While it may still take 14+ hours for someone to fly from New York City to Japan, the world has certainly gotten smaller when considering how quickly you can actually plan and book the trip itself. From the flight to your accommodations, tours to days at a spa, the Internet has made the hospitality industry that much more hospitable as it relates to convenience.
If you’re starting a business in the travel and hospitality industry—or have one that has yet to flourish—a website will be the key player in managing hotel and travel bookings, as well as guest expectations. In addition, your website can be utilized as a tool for attracting future potential clients if optimized accordingly.
Best of all, you don’t need to be a professionally trained, have website development skills, or a ton of money to build a site you can be proud of. Thanks to the functionality offered by WordPress, there are many themes and plugins to put to work that were designed specifically for the hospitality industry.
Let’s discuss what will be needed to get your website off the ground, as well as nine of the best WordPress themes and plugins for hotels, travel and accommodation websites.
Building a Hotel, Travel and Accommodation Website
Before your hotel, travel, and/or accommodation website can be launched, you’ll need to decide upon a few basic things:
Platform: Whether hosted by a third party or self-hosted, there are so many platforms to build your website upon. Generally however, WordPress is the best when it comes to self-hosting services, since it’s easy to use and customizable.
Hosting: If opting for a self-hosted site, you will need to choose a web host for storing all of your website data and files online. Once you have one in mind, you can install the WordPress CMS, which is free to download.
Domain name: This is the address users need to access your website. Some web hosts provide one for free with a new hosting plan.
Themes: The theme of your website is a collection of files that provide your WordPress site with a cohesive appearance and design. You can choose to change the theme without ever having to alter the files themselves or your site’s core code. A large selection of free and paid themes exist to for plugging in to your WordPress site; many of them specifically geared towards the hospitality industry.
Plugins: Another unique characteristic of the WordPress platform are its plugins. Plugins activate different functionality aspects of your website and are part of the reason why WordPress succeeds at being so customizable.
Best Themes for Hotels, Travel, and Accommodation Websites
The customer experience had on your website is very much dependent upon the quality of the design and workflow. When choosing a theme, remain conscious of customer use cases as they relate to your hotel, travel, and/or accommodation business.
Exploore is a theme that was specifically designed for use by those in the hospitality industry. It offers four main modules for tour, hotel, car, and cruise, which can each be adapted based on whatever functionality you might need.
The Exploore theme offers extended functionality with additional features. Some of these features include:
- Powered by WooCommerce
- Strong mega menu
- Custom shortcode and icons
- Multiple post types
- The Drag & Drop Page Builder Visual Composer, the best-selling Slider Revolution, and the Premium PSD Pack
Designed for the more modern in hotels and resorts, the Hotel Calluna theme has an integrated booking calendar and reservation form. It also allows for custom post types for adding room specifics, events, and timely offers to your website. The customer support provided in conjunction with this theme is another major draw for website-builders.
Additional features include:
- 100% responsive
- Booking Engine by WP Hotelier allows you to manage rooms and reservations seamlessly
- Multiple payments supported (Paypal and credit cards via Stripe)
- Sales and seasonal prices
- Comes with Master Slider and Visual Composer
- Multi-language support (WPML ready)
- Google Maps and Contact Form 7 integration
With over 14,000 customers and a 5-star rating, Bellevue is undoubtedly one of the most popular themes for hotels and bed & breakfast locations. Along with many of the other features found in previously mentioned themes, Bellevue incorporates a powerful form builder for providing email notifications, developing autoresponders, and anti-spam automation.
- Live drag and drop builder, and theme customizer
- 7 premade demos, 40+ widgets, and 25+ page templates
- A custom version of the WP Booking plugin ($34 value) and Master Slider ($24)
- Fully compatible with WooCommerce and WPML support is included
Traveler is one of the most saleable and popular travel themes for WordPress. The theme is most applicable to travel management and affiliate booking systems, such as travel agencies, tour operators, car hire companies, even vacation rental booking sites like Airbnb.
With this theme, you can create websites like agoda.com, booking.com and viator.com. It supports membership functions that allow a site owner to create packages for promotion by affiliates or resellers.
Additional features include:
- 100% responsive layout
- Multiple payment options (Paypal Integrated)
- Dashboard reports and statistics
- Social login, wishlist, discount codes
- Supports affiliate programming by skyscanner.com and travelpayouts.com
One of the newer travel themes on the market. Grand Tour was built by one of our power elite authors and is best for those who need to constantly update their website and don’t want to spend excessively on resources to do so. The theme provides over 300 options to use for customizing your site, as well as the ability to preview changes made in real time.
Other features include:
- 20+ design templates designed for driving conversions
- Detailed tour information and metrics on which tours are driving the most views
- Various booking and payment options, as well as coupon code functionality
- Advanced search capabilities
- Tour reviews
- White label theme admin
- Free premium plugins (valued at $97): Booked, Revolution Slider and iLightbox
Best Plugins for Hotels, Travel, and Accommodation Websites
Whether by region, country, or continent, this WordPress plugin allows you to create different kinds of interactive maps.
As it relates to hotel, travel, and/or accommodation websites, this type of functionality might be useful in the advertising of multi-country tours so as to show which locations are highlighted for a specific tour.
You can even customize the map with icons based on the types of tours you offer (i.e. food, historical, bars, etc.).
Best WordPress Themes and Plugins for Hotels, Travel, and Accommodation Websites
Developing not just a website, but a website built with your specific travel and hospitality business in mind, is key in driving success. Streamline and automated booking processes that cater to customer needs will aid your efforts both in the present and future.
Make the most of your resources effectively and efficiently with easy-to-use WordPress themes and plugins—then watch those reservation requests pour in!
What would you add to our list of the best WordPress themes and plugins for hotels, travel, and accommodation websites? Tweet at @Envato and we’ll share the best responses!
Becoming a successful restaurant requires more than just a good menu. It requires a great website. To help you find a theme that’ll have your reservations full for the foreseeable future, here are 21 WordPress themes and plugins that will have your business buzzing.