Business Tourism websites set pace
TOURISM internet marketing is constantly evolving, as witnessed by developments by two Port Douglas operators in the field.
Port Douglas Incentives has redesigned its interactive website that targets the valuable incentives market.
This market is growing in importance, with a big rise in numbers heading to Port Douglas.
According to Port Douglas Incentives chairwoman Natalie Johnson this year is looking very strong for visitation in this category, including a welcome resurgence in visitors from the United States on conference or incentive trips.
Next week Ms Johnson heads to the important AIME expo in Melbourne, the premier annual events and incentives showcase in Australia, where she will represent Port Douglas on the Cairns and Great Barrier Reef stand.
She said PDI had revamped its website as part of a regular refresh it likes to do every couple of years. It took quite a while to achieve the remake, and she is very pleased with the result – clean, fresh and easy to navigate, with large images as well as click through boxes highlighting accommodation capacities, venues and events.
The goals for the Port Douglas Incentives website redesign were to: Increase targeted visits, page views, average time spent on the site and enquiries generated from the website to member businesses.
Tourism Port Douglas and Daintree undertook the redesign of the PDI website. ‘‘We sought advice from the Tourism and Events Queensland digital coaching team and Chelsea from TPDD implemented design and best practice initiatives taken from recent digital media conferences and experience with tourism websites,’’ said Tara Bennett, TPDD business development executive.
‘‘Early indicators for the first two weeks since going live have seen the site visits up 62 per cent, with unique visits up 62 per cent, page views up 191 per cent with page visits increasing 80 per cent from 1.98 to 3.55. The bounce rate has dropped 22.95 per cent from 62 per cent to 48 per cent. New visits are stable at 83 per cent. The top visitors by city are Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Gold Coast, and Cairns.’’
Similarly busy in this space is Oak Beach’s Richard and Marti Lavender with their Down Under On-line web services company.
At the start of this month they relaunched their revamped website which has 250 initial pages of Australia marketing specific regional information.
‘‘We are pleased to announce the release of our new website, designed with a fresh new look and user-friendly navigation,’’ Mr Lavender said. ‘‘It’s the next generation in tourism website marketing.’’
The key to profitability for property managers, he said, was using advertising to drive potential guests to their own websites where they can take bookings direct.
‘‘From our 15 years of interacting with mostly accommodation managers the trend is becoming one of managers looking for alternatives from transactional last minute sites that take away from their bottom line (commissions and control). They are looking for a website that with its search engine ranking can direct their paid advertisements on that site to their own website to have a viewer book directly with them, which reduces commissions paid out and increases profitability.
‘‘Paid advertisements on Down Under On-line are a portal to a property manager/owner’s own website which gives them the opportunity for direct bookings through their own booking engine.
‘‘All part of the paid advertisement on Down Under Online.
‘‘Our site promotes the belief that all roads lead to Rome – a direct booking with the accommodation property – this is what the advertisements on Down Under On-Line do offer.
‘‘With the most recent partnership of Total Travel owned by Yahoo, going from a subscription based/advertisement web site to now a transactional website all bookings are done through booking.com – again a transactional last minute site that takes away from the bottom line (commission and control).’’