Busi­ness Tourism web­sites set pace

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - BUSINESS - Shane Ni­chols

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).’’

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