TravelWatchNews, website design

The new Website Design Thinking asks: what is the purpose of your website? Is it to get more bookings or help people understand more about your brand? Maybe it’s to get prospects to take some specific action. Whatever it is, you may be barking up the wrong tree. You have to start by really knowing your prospects’ mind set. Why do they come to your website? Is it because of a promotion you are running? If so, do you have the message on the page they will land on? The landing page must be what they call ‘native’. It needs to complement the promo and give users the options they want.

In the travel business, travellers do a pile of research. First of all, to decide what kind of vacation they want – Summer, Winter, Active, Relaxing and the list goes on. Then where to go – which destination. Next, what sort of accommodation and what can they do.

Discovery Process

new thinking on website strategy

Understanding all of this is part of the discovery process pioneered by Diego Rodriguez, CEO of the Power Marketing Consultant Network (PMCN). Once you get a handle on what your prospects want then you can engineer the site to convince them that you are the right place for them to be. It’s now time to mesh that with what you want them to do. Given that the decision process is arduous and convoluted, you certainly want to give the right impression.

Are Your Prospects Ready to Buy/Book? 95% or more of travellers will not buy on their first visit to your site – that is just a fact. In many cases, the best you can do is impress them and hope that they will remember you. Possible actions you might encourage are: calling, leaving contact info, watching a video, reading an article, asking a question, downloading a brochure/research paper, or booking a vacation.  It’s not always that easy to know what is best but the questions asked in the Discovery Process will bring clarity.

What Do You Want Visitors to  Learn? No one will understand what makes you special and your Unique Selling Point (USP). Your website is where you can explain what makes you different. Explain it in a way that resonates. The Website Strategy Process (WSP) will guide you to uncovering your special place in the market. It is not a trivial task. In some cases, it calls for a total re-branding of the business. You may need to change the name, the brand and URL (website internet address).

Unique Selling Points

Benefits! All shoppers what to know what the advantage is for them. Why should they stay with you rather than at any of the other places? The #1 benefit is the #1 hot button.

If you are catering to celebrities, the very affluent or the persons who do not like to be the center of attention, Privacy, Space, Quiet and an unassuming attitude are vital. Maybe you are catering to Mindful Souls who like Mindful Holidays.

Comparison! Most shoppers will want to know how you compare in value to other options. It is never a bad idea to group yourself and promote in the channels that you competition is in. Aligning your property with the winners in your niche reinforces the distinction and builds trust. Of course, you need to point out your distinct advantage and value proposition. It may be price but it is far better to build a message around value.

Objections! Many travellers will have some uncertainly, lack of trust or hang ups with regards booking the wrong place. Your message should deal with these objections. For example: small hotels and guest houses feel they are at a disadvantage in competing with large OTAs like To counter this, a property can display its awards, great reviews and affiliations with the tourist board, among other things. This will give prospects a sense of security. Again, the WSP will help you build the right message and hot buttons.

Benefits, Comparison & Objections are the material of Hot Buttons. Get these right and you are on you way to strategic messaging that will power your website forever.

website design is not all about graphics
website design is about the message

It’s Not About Graphics

With the Website Strategy Exercise, the idea that becomes very clear is:

The Message Comes First

When you have a clear idea of the message, you can implement the navigation in a way that builds on the message and guides users to the relevant page that will inspire them to take action. Graphics help in the process but putting graphic design first is a critical error. It must always be the other way around!

New Website Design Thinking
New Website Design Thinking with the Website Strategy Process

Learn More

See more about the Website Strategy Process at:

Illustrated Magazine in Printed Format available on MagCloud







© Ian R. Clayton

Author of the Book Series Hotel & Tourism Marketing

new thinking about wesite design

music festival, TravelWatchNews

,Barbados Music Festival Claude DeBussy – It’s the 5th year in a row for the Barbados Classical Music Festival. And again world class classic musicians have landed on the island to entertain and teach. When not performing the musicians take part in workshops and special events to help local students.

Barbados Music Festival Claude DeBussy
– Four Hands on One Piano

Ken Gee and Norman Reintaman on Piano – Aare Tammesalu turns the pages while the 4 hands play on!

Excuse the bumpy view. The  camera was very faraway. It was difficult to stay steady when the slightest motion is  magnified to 5 times its normal focal length. It was an impromptu taping as  I was just a guest. Julian Bowen graciously allowed me to records my samples.

Debussy was one of the most influential composers of the 19th & 20th centuries. He is often considered to be first Impressionist composer. That was because he seemed to place  emphasis on the overall impression rather than clarity of detail. Source  wikipedia

Classics Staged Around The Island

The festival was staged in Barbados for a week with venues around the island. The finale was held at the Barbados Museum and Historical Society in the walled garden.


Barbados museum stages Barbados Music Festival Claude DeBussy
Barbados museum – Walled Garden – Stage of The Barbados Classical Music Festival 2019 Finale – Barbados Music Festival Claude DeBussy

Its another great event staged in Barabdos and predates the very different and successful Vujaday festival now in its 3 rd year. The genres (Techno and Classical) are almost at polar opposites.  Having said that it bears reflection: When you think about it,  the original classic artists where highly experimental and were breaking the mold just as techno is today.

Debussy an Experimental Avant Garde

Debussy was considered to be one of the first musical impressionist and many considered him to be too Experimental and  Avant Garde to be consider a true classical musician. Avant-garde music  breaks the rules and regulations of traditional culture to explore novelty in presentation. Art is, as they say, above all. It creates a transcendental and mysterious sound world.[8]

There can be no doubt about that now and we see experimental and avant garde in all genres today.

An Entire Ensemble of Classic Music Composers

On the final night the Barbados Museum “Wall Garden” staged  music composed by Brahms, Debussy, Garbriel Faure, Dushkin and Ameadeus Mozart.

The musicians included. Paule Barsalou, Aare Tammesalu, Ken Gee and Norman Reintamm. On the opening night, Monday August 19th, Dexter Norville and Amanda Fields where also on stage.

On Tuesday the 20th, The Royal Barbados Police Force Band featured a Bajan Classical Affair with, David Gooding, Shanika Roach, Amanda Fields and Jane Small.

Learn More

Learn more about the festival and the people behind it, like Julian Bowen and Norman Reintaman
Check out the review at:
The review features the experimental works of Brahms and Gabriel Faure. It also covers the story behind the 5 years of the Barbados Classical Music Festival.

By Ian R. Clayton
Best Selling Author of  Website and the Digital Media Series Marketing Hotels and Tourism


Not Another “How to” Instagram Tutorial

There are hundreds of articles featuring Instagram “How To” information and ultimate guides to marketing hotels and tourism on Instagram. The majority of Instagram Tutorials For Travel Hospitality,  are missing the essential value of Instagram. Of course it is visual and yes video is overtaking photography for engagement and reach.  That needs little elaboration except to say that  the fundamental of Instagram are actually more to do with Authenticity, Passion, Character and Mission.  These traits are all to often over looked in Instagram Instagram Tutorials For Travel Hospitality!

antennas for brand messages on travel hospitality
Mellennials and the new digital citizens see through sham and self interest with antennas bigger than Hubble and quickly spot in-authentic messages

A New Paradigm

The power of Instagram is all to do with psychology based on  traits and their implication. Its best exemplified by who are their fastest growing market: Millennials! That means experience rather than things matter. Brand differential is no longer about place, price,  packaging and promotion. That type of message is a turn-off to today’s tech savvy digital citizen. They see through sham and self interest with antennas bigger than Hubbles TDRS systems.

Likewise  decor and building are valuable only if they denote relevant and matching character. That said, a well executed video that entertains will engage with the right people if it touches them in meaningful way. Getting that right is an art and understanding how to market the experience rather that a set of defined features, amenities and benefits.

Nano Tutorials to the Point

Marketing hotels and tourism is rolling out a set of short multi series video that show why and how this matters. The founders have embarked on an Instagram project that focuses on people character and lifestyle. It  is just getting off the ground but its fine-tuned focus is perfect for the digital age of travel consumers looking for experiences that match.  It serves as an example of fine tuning the message to a niche and of things to come.

More >>>

Get the full story as it unfolds on

TravelWatchNews, vujaday music festival

Update 2019 – The 2019 Vujaday event is now live on – See it Here

Pre-Event Planning

The lineup for Vujaday Music Festival 2019  and island Safari in Barbados is as exciting and varied as 2018 with some extra spice with new venues and day time events. It is coming back to Barbados thanks to the Confluence group – A Global Media Agency offering a wide range of Digital Media Services which include  strategic Music Branding and Music Festivals in key vacation destinations. See more at Confluence Destination Sonic Branding Festivals.

Take a look at this short one minute video of samples from 2018. It will give you a flavor of things to come!

Here is the line up for Phase 1- Phase 2 will be added shortly.

Vujaday Music Festival 2019
Vujaday Music Festival 2019 phase 1 artists

You will notice a few artists from 2018 are back by popular demand. Lee Burridge took hold of the stage on the last night of last years event. He was joined on stage by other artists who made up a varied night with house, techno and  Francesca Lombardos velvet tone of Fire in the night. Lee Reynolds stared on the dance floor as much as he did on stage, to everyone’s delight.

Vujaday 2019 Phase 1 will feature legendary DJs, producers and composers from the UK, Canada, USA, Spain, Sweden and Germany. Below is a partial list and more details of some of the phase1 artists.

Welsh DJ and producer Sasha, a DJ set from iconic Canadian electronic duo Bob Moses, Detroit house and techno staple Moodymann, All Day I Dream founder Lee Burridge, a live performance from the Detroit based sibling duo Octave One, Vivrant label founder and renowned Swedish musician Jeremy Olander, Brooklyn house duo Bedouin, Life and Death founder DJ Tennis, Berlin house aficionado YokoO, members of the fan-favorite Desert Hearts collective Mikey Lion and Lee Reynolds, American production duo and Crew Love members Soul Clap, Women on Wax founder DJ Minx, Sheik ‘N’ Beik founder Rechulski, respected Toronto resident Nitin, and fellow Toronto native and current Barcelona resident Jade.

2019 has a few of the same composers and DJs that were crowd pleasers in 2018 plus many more exciting additions still to be announced.

Be sure to visit Vujaday Barbados from April 3rd to 7th.

See blogger for links and details

Breaking News – Just announced Phase 2 line-up: Vujaday Barbados Music Festival 2019 New Artists include: Damian Lazarus, Andhim, Danny Tenaglia, Pony, Gaby Endo, Papa Lu and Roger Silver.

See Sampling of the Award Winning New Artists – Click image below

Vujaday2019 new artists samples
Amazing Lineup and Story of Artist Like the Mystical Damian Lazarus – Click Image above


Sugar Cane research was pioneered in the Caribbean with Barbados taking the lead in propagating new varieties of the plants, from seeds. The island was the first to understand that the cane arrow seeds could be used to plant hybreds of cane.

For years research focused on developing climate adaptive and pest resident strains. That has developed into to the point where sugar cane research is seeding an eco-future. It’s a far reaching examination of alternative products and uses that includes the entire plant, husks, fibers, fruit as well as by-products of the sugar and rum manufacturing. Some of the by products are ethanol used as fuel and pulp that can be made into various products.

Barbados established the worlds first sugar cane research laboratory in 1858. It specialized in propagation specific qualities. In the early the plants were developed and test over many years and the successful outcrops were given to farmers to plant and harvest. They reported which had desired properties and offered best yield, easy of use and resistance. Sugar can is still vital to the sugar and rum industry, but today its by products are helping to replace fossil fuels and plastics.

The lab, research, cane fields, rum and sugar have been a fascinating attraction to travelers and vacation who travel to learn about heritage and culture. It’s now also interesting as cane finds new life and purpose in helping to save the environment.

See more on Sugar Cane Research Seeding Eco-Future at

More on Barbados Sugar and Rum go here

More Lifestyle and Learning Holidays