List of criteria for Quality Travel Website Contest
1. Look and Feel
The website looks nice, with neat and pleasant design. It uses easy-to-read font sizes and brightness/contrast settings. The text is easy to understand; it is not too long on each page, and is conveniently broken into paragraphs. The color schemes are consistent throughout the various sections.
The webpages are easy to navigate; links leading to the key sections are clearly visible, the topic menus are well-accessible and stand out from the rest of the text and service links. It is easy to return to any part of the website, including the homepage. On each page, you can easily tell which part/section of the website it is. The website has a search functionality.
3. Contact information
The travel company's contact information, such as the email address, phone, fax, instant messaging, corporate address, etc. are clearly visible from any page of the website. As an advatange, the website offers personal info about travel specialists, tour operators etc. including their names, photos and personal contact details.
4. Delivering the message
When the visitor arrives on the website, s(he) can immediately understand what the website is about, the company's main area of expertise, services and products provided. This core message is not blurred by any third-party advertising, paid or referral links.
5. Rich in media
The website provides a good user experience by featuring various types of media that explain the idea and the core message of the website. The website attracts travelers with good quality of photos, videos, maps, and other reference materials.
6. Testimonials, visitor reviews, feedback
The website offers its visitors an easy and convenient way to leave comments and write testimonials. This section of the website is highlighted in the main menu or in a prominent section of the homepage and key subpages.
The testimonials or comments are objective and consistent, leaving no impression that they were cooked up. A certain proportion of sound criticism by travelers is seen as an advantage, not drawback.
7. Booking and Payments
The website features booking/ordering functions that allow visitors to choose a product or service and request their availability for certain dates, seasons or conditions.
The website clearly states what online and offline payment methods are available. Refund and cancellation policies are well-written and easily accessible.
8. Membership in Travel Associations, Boards, etc.
The website contains links or banners/seals/widgets showing that it is a member of global, national, regional or local travel associations, tourism boards, prominent travel directories or online aggregators.
List of criteria for Effective Travel Office Contest
1. Online contacts
The corporate website should provide an easy access to contact details such as email address, mobile or office phone, fax, messenges and/or online chats.
2. Timing for email communications
The email configuration of the travel business should ensure auto-replies to emails sent into it. Human replies to the client should be sent within several hours after the inquiry has been placed. A meaningful reply, such as prepared itinerary, quotation or tour, should be prepared and sent back to client not later than 24 hours after the initial inquiry (unless clarifications from client are required that may slow down the process). The repeated replies should be as fast, not exceeding 24 hours delay in between communications.
3. Email replies structure
The email messages containing tour proposals, itineraries, programs or quotations and price proposals, should be well-structured and provided in a format that is easily usable for the client, for example, in MS Word or PDF.
Such proposals should be written in clear and good language (English is considered as standard one for communications). The text should be well structured, and contain links, images and videos as neccessary. The proposal should contain contact data, such as email addresses, phones/faxes, electronic messenger ids, and physical address of the travel business.
1. Website as it is seen by search engines
The corporate website should be well seen by search engines such as Google, Bing for global searches, or Yandex or Baidoo for local searches. All or most website pages should be indexed.
2. Website pages should be keyword-driven
Each page of the website, including its Index, should be devoted to a certain topic related to the travel business, and
such topic should be correctly reflected in its elements, such as title, description, text, etc.
3. Navigation and design
Website should have neat and convenient design and navigation menus, be enriched in media such as images, videos, audio materials, etc.
4. Cross-platform and mobile-friendly
Website should be equally functioning and readable in all popular browsers and OS platforms. It should be mobile-friendly and allow full usability in mobile devices.
5. White SEO practices
Website should not be staffed with keywords, should have natural texts which are readable for a human rather than intended for search engines. In other words, it should keep to "white seo" techniques, which are in long term more sustainable and successful.
6. Good ranking in search engines
Corporate website should have good positions in major search engines such as Google, for keywords and key phrases which are most important for the area where this business is most proactive.
7. Measurements for website
The corporate website should have meters showing the flow of visitors, with a breakdown by sources of traffic and types of audiences. External assessment should be able to verify the actual flow of traffic on the website.
1. Socially proactive
Nominated travel business should be proactive in major social networks, such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or Linkedin. The company should have personal profiles or custom pages, dedicated to the areas where the business is active.
2. Updates in social networks
The social profiles should be up-to-date, reflecting recent events and occasions. Wider use of media, such as images, videos or audio materials is a plus. Such use should be steady and constant, and have a fairly long history.
3. Website linked to social
The corporate website should have built-in tools, such as SHARE or LIKE buttons in order to allow visitors easily share the materials and contents of the website. The overall design of the website should clearly inform visitors about what social presence the business has, and provide easy access to appropriate pages in social networks.