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3 Best Alaska Web Design Tips To Attract Adventure Tourism

3 Best Alaska Web Design Tips To Attract Adventure Tourism

Mar 31 2017

Tourists often don't know what to expect about Alaska

I am constantly surprised by the questions I get about Alaska from friends or family who have never visited Alaska. The general impression I get is that people who have never been here think Alaska is:

  • Either 24 hours of daylight or 24 hours of darkness
  • Being overrun by hordes of vicious bears
  • Beset by storms or spit-freezing temperatures

And so on. The basic principle being that most people really know so little about Alaska, and people constantly say that they would love to come here. They are curious, often ignorant about Alaska, and may have specific expectations.

Basically what that translates to is that when people come here for the first time for an adventure, that adventure tends to have an emotional journey tied in with it. The quality of that emotional journey depends largely on how well the adventure meets customer's particular desires.

Here are three great Alaska web design tips to attract adventure tourism better than competition.

1 - Web design content that caters to experience people want

Last summer on a week long trek through the Peruvian Andes (the Salcantay trek). My wife and I both agreed that our guide was especially gifted.

I found it very curious because while knowledgeable and friendly, I have found all of my guides to be so, some even had more “answers” than he did. He had a pretty good sense of humor, but we had funnier guides in the past.

He was good about monitoring our pace and checking in with us. Again, nothing new.

Then it occurred to me:

  • He only talks when we are in the mood to talk
  • He is quiet when we are pensive
  • He tells jokes or stories when we are feeling light hearted
  • He gives us information when we are feeling curious

All without ever asking us how were feeling. He simply made sure that he was always aware of what we were feeling before we did.

Ultimately, this is number one, and all of your content should allude to the fact that your adventure treks, your adventures, and your guides cater to the type of experience customers want to have.

2 - Web design shows customization of adventure

We all want things customized. Custom shoes feel better than non-customized shoes. Customized trips are more to our taste than stock trips. This is especially true of Alaskan adventure trekking.

For many people the trip will be:

  • Once in a lifetime
  • Financially costly
  • Something they have trained/prepared for

These trekkers usually don’t want to jump in the deep end and get rough. Of course, there is the population of more experience or especially adventurous people – however they have, in my experience, been the exception rather than the rule.

In both cases you find many skill levels and particular desire – hence it makes sense to provide customized trips. Too often I see treks offering treks based on skill level.

Bad idea.

For one, you, the guide or expert, should be the one assessing what the level the customer is and which route/trek best match their goals or outcomes. Moreover, segmenting your treks based on skill level screams one thing loud and clear: stalk trip. In other words, not customized.

3 - Alaskan websites should be designed to show "the middle way"

Most people come to Alaska for an adventure experience, such as trekking, fishing, hunting, backpacking trips, multi-day hikes, etc. They want to jump into the frying pan but not into the fire. Moreover, the average age of travlers here is middle age or older, which usually precludes the "rough and tumble" kind of adventure.

We have seen the most successful adventure tourism websites take the "middle way":

  1. Adventure - but nothing too dangerous. 
  2. Beautiful scenery - the kind of big, bold, and beautiful mountains and landscapes that are abundant in Alaska. 
  3. The remote expanses surrounding Alaska's small population, but not quite out of reach of civilization's comforts
  4. Want to see wildlife, but not with the intimacy of a petting zoo. 

In so many words, and I think those of you who have participated in many treks or guided treks will probably agree, most people want to have fun without getting roughed up. Be tired but feel good. Not beat. You Alaskan website's design should show how you fulfill this kind of experience.

Website design is about your customers

I think you get the idea.

Your Alaskan website should reflect the fact that your adventure is focused around what each of your customers wants. Do most Alaska adventure websites do this?


Most companies are in such a hurry to show customers how great they are that they forget that their website and marketing campaigns are actually speaking to someone.

Like most people, as someone who is obsessed with how I spend my time and money – especially when going on an adventure – I am a voracious planner and 90% of my decision making happens through a website.