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In the hotel and travel industry, few things are as important as your website when it comes to filling beds or bookings. Clean rooms and competitive rates will garner positive online reviews, but it’s the first impression that counts. Your website often serves as the first point of contact, so it’s important to make a lasting impression.

The importance of a great website is best illustrated by comparing two different hotels. Both The Burrard and the English Bay Hotel are located in Vancouver’s downtown hub and offer room rates between $80-$200, subject to season and room type. While the two sound similar on paper, their websites tell two completely different stories.

English Bay Hotel

Let’s start with the English Bay Hotel. This homepage says dated. All of the information is there, but the appearance of the website lacks charm. The honest assumption is that if the website hasn’t been upgraded the rooms probably haven’t been either. The feel of this website indicates that besides a bargain price, the English Bay Hotel probably doesn’t offer much else.

The best features of this website are the photos of Vancouver, but they are irrelevant to the hotel itself. There are few pictures of the hotel itself, and the ones that are featured are much too small.

The Burrard Hotel

In contrast, The Burrard Hotel uses their website to tell a cohesive story, one about the hotel’s history and current status. Big bright pictures and a responsive website design capture the vibe of the hotel, making it a place you actually want to stay.

The booking feature includes large photos of the rooms, including full descriptions of the amenities included in each room. Photos of modern rooms indicate that this retro hotel has undergone more than one full renovation since its opening in 1956.

So, the moral of this story? A bad website leaves a bad impression. In an industry where a first impression can make or break your business, it might be time to consider upgrading your website.

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