The Western Association of Travel Agencies (WESTA) says nearly 25 percent of its member agencies are now participating in its recently introduced website design and hosting program.
WESTA is actively promoting the new service, which allows member agencies to launch, maintain and maximize their online presence with a professionally designed website that features destination information and current travel deals offered by WESTA's preferred suppliers.
“This new program frees travel agents up to focus on what they do best – helping their clients arrange memorable travel experiences,” says Mike Estill, chief operating officer of WESTA, a member-owned travel agency consortium.
Member agencies have two choices, based on their agency's needs and Web skill sets. One option is a fully hosted website that requires little to no maintenance on their part, yet is updated weekly with timely travel information. More than two-thirds of those agencies already signed up for the program have chosen this easy-to-use option.
Or, WESTA says they may opt for the toolbox program, which allows agencies to choose from a variety of components to enhance their existing website.
“I think the WESTA website program is fantastic,” says Val Day of House of Travel. “First off, if anyone has ever built a website for another business, they know how much time is involved."
Day added that "the pricing is ridiculously low and, because Google SEO is all about updates on your site, it is so great that the content is updated on a weekly basis. Having WESTA handle the website end of my operation allows me to concentrate on other aspects of the business.”
Ideal for member agencies that don’t have a website or don’t have time to maintain one, WESTA’s fully hosted website program delivers a customizable, contemporary site that is updated weekly and features travel tools such as “Shop for a Trip,” “Destination Info,” Video of the Month,” “Travel Resources,” and “Weekly Specials.”
Agents may customize the site by choosing one of six themes and can alternate their chosen theme twice a year. Further customization includes an agency “welcome” and “about us” pages, as well as individual pictures, contact information and agency logo prominently positioned on the home page.
Alternatively, WESTA-affiliated agencies with an existing website can opt for the toolbox program, which allows them to further enhance their content with additional features and applications that make their site more dynamic. This option enables them to choose any and all of the components without having to commit to a fully hosted website.
“We’re excited to help our members manage their online presence in a way that drives business, provides clients with relevant content, and spotlights our preferred partners who offer some of the best values in the travel industry,” says Estill.
For more information on WESTA membership, services and marketing programs, visit www.joinwesta.com