The Tunisia National Tourism Office claims a travel industry first for its cometotunisia.co.uk site which is using a Google Maps API allowing visitors to create their own itineraries.
Google Maps is familiar to most internet users, with its satellite/hybrid view functions particularly useful in a travel context. The idea is that itineraries can be printed out and taken to a travel agent to handle the bookings.
Danny Brooks, project director at agency brik digital, said the “my Tunisia” function was a key part of engaging visitors to the site. “Saved itineraries can be shared with friends via email or by posting to social media sites, so planning a trip becomes more communal and more enjoyable,” he said.
The site works in conjunction with Tunisia’s above-the-line campaign, handled by brik digital’s sister company Fox Kalomaski. Tunisia is looking to promote its culture and diversity and move way from being seen as a winter-sun destination.
“We have used colours and textures and large images on the home page which we hope will change perceptions in an instant,” said Brooks. During the soft launch, the bounce rate from the home page more than halved compared with the previous site. The landing time has also been speeded up. “You can lose a visitor in two seconds if the page takes too long to load,” he said.
Brooks added that the next stage would be a focus on natural search. “Everyone uses Google. If they see an advert on TV or talk to someone, they will use Google search to find out more, so this has to be a top priority.”