Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Beware The Bogus Booking!

With tourism as it is, it's tempting to jump on every booking enquiry. But one should exercise a bit of caution.

When I got an enquiry (I'm not even a hotel!) for reservations for 4 clergymen from Greece, my scam antennas twitched. Why was the e-mail coming from a Yahoo Hong Kong ( e-mail address?

Tracing the e-mail headers shows further revealing information:


The source IP address is

Geo-Location Information

Country Nigeria
State/Region 28
City Owerri

Monday, November 15, 2010

What's it all about, Android?

I recently wrote a review of Digicel's Motorola Milestone, and today I saw a local advert for a LIME Android phone (the Sony Xperia). So why all the fuss about Android?

Firstly, the basics: Android is Google's operating system for phones (although it can actually be run on a computer or even an iPhone). Based on Linux, it's one of the major OS for smartphones with almost 50% of the market.

Why is it popular? One reason is that it's relatively easy to get - or even write - applications for it. Like the iPhone, apps enhance the functionality of the phone, making it more like a computer rather than a phone. Remember that smartphones are technically adept devices, with motion sensors, GPS, wi-fi, cameras and more, and applications tap into these features in a variety of fascinating ways.

So while you can certainly Facebook and Twitter, this is really just the tip of an intriguing iceberg that is your Android phone.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Ever wondered if the internet is just down for YOU?

Well, here's a simple way to get the answer for Firefox users.

"TryAgain" is an add-on for the Firefox browser which will give you helpful information instead of the standard 404 page when you cannot connect to a website.

For those who don't use Firefox as your browser, you can visit this website to find out if the probbem is uniquely yours:

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

5 Great Tips for Hotels on Facebook!

This is a short, interesting article about how to manage your Facebook page. While it is targeted to Hotel owners, the tips are valid for any small business owner.
How do get your hotel’s Facebook account to stand out
Tip #5 is my favourite "If you can't commit, then you must omit."

Not everyone can manage their Facebook page successfully, can you?

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

TripAdvisor is the World's Largest Travel Site

TripAdvisor now leads the way with the highest number of unique monthly visitors on its website – 35,382,000 unique visitors. The next largest travel website in the world is the world’s leading online travel agent - Expedia - with monthly traffic figures of 2,122,000 visitors less than TripAdvisor.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Google Search Trends in Travel

Here are the top consumer trends in searching for travel from Jane Butler, Google’s industry director for travel.
  • Research intensity has been increasing steadily. Travelers are consuming more content online before booking a trip.
  • Google has seen a 15 percent increase in site visits and 30 percent increase in search clicks prior to booking
  • Over half of business and personal travelers interact with online travel videos in all stages of their travel planning.
  • Consumers are booking their trips online closer to the travel date.
  • Travelers are searching more for local, point-of-interest-based information around a destination while planning for and during a trip.
Get the full story at Travel Agent Central.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Website design fail

In looking around at regional official travel sites, one struck me as a great example of what not to do. is the official website for the St Maarten tourist board. And while visually it makes an immediate impression, spend any time on the site and its failings become obvious. Here are but a few.

  • Images don't have ALT text, describing them (or what might happen when you click on them).
  • There's minimal text on the home page this - this undoubtedly impacts their search engine positioning
  • The navigation is non-standard (Jakob Nielsen would have a fit)
  • There's no site map...
  • ...and there's no search box.
  • At 33mb it's so 'image heavy' it's too big even for to analyse it.

And my two biggest gripes:

  • total inability to print any page. If I wanted to print accommodation info, or a list of beaches, or the wedding requirements I'd be totally out of luck. The site cries out for a 'printer-friendly version' icon I can click on
  • total lack of a contact e-mail

This is one of those sites I'd classify as 'over designed'. I understand the need to pique the interest of a visitor, and images certainly speak volumes, but it really is possible to strike a balance between functionality and aesthetics in a website (see!).

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The Right Profile (or Page)

Our recent seminar on Social Media Marketing emphasised the value of having a Facebook Page for your business. We showed the significance of a page over groups, and emphasised the importance of not using your personal profile for your business.

Nevertheless, people still use their own profile as their business 'listing' on Facebook. If that's the route you've chosen, be sure to check your privacy settings and ensure they are compatible with your goal of promoting your business! Specifically, make sure you're sharing key information publicly (such as contact details) without forcing people to be a Friend.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Google Revamps its Search Results

Last week Google released some major changes to the way it displays search results.

According to Google's VP of Search Products & User Experience Marissa Mayer said, "While we are constantly rolling out small changes and updates, today's changes showcase the latest evolutions in our search technology, making it easier than ever to find exactly what you're looking for."

The major changes include:
  • NewLeft Side Navigation that allows for searching in different types of results: images, videos, blogs books, etc.
  • Integration of 'Universal Search'
  • Expanded Search options - for example, search for images of kitchen sinks by colour
  • A smaller, cleaner logo
Good News

A search for 'Dominica' still returns our three Dominica sites in the top 10 results:

Monday, April 12, 2010

How to Make Your Site Look Good to Google in 2010

Google ~ What's New in 2010?

The Search Engine industry never stands still. Google has just released information about changes it is making to the way it will rank sites in 2010.

Some of these changes, such as site load time and proper use of keywords, get 'back to basics' in terms of website design and reinforce the tenets of web development that we at Delphis have followed since we began in 1997.

Other changes emphasise the need to keep up with changing technology by incorporating social media, video listings and real-time search content.

For details see the article by PJ Fusco of The ClickZ Network "How to Optimise Your Site for Google in 2010"

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Join us at our Social Media Marketing seminar

For those of you in Dominica, don't miss the DHTA's Social Media Marketing Seminar by Delphis Ltd. The seminar will cover...

What is Social Media Marketing?
How can it help you get more business?

Get the tools you need to find new customers, to increase your internet presence, and to drive more traffic to your website. Learn the latest techniques and best strategies for:

• Social Networking
• Blogging
• Micro-Blogging
• Media Sharing

Date & Time: Wednesday, April 14th from 9 am to 1 pm.
Location: Fort Young Hotel
Price: $50 DHTA Members / $65 Non-Members

Space is limited. Register early with the DHTA.