Southern Destinations

The Company


Southern Destinations is a local travel agency attracting international customers. They help their clients find a tour or accommodation tailored to their needs.

The Challenge


Building the Southern Destinations website presented more challenges than we anticipated and this post will cover only the major challenges.

The Result


To provide Southern Destinations a website that could be managed effortlessly by site owners, we designed a custom WordPress site using WordPress’ simple content management system (CMS). The old Southern Destinations website had a custom CMS but the company recognised that SEO was a major weakness within their previous custom solution. In light of this we focused on boosting the SEO relevance of the new website. We used WordPress SEO and the WooCommerce SEO add-on. We also developed custom solutions that would ensure the best breadcrumb structure. Rafiq Phillips, an external contractor, managed all the SEO. Trish Lee and her designer team focused on the design.

Next we will look at Southern Destinations’ need to showcase accommodation and tours by price (and currency). We used the WooCommerce plugin to manage this. Currently, “Rooms” and their data are stored as “Product Variations” and we integrated with Travelogic to pull through live pricing for accommodation properties.

We used a currency conversion plugin to enable the site to display the prices in different currencies. We also integrated with Wetu to pull various travel content into the website via their API.

In order to incorporate many different items into the menu, we created a mega menu (a dropdown menu that contains images). Visitors can navigate to different destinations, tours and preferred lodges.

To display related content, we used tabs. For example, if visitors view a page about Botswana, they can click on a “Regions” tab to see regions related to Botswana. There is also an “Itinerary” tab which shows related tours and a “News” tab which shows related blog posts.

We also made it possible for the Southern Destinations team to upload client reviews. These reviews can be related to any of the tours, accommodations and destinations on the site. As a result, readers can link directly to related tours, accommodations and destinations from a single “Reviews” page.

We designed a blog that helps Southern Destinations to attract website visitors and create interest in tours. Authors can publish and categorise posts with engaging content such as high-resolution photos and videos. Authors can also link posts to tours and accommodations. When linking a post to a destination, that post will show up in the “News” tab on the page for that destination.

Lastly, they needed to enable and encourage their clients to apply for specials. We managed this via a quotation form that pops up when a user clicks to book a special. Users can then submit their details which Southern Destinations uses to get back to them.

Southern Destinations is one of our best projects yet. The client was great and easy to work with. We gave them a completely new website that was search engine friendly.

The Results


Vanessa Ratcliffe
Role & Company: Owner | Southern Destinations

We contracted LightSpeed for the rebuild of our site. The brief included complex adherence to design, SEO and search functionality. The deadline he set was realistic and unlike previous website builds we’ve experienced; they stuck to it. We definitely intend to work with Lightspeed in the future.

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