Inspiration can come from many sides, especially in the hospitality industry where both new and emerging brands push the envelope on a seemingly daily basis. While you may have looked to brands like Disney and their plans to introduce robots to their hotel or studied Hilton and the way its managed to endure over the course of one hundred years, you may have overlooked one very obvious source of inspiration.
In fact, a new analysis of some of the world’s most popular tourism board websites has revealed a host of trends and superb user experience initiatives – plenty, in fact, to give you lots of inspiration and ideas to feed your hotel website design company for months to come. So, who’s getting it right and how does your hotel stack up when it comes to implementing these user experience and design trends?
Trend 1: Interactive video
As marketers, we all know how important video content is, but one tourism board has taken it a step further and introduced the interactive video. Visit Idaho is one such example – its site has a 360-degree video which gives viewers the chance to experience what it’s like to zip line through an Idaho forest. Virtual reality is also slowing creeping in. Even if you can’t offer fully interactive video on your hotel site, adding video in general and considering features such as 360-degree rotation is one user experience trend we expect to see a lot more of in 2018.
Trend 2: Smart destinations are played up
You can enhance your user experience simply by being upfront with your visitor. The first thing that greets visitors to the Panama tourism board website, for example, is an announcement that Panama “is for travelers, not for tourists”. The lesson? Offering a superb user experience begins on your site, not with cutting-edge technology or expensive gimmicks but with honest, clear and compelling content, descriptions and representations of your brand. Is your hotel at the top of a brutal San Francisco hill? Own it. Miles from the nearest high street chain coffee shop? Own it. Be smart about your user experience by representing it honestly.
Trend 3: Don’t shy away from user-generated content
Tourism board websites are increasingly savvy when it comes to social media – in fact, some of them are embracing user-generated content wholeheartedly in their bid to harvest Insta-worthy images to draw in the crowds. Embedding an Instagram feed into your hotel site is something that your hotel website design company should be able to achieve quickly and easily.
If you need inspiration for this trend, look no further than Visit Greenland. It makes superb use of Instagram imagery to truly showcase its destination in spectacular Technicolor. The homepage includes an ‘In The Spotlight’ slider for example, which showcases three aspects of Greenland, with picture-perfect images that have an Instagram influencer look and feel.
You can begin to harness this tactic and the power of Instagram easily to tap into this trend – simply ask your guests to share your images using a particular hashtag. You can also search for your hotel as a place on the Instagram search option.