How to Transform Your Hotel’s Independent Site Into a Virtual Visitor Center

We have all picked through the displays of brochures placed conveniently in hotel lobbies throughout our experiences as travelers. They used to have far more value to me than they do now, as I am more likely to take to the web when researching local eateries and fun attractions. I find myself pulling out my smartphone and Googling something along the lines of “restaurants in San Francisco” instead of flipping the pages of a local directory or even asking someone at the hotel front desk.

In fact, I typically perform this research ahead of my arrival or on the go. What happens when a user sees my hotel’s website pop up in the results page with the information I am looking for? The hotel’s website becomes more than just a booking engine, it becomes a virtual visitor center.

Take Your Hotel Local Area Content to the Next Level

One of the best features of independent sites is the ability to curate customized content for your hotel’s particular target markets. While the primary function of a hotel website is to showcase accommodations and amenities, with the goal of driving conversions and booking reservations, the freedom to curate a unique assortment of information makes an independent site stand out.

Become an Online Tour Guide

The Doubletree Portland Downtown is located in the heart of a buzzing and upcoming community. Portland’s Lloyd District is home to loads of new business, restaurants, and Portland cultural establishments within walking distance of the hotel. Guests visiting for events or vacation may opt to walk and explore the area for a dinner outing or for a trip to a local watering hole. Included in the independent website’s Lloyd District section is a landing page where users can click to view PDF images of walking maps in the area.

example of PDF walking maps

Be a Source of Live Updates

The Kennedy Space Center page below incorporates a schedule for launches, which are events visitors plan their trips around. By maintaining an updated list of what is coming up on the Space Center calendar, the page becomes an excellent reference for rocket enthusiasts. Instead of simply linking out to the schedule featured on the Kennedy Space Center website, this landing page helps the user accomplish a goal efficiently without having to dig deeper. In addition to the launch schedule, sections highlighting other popular attractions in the area make this page a one-stop guide allowing guests to plan out their adventures.

local area landing page example

Engage Your Users with Interactive Features

Even more intriguing than text, the below example of the local wineries page incorporates an interactive guide powered by Google Maps. Users navigate through the spread of wineries near the hotel and can plan their own customized tasting trip. A huge advantage of interactive features like this map is an overall increase in page session length. As users explore the map, there is more time for other page features to catch their eyes, like sidebar banners with promotions or special offers. A detailed description of all things wine in the area conveys to Google that this page is full of compelling content for users searching for wineries in Temecula, and a great way to capture traffic.

temecula wine map widget

Cut the Ribbon on Your Virtual Visitor Center

Local area pages come in all shapes and forms. Make the most out of your independent site by tailoring compelling and interactive content that engages your users. An independent site has potential to be so much more than a booking engine, and the more helpful content you create the better your site’s user experience becomes. Blue Magnet’s independent sites are full of landing pages with the goal of enhancing a user’s ability to make the most out of their stay. Contact us to see just how many possibilities are at your fingertips!