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Why should you have interactive maps on your travel website?

By Jaime Solís

Maps are simplified graphic representations of the Earth, or part of it (an entire country, region, city or town) which allow us to easily and informatively know our location and that of other places, to put things into perspective and know how far or close we are.

 

Over time, maps have evolved, becoming increasingly accurate and sophisticated. Today, they are a fundamental tool, not only for various scientific disciplines, but they are also highly useful in the travel and tourism industry, allowing travelers to understand where they are and how they can reach their favorite places.

Nowadays, it is increasingly economical and straightforward to implement technology and having interactive content is the golden rule when creating any web page. Given the overload of information we have these days, the user will remain loyal only to those pages that keep him “hooked” for the longest.

According to Demand Metric reporting, interactive content can generate conversions up to 70%, compared to 36% for static content. In turn, it is useful to educate the user and differentiate yourself from the competition.

If you are a company linked to the travel and tourism industry, having one or more maps on your website is a great help when interacting with users. It gives them a better vision of where they will enjoy their vacation or their dream trip. Having an interactive map provides some of the following advantages on your website:

 

1. Improve the average visit time

Your users will interact with the map for much longer, especially if you integrate it with useful information or relevant content. Being interactive, users will want to "play", locating points of interest and seeing how it moves while browsing.

By improving the average visit time of each page, the average session time will also increase. Both ratios are very important when measuring the engagement of your website.

In the following example, we see how the inclusion of an interactive map improved the average session time by 16% in a well-known Tourist Office after a few weeks. It should be noted that the change was made in a section specially designed to show routes to follow around a major city.

2. Decrease bounce rate

It is very important to measure the performance of your website, and this metric quantifies the number of users who are interested in the content created and do not leave your website on the first page visited.

With an appropriate Internal Linking strategy, associating the map with more content, users will navigate through additional pages. Therefore, the bounce rate will decrease.

In the same example from the previous point, the client also saw a reduction of up to 50% in the bounce rate, just a week after the implementation of interactive maps in that section of their website.

3. Increase conversion rates

This is achieved through the appropriate Calls to Action (CTA). These are buttons or links on your website, which seek to attract potential customers and turn them into actual customers.

In the case of companies in the travel and tourism industry, an interactive map can be the perfect attraction to associate it with a "More information" or "Contact me to purchase" button. These buttons can direct users to a form, where they can enter their data to be contacted by a sales executive.

In this example, an integrated interactive map with content in a well-known hotel in the Philippines was implemented. A Call to Action was included, which redirects to a page where the user can reserve a room. If that reservation page belongs to the hotel’s own booking system, you could save a lot on commissions to search engines such as Booking.com, Hotels.com, among others.

Within the tourism industry, the presence of an interactive map can help in different ways, depending on the type of business that is managed:

 

1. Hotels / Hotel Groups

A map is the ideal solution to show points of interest around your location: restaurants, bars, discos, markets, convenience stores, tourist attractions, landmarks, among others.

This feature is very useful for guests, who in many cases do not know what activities to do in the city they visit. It even allows you to customize routes with the best tourist attractions in your city by taking the hotel as a starting point.

For more details, check out this example. Makati Diamond Residences, is a hotel located in the Philippines part of the WorldHotels group. They implemented a tourist guide with an interactive map on their website, with the aim of guiding guests or users. In turn, they included a Call to Action to reserve rooms for future visitors.

2. Travel Agencies / Tour Operators

Solutions like these provide the possibility to show the itinerary of a tour on a map, which will help your visitors to visualize their trips and enhance their desire to buy tour packages. This article will guide you through the different ways to use a map within this type of website.

Here we show you an example of how you can integrate multi-destination packages with an interactive map, where the user will navigate freely as they advance when reading the content.

 

 

3. Tourist Office of a country or city (DMO, Destination Marketing Office)

An interactive map will help you to show in an informative way the most important points that a domestic / foreign visitor should visit in your city or country. This is especially useful for promoting those not-so-commercialized locations and encouraging tourism in those regions.

Check out this example that we implemented together with Promperú, the most important DMO in Peru. The goal was to encourage internal tourism through short routes outside of Lima, the capital. Two types of pages were created:

  • Destination page, with a map of all the points to visit within a region.

 

  • Route page, including specific points integrated into an article in order for the user to visualize their trip as the story progresses.

 

4. Content creators

An interactive map is the perfect solution that adds to the travel / tourist articles you generate (tourist guides, travel guides, among others). The visitor of your blog / virtual magazine will enjoy quality content interacting with a map instead of viewing only static images and few videos.

If implemented well, it will improve your retention metrics as outlined above. Also, in the future this will attract potential customers who want to advertise on your website, allowing you to enhance your sources of advertising revenue.

At Arrivedo, we believe it is important to integrate maps with content that allow generating and increasing dynamics and engagement in users. Our content solutions allow us to integrate with any web page through our API and SDK. In addition, we provide easy integration White Label solutions in case you don't have a development team. Want to discover more? Watch a free demo, here.New call-to-action

Tags: Travel Company

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