Travel Tech

You see them on many websites these days: Oversized images that cover the entire background or the full visible part of a website. Especially using inspirational images as background is a growing trend, which has gained major attraction over the past 6 months, above all on travel and tourism websites.

VisitBrasil's website uses large scale background images

VisitBrasil's website uses large scale background images


It is easy to see why this trend is gaining momentum. Using oversized images is visually highly appealing and provides users with an immediate feel for a destination. It is a quick way to give websites a sleek look, without sacrificing valuable space on the site. In addition, inspirational large scale images are believed to be highly influential when it comes to travel decision making. While stock photography is known to be a conversion killer, this trend helps to eliminate the faux pax that many (travel) websites used to do in the past, as it requires travel brands to produce high quality and unique pictures. While the usefulness of this new trend is undisputed for providing travel inspiration, it raises at the same time the question what the effects of large scale images are on conversion.


Against this background, the conversion optimising company Crazyegg has tested the conversion performance of websites before and after implementing large images. In the case of the redesign of Dell’s contact page, a decreased bounce rate on this page by 27% and increased form completions by 36% could be noted. Similarly, the implementation of large scale background images by the French snowboard manufacturer Saloman led to increased sales by French shoppers by 39.8% and sales by global shoppers by 29.7% both at a 99.9% confidence rate. This shows that large scale images with hero status are not only a powerful tool for providing inspiration, but also help to drive conversions. A finding that could be interesting to city destination marketers and tourism brands alike.


In order to get the most from large scale images on websites, tourism marketers should bear these three simple rules in mind:

  • The photo should scale down responsively.
  • Use a unique photo—no stock photography.
  • Make sure your photo doesn’t cause eye tracking confusion.


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