- Lots of pictures. Be it slide shows, be it videos, be it panoramic 360 degree views. People love to s-e-e and watch! Actually the request for more pictures was one of the most urgent ones we got when I was still with the Vienna Tourist Board.
- The videos are professionally done, without overdoing it. They feature real people – not models or actors -, are easy to stream, size still being an important factor. Unfortunately, they seem to be offline!
- I am a ceramics adept, so the moment I watched the video by the ceramic artisan Tatane Duran I was hooked. Her store was not easy to find, but I was determined to find it after watching the video (and I bought one of her rather expensive works). Which brings me to the next point: The site actively presents the souvenirs and crafts you can get there. By showing me what kind of souvenirs I could get there, and only there, I was thrilled. My "journey" to San Pedro started right then. Even if it was only an imaginary or a dream journey.
- Even the guest book features pictures of travellers.
- Have a look at the interactive map. What a nice gimmick, erm, service. I must admit that it fueled my dreams and raised my levels of anticipation.
I know, they use frames. This is a major flaw, even back then. But remember, this "old" site is still better than most of the tourist sites relaunched recently.
Okay, so maybe you are saying it is easier to come up with a good website like that, when your destination is so small (and yet so – well – breathtaking). Really? Let’s compare San Pedro with the Austrian village of Hallstatt. It has 2000 inhabitants, just like San Pedro and tourism is their major source of income. Believe me, I love that village, it is where I got engaged many years ago. But their official website reflects none of the place’s magic what so ever. Just to get this right, Austria is one of the leading tourist
destinations of Europe and one of the richest nations of the world.
To be fair: they do feature a Google map.
Which brings me back to the title of this article (which might extend into a mini-series). Service is important. But it has to be combined with your destination’s main assets. What is the magic, the fascination, the reason why tourists come to see your destination? Focus on that, add service and inspire. And where is Web 2.0? I will answer that tomorrow.