If you are thinking ‘holiday accommodation where?’ you are probably not alone. We’ve just launched a small site for one of our clients in Portugal to support the accommodation side of their business. Built on WordPress it utilises the same custom template and resources their larger site is built on. Not only was this a very cost effective way of doing it but it also means the site retains the look and feel of the main Alentejo Adventures site. We worked with the online reservations site www.booking.com to set up online availability and reservations and integrated this functionality on the new site. Portuguese version coming soon.
Fair enough. But where is the Alentejo again? The opening paragraph in the Lonely Planet guide goes something like this and in my opinion like most of the stuff you read in their guides is pretty bang on.
Alentejo is like Portuguese fado music – ultra traditional, intriguingly diverse and lingeringly sentimental. Covering one-third of the country, Portugal’s largest region is bewitching, with its dry, golden plains, rolling hillsides and lime-green vines, rugged coastline, tiny whitewashed villages and majestic medieval cities. Its people are fiercely proud, yet somewhat melancholic.
So what’s the problem? Bottom line is, certainly in the UK, a whole lot more people are searching for holidays in the Algarve rather than holidays in the Alentejo. The difference in the volume of searches is startling – for some keyphrases the Algarve equivalent drives over a thousand times more volume than the Alentejo equivalent. There lies the next challenge and one that you can help crack if you can get the national tourism organisation working with the regional tourism organisation and both working with the businesses on the ground. You can probably guess where we are going with this so watch this space!
Tags: case study, tourism marketing, website
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On some level, when a company offers me a form or an e-mail address as a way to get in touch, I feel slightly snubbed. Why so bloody aloof? Why keep me at arm’s length? I’m an alright person. My needs are not wholly unreasonable. I just want a few answers to a few questions that I can’t find the answer to on the website.
I feel pretty strongly about ‘Contact Us’ pages. They should be welcoming and encouraging. After a first date with someone you really quite like you wouldn’t ask them to leave a message so that you can pick it up at your earliest convenience. Surely you’d make yourself as available as possible. In fact if you really liked them you’d be waiting by the phone, e-mail, text and Skype! After all, this is the critical phase of what could turn out to be lovely long term relationship. Every move matters.
Here comes the trumpet blowing.
On one of the sites we’ve recently been working on we’ve been improving that all important ‘Contact Us’ page. Built on Word Press, it’s not as big and elaborate as a lot of the sites we work on but it doesn’t mean you can’t do things well. We think the end result is human, welcoming and super encouraging to ‘get in touch’. Like most of our website development work it all starts with a sketch and a conversation with the client and then (and only then) do we move into wire framing, information architecture and the techie build. I do the doodles and Pete and his team work their magic on design and build.
The final solution.
Here’s what we decided;
- Introduce the lovely staff. Include images and links to find out more about them.
- Offer four different ways to get in touch – telephone, e-mail, Skype and a call back form.
- Reassure that there is no question too silly and that the staff speak good English.
- Be upfront about response turnaround times, call rates and office hours.
- Wrap it all up in a bunch of useful content and information. Flickr, YouTube, downloadable brochures, weather and the location.
- Offer the option to sign up to hear from them again and win a holiday.
We also worked with the client to set up appropriate telephony and route calls via Skype so the customer only pays for a national rate call. Here’s the end product. You can let us know what you think and what we’ve missed by leaving a comment below. Thoughts welcome!
Tags: digital marketing, tourism marketing, usability
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