Vietnam addition from Thomson and First Choice

Vietnam addition from Thomson and First Choice

Wednesday, 26 October 2016 14:00

Thomson an...

Ranch Rider adds authentic Arizona ranch for next year

Ranch Rider adds authentic Arizona ranch…

Wednesday, 26 October 2016 11:00

Keen to expand on its portfolio of authentic US ranches, Ranch Rider will be introducing Arizona’s Hideout Working Ranch in its 2017 brochure, which is situated near Portal near the...

Qatar Airways announces daily Seychelles flights

Qatar Airways announces daily Seychelles…

Wednesday, 26 October 2016 08:00

Qatar Airways will provide UK holidaymakers with greater access to the Seychelles from December 12 when it launches daily flights via Doha.

HF Holidays highlight winter breaks

HF Holidays highlight winter breaks

Tuesday, 25 October 2016 14:00

HF Holidays is promoting a selection of winter getaway including a Christmas Craft Weekend at Dovedale in the Derbyshire Dales, Festive Walking At Dovedale, A Seasonal Stay at Malhamdale in...

Flybe puts more summer 2017 routes on sale

Flybe puts more summer 2017 routes on sa…

Tuesday, 25 October 2016 11:00

Flybe has put more early release routes on sale as part of its preliminary summer 2017 schedule.

YHA submits plans for London’s first ‘Super Hostel’

YHA submits plans for London’s first ‘Su…

Tuesday, 25 October 2016 08:00

A planning application has been submitted by YHA (England and Wales) to open its first Super Hostel in London.

£2.3million immigration hall upgrade plans at Bristol Airport

£2.3million immigration hall upgrade pla…

Monday, 24 October 2016 14:00

Following a major overhaul of the security search area for departing passengers, Bristol Airport has unveiled plans to address congestion in arrivals.

Intrepid targets socially conscious Gen Z with new Geckos age-range

Intrepid targets socially conscious Gen …

Monday, 24 October 2016 11:00

30 year olds will be ‘too old’ for Geckos Adventures next year, as the Intrepid Group has announced that it will cut the age range to meet a growing demand...

New survey reveals just one in 12 Brits manage to wangle an upgrade

New survey reveals just one in 12 Brits …

Monday, 24 October 2016 08:40

New research from has revealed that only 8% of British travellers have actually managed to secure a free upgrade for their holiday, with flight upgrades and hotel room upgrades...

Just You launches travel trade solo experience

Just You launches travel trade solo expe…

Friday, 21 October 2016 14:00

Just You has announced its largest investment to support the travel trade with the launch of 200 joint marketing events to promote solo travel.

Spontaneous people are happier according to Snaptrip survey

Spontaneous people are happier according…

Friday, 21 October 2016 11:00

Spontaneous people are often believed to lead more exciting or glamorous lifestyles and a new study has confirmed that they are happier in all aspects of their lives.

Top Brighton attractions on Combi-Saver tickets for half term

Top Brighton attractions on Combi-Saver …

Friday, 21 October 2016 09:00

Visitors to Brighton this October half term can save up to 20% on its top three paid-for attractions with combination tickets now available for British Airways i360, SEA LIFE Brighton...

Free cabin upgrades with Cosmos Tours

Free cabin upgrades with Cosmos Tours

Thursday, 20 October 2016 14:00

There still’s time for agents to book a Croisieurope river cruise for their customers with a free cabin upgrade on a range of river cruises throughout Europe, when booked with...

Last minute autumn breaks available at Haven

Last minute autumn breaks available at H…

Thursday, 20 October 2016 11:00

Agents can still give their customers a last minute family break this autumn from £99 when booking a Haven holiday between now and November 5.

Skiers urged to head east for best piste costs reveals new report

Skiers urged to head east for best piste…

Thursday, 20 October 2016 08:00

Cash-conscious skiers can avoid the slippery slope of higher prices for their annual downhill trip by heading to ski resorts in Eastern Europe.

Design an anniversary poster for DFDS competition

Design an anniversary poster for DFDS co…

Wednesday, 19 October 2016 14:00

Ferry operator, DFDS, is putting out a call to professional and amateur artists to create a poster that will be used in their 150th anniversary celebrations this year.

There’s no doubt that the travel industry has been revolutionised by the advances that the Internet offers. Travel companies and those involved in all areas of tourism, from city centre hotels to regional tourist boards now have new and exciting ways to build brands, reach potential customers and take bookings.


The High Street travel agent has declined as people use the internet for ideas, research, reviews and transactions. In fact, the 2012 Global Online Travel Report reported that almost half of British travellers now book their trip online – a figure that is only likely to increase.

A crowded market place
A major priority for any website is to be found, which is why search engine optimisation, or SEO is such a vital part of site development and maintenance. The competition is only going to intensify, which means the commitment of increasing levels of resources to keep a site competitive. This increased commitment is due in part to Google’s behaviour, as well as to the success of social media. Now, to rank well on Google, a travel site not only needs great content with good quality back links, but has to play an off-site content competition game, churning out reams of articles and blog posts every month. This is in addition on-going work to increase the engagement level of your site’s visitors, your blog and social media accounts.

Finders keepers
Once the potential traveller has found your site, the goal is to capture their attention and make them stay. Website designs up to the start of the new millennium were rudimentary, hindered by slow download times due to dial up. Broadband has brought massively improved speeds which has wrought huge changes in the online travel industry. The design bar has been raised substantially, so in 2012 a strong visual impact with enticing images is an essential part of any travel website. Faster download enables the use of interactive features such as virtual tours, live weather reports, video and webcams.

The place of social media
The success of social media sites like FaceBook, Twitter and YouTube adds a whole new arena for travel companies, and Google’s latest ‘Penguin’ updates to its ranking algorithm are starting to embrace the importance of such sites. Ultimately, if your competitors are proactively engaging in social media, you will have to do it too. Potential customers like social media: it provides an opportunity to interact with a company, and to share the information, pictures and video with their friends and family, adding a new viral marketing element.

An ongoing commitment
Over the last 15 years, it has become clear that the most successful sites involve high levels of engagement, requiring time and budget to continuously improve the site, SEO, social media and general internet presence. Experience has proven that this is what makes the difference to a site – and ultimately a business - and it is becoming more important every day. Where a third party developer like Freetimers is used, engagement should ideally be with both site owner and the developer. Using this model, we have been able to ensure increases in visitors and sales, with our best so far being a 7,500% increase over five years.

As one of the most competitive sectors around, travel companies need to make use of technology and stay well ahead of the changes, taking account of how they impact on their customers’ needs, demands and behaviour. The companies that do so successfully will be the ones that survive and thrive in an increasingly crowded market place.

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