How can well-designed websites and apps help visitors discover your destination

Designing a great website and app is the key to successful destination marketing. Your platforms should create an expectation of what kind of experiences the visitor will get once it arrives at your destination. It should  also inspire confidence in travellers’ decisions to visit your destination. Effective websites and apps should be able to awaken the spirit of adventure and discovery within your visitors and inspire them to explore more at your destination.

What do you need to accomplish this? A great design and structure supported by vibrant imagery.

Your website should be optimized for mobile and feature an intuitive design with a quick and functional navigation. It should also be evocative and use high quality images and videos to best highlight top attractions. Just the same as your website, you apps should feature a simple interface, they should be easy to use and they should be able to respond to users’ needs. Being able to work offline is a plus.

Are your website and apps designed in such a way to encourage tourists to explore your destination? To ensure your travellers have a seamless experience while they visit your destination, make sure your website and apps include the following: 

1. Info Point Category

Tourists want to quickly find useful information without too much browsing on the Internet. Especially if they’re travelling in a foreign country. Turn your website and apps into a useful tool by adding information about nearby hospitals, police stations, mountain rescues, taxis, weather reports, souvenir shops, public transportation routes, etc. Travellers, especially first-time travellers will thank you. 

2. Accommodation and Dining Experiences Category

Travellers are looking for cultural connections. They want to visit local markets, dine at family-owned restaurants and get to meet locals to experience life through their lens. By adding local restaurant and accommodation options in one place you allow tourists to find the right experiences to match their travelling goals.  

3. Tourist Guides Category

This category should bring together all the interesting and unique routes and tours visitors can take to discover your destination. You can add points of interest, attractions, activities such as boat rides, hop-on hop-off buses, wine routes or gastronomy tours. You can also add an interactive map to help visitors find nearby attractions and get directions on how to get there.

4. Local Attractions Category

Diversify you app by creating various points of interest your tourists might want to visit. Add descriptions, photo gallery, contact info and a physical location for each one. POI examples: museums, parks, monuments, etc.

5. Audio Guides Category

By creating a category exclusively for audio guides you can provide tourists with an interactive cultural experience. Multi-language audio guides help tourists discover top attractions with the help of storytelling.

6. Recommendations & Experiences Category

Create a category exclusively for showcasing the top experiences your destination has to offer.  Write articles to highlight unique experiences and hidden gems within your destination that cannot be discovered elsewhere. For example, share articles about local cuisine or interesting architectural gems tourists shouldn’t miss.

7. Events Category

Add local events happening within your destination. Share them with your users and help them to experience life as a local, get to know your culture and feel the local vibe. There’s nothing better than joining a salsa night or a concert held by a local band. These kinds of experiences are unique. They are the ones that are going to make tourists wish for a second trip back to your destination.

8. Offers Category

Allow visitors to take advantage of the offers and promotions local businesses may be running by adding them to your app. This way you also support the local community to increase revenues and encourage further development. 

These are the top 8 categories your DMO website and apps should include. If your platforms also feature a highly visual homepage and intuitive navigation bar, you’re ready to provide an incredible digital experience to all your visitors and potential visitors.

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