Tour operators aren't selling a product or service - they're selling an experience. Potential customers need to become engaged with the excitement of joining a tour or holiday; they need to be able to imagine themselves there, doing that.
So how do you sell an experience on a website?
The very nature of websites is such that you can use a range of media to communicate - not just descriptions and images, but videos and stories that bring the experience alive. They encourage interaction and allow for rich, deep content without being overwhelming, so the user can dig down and browse to their heart's content.
A great example of this is the new True North Adventure Cruises website, launched recently by OM4 and designed by Public Creative. These luxury adventure cruises offer some of the world's most exclusive and extraordinary experiences aboard the TRUE NORTH in the Kimberley, Indonesia and Papua New Guinea regions.
True North Adventure Cruises has the advantage of their own professional photographer / videographer, which few tour operators have. But it is possible to hire these professionals at a reasonable cost, and the True North Adventure Cruises website shows the difference this sort of quality content can make. All tour operators have a compelling visual aspect to the experiences they offer, and this has to be a key selling point for their tours.
The True North Adventure Cruises website also has some fascinating stories, including links with photographers and artists, information about giving back through philanthropy, and aspects of each adventure on board the adventure-cruise boat. There are guides to photography gear, fishing and diving, and even a shop selling adventure wear.
For tour operators wondering how to put together a website that sells experiences, TrueNorth.com.au is a great one to browse for ideas. You don't have to build something this complex, but you do need to consider ways to create rich content that engages your target audience.
If you would like to discuss building a tour operator website, get in touch with us.