with testimonials, awards, PR and speaking engagements. Include incentive offers they can share with friends. Include descriptives of prerequisites if you have them as well as daily itineraries so clients know what to expect. Make sure you provide dates AND availability online! This is critical – for the end consumer shopping after hours the prospect of having to call a bunch of operators to find out if they have trips available when they want to go is a daunting and frustrating task. Statistically shoppers will shortlist calls to operators they have already done diligence on with knowledge the operator has trips available when they want to go vs. “wasting a call” to find out about dates. They want to make calls to finalize whether they want to use the operator – not to find out dates. Respect the shopper and convert them to a buyer. Plus make sure you have the ability to put your trips on partner sites too! (hotels, transportation companies etc )

Heres some online stats for you to add to your files to back up your online stradgey planning and promotion. ( Yes it is VERY important :)
Be sure to note the 55% are now BUYING online!!

Here's a nice 3 minute video sample of a small tour operator using these tools: Sacred Rides Mountain Holidays - great site, pertinent info, Adventure Engine real time availability calendar and shopping cart. Click here to view video

· 94 million Americans are online on any given day, and 63 percent use a search engine (Pew Internet and American Life Project)

· 79% of US travelers are now online (over 98 million)– six percentage points above US average

· More than half -- 55% -- of online leisure travelers book online (“Bookers”)

· US leisure Bookers will buy more than $74.4 billion of leisure travel online in 2006
· Online spending will exceed $129 billion by 2010(Source: Foresters , OTA)
http://tia.usdm.net/resources/MOF/2006_MOF.ppt#1445,44,Buying Travel Online Has Become Routine

· Travel is bay far the No. 1 activity among internet consumers. In some weeks, more travel is purchased online than every other category combined. http://www.travelmole.com/stories/1118460.php (may 22, 2007 TravelMole)

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