We’ve been refining and fine-tuning our website to make it as informative and user-friendly as possible. These efforts were recently recognized by the 2008 Communicator Awards announced by the International Academy of the Visual Arts when the ALA website won a Silver 2008 Communicator Award of Distinction.

“We’re trying to help our website visitors experience as close to a virtual adventure as possible,” says Director Dan Austin. “Features such as flash maps, guide profile pages and detailed itinerary information make it possible for folks to decide if an ALA holiday will be a good fit for them.”

Austin notes that our website is “steps ahead of our competition” when it comes to ease of navigation and search functionality with features that allow potential clients to search for an adventure vacation by region, date, activities, age suitability and keyword.

“We also believe it’s important to share as much about the actual ALA experience as possible. So we’ve added travel journals, blogs and photo galleries to our site so folks can get a good feel for a trip before taking one,” says Austin.

“Our guests are sophisticated travelers and expect us to take the high road and avoid slick marketing whistles and gimmicks. We’d rather lay all our cards on the website table and let folks decide what’s right for them in an honest, unpressured way. Our high level of guest satisfaction (98%), repeat business (41%), and now this coveted award, all seem to affirm our site content and design,” adds Austin.

We will soon be launching a new social networking site for our current and past guests.  This site, akin to MySpace or Friendster, will allow users to connect to one another based on trips they’ve taken, chat on a community forum, and share their photos and thoughts with one another by way of their personal profiles.

“This will be the first social networking site of its kind among adventure travel companies,” says Vanessa Jupe, ALA’s Marketing Manager. “Users will be able also to send digital postcards to anyone on their friends list or to anyone outside of the ALA community by specifying an email address.  The site, once launched, will be an evolving organism and users should expect their input to help guide the future look, feel and direction of this exciting interactive network.”

With over 9,000 entries from across the US and around the world, the Communicator Awards is the largest and most competitive awards program honoring the creative excellence of communications professionals.

The Communicator Awards are judged and overseen by the International Academy of the Visual Arts (IAVA), a 200+ member organization of leading professionals from various disciplines of the visual arts dedicated to embracing progress and the evolving nature of traditional and interactive media.  Current IAVA membership represents a “Who’s Who” of acclaimed media, advertising, and marketing firms including:  Condè Nast, Coach, Disney, The Ellen Degeneres Show, Estee Lauder, Fry Hammond Barr, HBO, Monster.com, MTV, Polo Ralph Lauren, Sotheby’s Institute of Art, Victoria’s Secret, Wired, Yahoo!, and many others. 

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